Well, folks, it’s all been building up to this point. 18 films and how many years down the line, Thanos finally closes in on the complete gauntlet and it’s all hands on deck to try to stop him.
And obviously, all these hands squished into one film mean there’s a lot going on. On the one hand, seeing everyone pitching in together is great fun, and there is no doubt that in addition to trying to save the universe, there is always time for a little humour along the way.
On the other hand though, it clearly means that there’s only time for short appearances from our favourites. Some of them get two or three lines and then disappear. Some of them don’t even appear at all.
The Russo brothers have done a good job of presenting the villain as having an understandable (if morally corrupt) motivation, and of making sure we can keep track of where everyone is and why. But it still feels a little disparate, as there are a number of small groups of Avengers rather than assembling them all in one place – for the time being I suppose.
The directors have done everything they can to put the film at the service of fans, rather than the general cinema-going audience. If you’ve only seen some of the preceding films, then you’ll definitely miss out on some of the in-jokes and character references. If you haven’t seen any of them, then I think you’ll struggle to know what’s going on at all.
But the audience I was with seemed pleased, and there was an actual round of applause marking one character’s entrance to battle. There was also a bit of a stunned silence as the credits started to roll, so I guess it did its job.
However, there are two major and unavoidable problems for me.
Firstly – we know there is another film to come, and that we’re actually only half-way through the story. That means some of the stakes are not really as high as they might seem.
This is compounded by the second problem – that green stone. Because of that one item, I can’t believe most of what happened in the final 10 minutes.
If it is possible to be enthused and annoyed by something at the same time, then this is it. And of course I am going back for seconds.