Geek culture turning most of us into egg-headed bots is a thing of the past. The game has become murkier now. Forget writing, speaking or critiquing, you can’t even mention zilch of the plot you’ve just watched. Because millions of social media warriors have warned you against spoilers.
Do you know what constitutes a spoiler? God have mercy if you manage to define that.
Too busy to read? Then listen to this:
We’re at a moment in pop culture when toxic fandom has become mainstream, the hate is no longer a fringe element. We’ve turned into the army that defends a studio’s billion dollar interest, while paying from our very own pocket.
Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 22nd offering has arrived at our cinemas to put an end to the collective misery. It’s a tentpole to beat all tentpoles, brimming with special effects, and a breathless count of heroes. Director duo Anthony and Joe Russo take 181-minutes to navigate the grief-induced adventure.
But unlike the curvy, unpredictable progression of Avengers: Infinity War, the conclusive finale of the Infinity saga ( written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely) marches on predictable beats, shooing away surprises for safe cheers.
As the warning sign is still glowing red, we will refrain from mentioning anything about the plot. But does it have enough to be spoil-worthy?
Barring a few final goodbyes, the film delivers what you exactly expect out of it. As we know how the key players of the original Avengers survived Thanos’ finger snapping, the world is a wary place, unable to move on from the insurmountable grief for those vanished into thin air.
Some retired from heroism, a few soldier on, and some resort to drinking, letting their sculpted physique go, for a Lebowski life.
The idea of moving on leads some to support groups, giving Disney a scene to plant a minor LGBTQ character.
The grieving and processing makes Endgame a very somber entry in the MCU, taking more than an hour before action kicks in. “I am inevitable,” Thanos declares.
In the film’s parlance, we know it’s the ultimate showdown between the heroes and the supervillain. Which takes us to the central narrative device, a trick that is lazy, but gives the film a chance to revisit the franchise’s celebrated moments in a wink-wink game.
Infinity War took painful turns to offer surprises, leading us into wonderfully choreographed action set-pieces. It made the impossible task of justifying so many characters’ existence in one film. And it did make the purple-headed monster seem invincible.
Endgame has no labyrinthine character routes. Instead, it goes for the direct route to skirmish, undoing the hardwork of the first film. The much-anticipated big fight has little clear-eyed choreography, and it doesn’t stay long enough to justify the anticipation that precedes it.
Thanos gets the worst deal, his indestructibility reduced by many dimensions, and the sense of ominous air around him gets pumped out very easily. Of course, none of the heroes still don’t bother to correct him about his Malthusian theory. But they don’t give the poor meanie a few moments to ponder on his philosophical melancholy.
Thanos’ thinking game is largely taken over by the heroes, who take lumbering moments to consider family and friendship. This gives some of the actors moments of tenderness they never had in earlier films, jumping from one plot point to another. Robert Downey Jr sparkles the most, anchoring his Tony Stark into a vortex of vulnerability. Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, and Scarlett Johansson too pitch in, through varying amount of genteel tears.
In all probability, you will be confronted with endless hooting and clapping as the heroes enter into the final fight. Even if you remain underwhelmed, all the brouhaha will make you question your feelings. Hasn’t your life’s worth been defined by this film? Since the fantasy has become a curious parallel of our political reality, ask yourself whether you’ll be able to state your true feelings.
Remember what Thanos said, “I am inevitable.” Do you see who the big baddie is?
(The writer is a journalist, a screenwriter, and a content developer who believes in the insanity of words, in print or otherwise. He tweets @RanjibMazumder).
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