I came out of this morning's packed 8:40am showing behind two guys and couldn't help but overhear them as one turned to the other and said "Huh....that felt a bit flat really". His mate agreed.
I thought about this all the way home. Why? Because to me, this was a cinematic masterpiece of almost epic proportions. How could these guys who just saw the exact same film, the exact same showing think anything but the same as I did?
And that was the job the Russo's, Feige, everyone at Marvel had in following up such a cultural phenomenon as Infinity War. My 70-year old mum knows about 'The Snap' and with such a cliffhanger resulting, just where the film could possibly go to appease everyone is almost too daunting a task. As hyped up as I was about this film, my only hope for it was that they didn't cop out saving the day - on 'unpicking' the events of IW.
But what Marvel did was both very clever and very brave. They created a film made for the hardcore fans of the MCU. Not hardcore Marvel comic fans, not those who had a passing acquittance with the MCU, but this film is for those, like me, which have devoured all the previous 21 MCU films on multiple occasions. Because what that has given us is an attachment to these characters. So much so that it gave the filmmakers a huge amount of freedom with what to do with them.
So seeing how the film managed to take what was pretty much the only available plot device in trying to undo what Thanos had done, and package it in a way which was a wonderful love letter to those of us who even liked the red headed step children of the MCU, just instantly papered over any issues I might have had with such a, on paper anyway, hackneyed narrative. I've read so, so many things about the film since this morning - from issues some had with structure and pacing, to those with some issues regarding how certain characters were treated and ultimately with the prickly plot device at the centre of the film. But the reason why none of these irk me in the slightest is that they got the characters just...….right.
I won't go into too much detail here, but I can easily see where the slew of 7/10 scores are coming from. But for me, every issue that others have raised, simply doesn't apply - my favourite MCU scene of the whole damn 22-movie franchise is the party in Age of Ultron: no massive action spectacle, no complex plot beats, just great characters hanging out and interacting in that wonderfully humorous way that the MCU has injected into all its movies. So having time spent seeing the devastation of the snap and what it did to these guys didn't cause any issue with pacing whatsoever.
Having the second act be driven by that plot device just felt like wonderful fan-service (and I mean that with no bad connotations whatsoever) to us, letting us spend time with these guys in both new and old settings; and finally to the epic resolution, a smackdown to go against any smackdown in the franchise, with fist pumping moments to quicken our hearts and emotional beats that had me shedding tears. More than once.
I know its not perfect - I still don't see Captain Marvel's place in this phase as being warranted at all given her input into this particular film - but for all its length, for all its plot and for all its interesting character decisions, it got me in the goddamn feels. And it got me hard. I knew I was a goner when a scene early on involving Ant-Man returning to his old house had me with a lump in my throat. And come its conclusion, to say that tears were flowing freely and with reckless abandon is something of an understatement.
I'll retire to the thread and discuss particulars in more details, but at this moment, this film couldn't be more worthy to act as not just a successor to IW, but as a finale to all 21 previous films. It was utterly wonderful from start to finish.
Thank you Marvel. Thank you.