I went into this movie in a mood. What was going to be of this three-hour opus? Watching the film I thought, "this is an obnoxious Inception.” Another moment “action-packed The Leftovers.” Having seen the film twice in the span of opening weekend, I had completely different experiences. The film does not feel that long.
The Avengers align together to defeat Thanos. It is also Chris Evans’ final (but is it really?) performance as Captain America, which he is mighty and wonderful in every facet.
The performances vary from stellar and to barely striking a match. Karen Gillan delivers a standout performance as Nebula. Jeremy Renner balanced being a stunning vigilante and compassionate hero as Hawkeye/Clint Barton. He had a scene with an attitude that harkened back to his role in “The Town.” Don Cheadle, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth and Danai Gurira are fantastic. They all have at least one comedic moment. Captain Marvel, Rocket Raccoon & Ant-Man/Scott Lang are my saving graces of the film. Brie Larson, Bradley Cooper & Paul Rudd, respectively captivate the screen. Everyone who returned did their thing! Although one person could have just been left off. Robert Downey Jr. provides comic relief and an elevated dramatic performance for Iron-Man/Tony Stark. Thanos is just a big bully with an executioner style sword. Emma Fuhrmann, Ava Russo and Yvette Nicole Brown are among the supporting cast who are exceptional in their roles. This ensemble is out of this world by Casting Director Sarah Finn.
The writing was fine. I would have preferred more action scenes than stale drama between the Avengers. That was my gripe with “Captain America: Civil War.” There were scenes that dragged on. I also do not care for Black Widow and this film established that. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo return the audience to a stellar world. The special effects team gave an outstanding look. Thanos’ spaceship slowly inches through fog and it is quite terrifying. Alan Silvestri composed a sweeping and cerebral score. My favorite scenes with his music are when Scott Lang searches for Cassie, his daughter, and when Tony discovers a way to time travel. Costume Designer Judianna Makovsky created essential looks for each character. Okoye wears a black dress that is sophisticated and snatched.
I wish Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie was a surprise return to the film. She is a treasure. Don Cheadle has a scene that harkens back to his character in “Traffic.” There was a serene setting with guitar playing in the score that made me think of “A Star is Born,” and I chuckled. There is also an homage to '“The Big Lebowski.”
The real winner of this film is Audi, who has strategic & impeccable product placement.
Marvel Studios produced an exemplary and ground-breaking timeline of projects adhering to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s vision. It plays to the generations who crave these stories rooted in reality with fantasy.
Overall, the film is nerve-racking yet satisfying. I will likely see it for a third time and eat, drink and be merry.