This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Jaden Mamangon’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Martin Scorsese once said that the MCU movies are not cinema, they are theme park rides. This got the internet into an all out war, on whether the MCU is cinema or not. And I am going to go out on a limb and say it: Martin Scorsese was both right and wrong. Let me explain.
Avengers Endgame is the culmination of the cultural phenomenon that is the great 22 movie Infinity Saga. It brings the main components of the franchise together, working as an end of an era, and a final goodbye to mainly Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, characters we have grown to love and get attached to for an entire decade. The first act shows how our heroes are dealing with the Snap from the previous movie, showing all of them at their absolute lowest, as the last of their hope disappears, leaving them completely hopeless and broken. We see how they deal with this pain, how they deal with their failure. This act immerses us into this new status quo, it pulls us into this version of the world we know and love. It also establishes our characters and how they feel, their personalities in this situation, their flaws. This act is like a classic Disney dark ride, immersing you in its world, characters, and story perfectly.
The second act time heist is a really fun blast that shows how far we’ve come from the earlier movies, by literally revisiting them. It has all of the fun and energy of a theme park ride, alongside having some great character development to boot. This part of the movie is the area where our characters receive the most growth as characters. Tony and Steve trusting each other again, Thor realizing he is still worthy, despite his losses and failures, Hawkeye realizes he still has something to live for, Steve seeing Peggy again for the first time in years, Tony being able to see his father for the very last time, and finally, Natasha being able to fully get rid of the last red in her ledger. The MCU freefall for our heroes, one where we see all of the highs and lows of all of these characters we know and love, as we are about to take one last ride. One last ride of a lifetime.
The third act. This is the culmination of everything we’ve been building up to. This is the event, the bombastic spectacle that everyone was fawning over to see as if it were the Super Bowl at its peak. This is the extraordinary extravaganza, a last hurrah of this big beautiful saga. One where we see the end of the stories of some of the most beloved heroes in cinema. This is the roller coaster, constantly keeping us thrilled and excited, constantly keeping us on the edge of our seats. This act has some of the most iconic moments of the MCU. No, some of the most iconic moments of cinema. And one specifically is my favorite movie scene of all time. The Portals scene. Never has something felt so encapsulated in perfection, where everything and everyone comes together to just feel ultimate. To show not only how big the franchise has become, but also how special it has become. How personal these stories are to so many people, and how they have changed the lives of millions for the better. People say that the MCU is not cinema. That it is a bunch of mindless theme park rides. So is the MCU truly cinema, or is it just a glorified theme park ride? “Well I’d say, is it too much to ask for both?” The MCU is a theme park ride, as immersive as a dark ride, as thrilling as a roller coaster, having the Avengers feel highs and lows of a free fall, with their inner conflicts. And we have finally reached the end of the thrilling ride that is the Infinity Saga. Goodbye Tony Stark. Goodbye Steve Rogers. And hello to a new generation of heroes. And a new generation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Walt Disney once said that Disneyland will never end as long as there is still imagination left in the world. And that is still the same here. “There was an idea. To bring together a group of remarkable people. To see if they could become something more.” They have become something more. And not just more in becoming Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but also more in becoming a true inspiration to us all.