So I just saw Avengers Endgame after waiting for one year — and believe me, the year-long wait was genuine agony.
As I sat in the theater in Washington DC, invited to the press review on Tuesday, I was delirious with excitement to be among the few who would get to see this film before so much of the rest of the world.
Thus, I do not take this review lightly, nor do I take it with a grain of salt — I genuinely promise to do the best that I can — to tell you about the movie I have waited to see with more anxiety and anguish than any other movie I have waited for in my entire life. I am absolutely serious.
And so the movie began. I held my breath.
The turmoil, would it lift? Would I finally find sweet relief?
My answer: Yes … and … No.
This review is a spoiler free review … and I really don’t know how I am going to do this. I am under obligation by the forces that be that I am not to reveal anything about this movie … at least until opening day Friday April 26th.
So what I can talk about is who is alive and who isn’t after the tragic end of Avengers: Infinity War, and who was in the official movie trailer of Avengers Endgame. I can also talk about how the movie made me feel.
How the movie made me feel
After the three-hour movie — and I have so many feelings to process. Thus, here is a summary. I feel outraged, I feel excited, I feel relieved, I feel horrified, I feel sad (I cried several times) and I feel exhausted. A year is a long time to wait.
There were so many surprises in this movie that made me — as well as the rest of the audience — scream at the top of my and our collective lungs with thrilled exasperation. I felt as if I would explode as yet one more something unfolded that was so Marvel Universe-altering it gave me a nauseating sense of fear and guarded optimism at the same time.
I screamed ‘YES!’ As many times as I screamed ‘NO!’
So many times ... I was thinking “Hey Russo Brothers, how could this happen this way? A moment later I was screaming with delirious joy and excitement. It was a roller coaster ride combined with a train wreck, when you are not certain if you will be ok.
Avengers Endgame was light, fun, beautiful and uplifting. But it was also dark, morose and angry. I loved it with every fiber of my soul one minute, then hated with every strand of DNA the next.
It was hilarious and fun, but also frustrating. But I was also unhappy at all the devastation of a Marvel world that lost so much. I loved the moments of Tony Stark and Thor interacting as only two powerhouse characters could. I was thrilled at the exploration of Bruce Banner’s relationship with the Hulk and relished in the agony of Black Widow and Hawkeye’s (Is that his real name?) losses in their lives.
Yes we see Thanos, and the interactions threw my mind into chaos, but soon remedied itself to agony and outrage and much more. I like agony and outrage — but to a point. It was a lot to handle so many times during this movie.
Phew, my head hurts.
As I sit at this laptop, in a mall, next to a Starbucks, leeching off of the free wifi to write this review before the 6 pm deadline, I feel raw, yet numb. I feel a hundred emotions with a relief that some questions I had have been answered, while others remain unaddressed.
But that’s the ugly truth about modern Hollywood right? Movies today have to have 100% resolution or many of them risk never being made. Avengers Endgame doesn’t take the easy way out. But that’s the way I wanted it! Or is it?
Do I want every question answered?
Do I want every hair on every head restored to the exact way it was before the moment Thanos first snapped his fingers in Infinity War?
No I guess not. I say this with a huge sigh, not of relief, but of exasperation.
I leave Avengers Endgame with a massively heavy heart. I miss Stan Lee, who makes, I believe to be his last cameo, and I miss the fantastic world of my comic book youth, where everything had a resolution, every question was answered in every other issue — for the most part anyway.
With this in mind, I say, everything in Avengers Endgame is as it should be. It mirrors life in the same way life plays itself out. There are real stakes, real risks, real losses and real gains. When you take on a big cause, you will never be the same.
And neither will anyone else.
As my buddy Dann said, it was the best sequel to a sequel ever.
Avengers Endgame is REAL good. Perhaps a bit too real.
And that’s what makes it such a tremendously fantastic action-packed movie.
I can’t wait to see it again. My heart is heavy, my heart it hurts. And I cherish the fact that I feel so strongly about the heroes in this Marvel Universe, who have given me so much to cherish.
Beautiful job Russo Brothers. Beautiful job all of you who came together to create such a masterful gem of a movie. Or should I say Infinity Stone?
Stan Lee would have been proud.
Follow fellow Native Nerd, Vincent Schilling associate editor for Indian Country Today at @VinceSchilling - Make sure to use the Hashtag #NativeNerd