Saw it last night. I'll try to avoid spoilers.
The movie's various emotional punch-points didn't really work for me that well. No single character in the film has any kind of arc, so I, at least, felt vaguely unsatisfied as the whole sprawling thing unfolded and nobody really moved from any starting point through any crisis point to any finishing point.
But then you get to the end and you realize, 'oh, that's why'.
Plus, Thanos kind of had an arc, but who gives a fuck about Thanos?
Nobody in these movies seems to care much about making them fit with the previous installments. At the end of CIVIL WAR, Cap's renegade Avengers are all hiding out in Wakanda, but they're nowhere to be seen in BLACK PANTHER. In this movie, we have no idea what they've been doing all this time, just that some of them show up in a quinjet to save some heroes who got ambushed by Thanos-creep. Then they go back to Avengers Headquarters and get yelled at by Secretary Ross (but other than yelling at them, he doesn't do anything else) and then it's off to Wakanda to fight against Thanos' invasion.
Meanwhile, Thor and Rocket and Groot are off trying to forge a 'Thanos killing weapon' to replace Mjolnir, Star-Lord, Mantis, and Drax have hooked up with Iron Man, Spider-Man and Dr. Strange on Titan, and everybody is emoting and there's some cool memorable dialogue but all of it seems strangely emotionally flat. Because nobody is going to have any real character growth in this movie.
In fact, Hawkeye and Ant-Man don't even show up, but the Ant-Man thing is because we need to keep him isolated so he can show up in the ANT-MAN AND THE WASP movie later this summer.
The first AVENGERS movie worked really well for me because it also functioned as another installment in all the separate franchises. WINTER SOLDIER and CIVIL WAR were like that, too. This movie is just too busy and too crammed to work that way -- yes, we see all the characters, but this doesn't feel like the next chapter for the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, or any of the individual characters. None of them get enough focus. Where have Cap, the Falcon, and the Widow been all this time? Sorry, no time, make something up for yourself. Banner's back on Earth, yay, big hugs, but, we gots things to do, let's move on past that shit. ALL the cool emotional interactions get short changed except the whole Wanda-Vizh romance, which, to be fair, they kind of have to grudgingly allow screen time to develop because it's going to matter at the end.
But any other kind of character interaction? Fuggedaboutit.
Well, except for Thanos and Gamora, of course.
The other consequence of too many characters is, some of them spent the entire film with nothing to do. Bucky's presence in the movie seems pointless, as does Rocket's, as does Groot's.
The ending... yes, the ending very nearly manages to retroactively give everything that preceded it some kind of gravitas, just because of how emotionally stirring it actually is. But having seen Disney's schedule of future film releases, we know this ending isn't going to stand, either.
I enjoyed seeing the movie with my wife and daughters and a bunch of friends. And there were parts in it where the sheer spectacle carried me away for a few moments. But overall, I found it flat and uninspiring.
Not as bad as AGE OF ULTRON, certainly, but no WINTER SOLDIER or CIVIL WAR, either.
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