First, an apology. This review won’t be entirely spoiler-free. I am going to reference a couple of events that occur early in the film and can (and have been) widely deduced from the trailers. But if you really, really want to know NOTHING, stop listening or reading right now.
You have been warned.
Purely as a film, Endgame is not great. Look, the main plot involves time travel and there’s only been one movie franchise that had a good time travel plot and that’s Back to the Future. (There’s also an excellent episode of Deep Space Nine, Trials and Tribbleations, that’s probably the best time travel show ever made.) Endgame does not break the streak of bad time travel stories. After filling us with all kinds of babelfish talk about the “science” of time travel, it then breaks all its own rules and the overall story is incoherent.
The one nice thing about the time travel is it allows direct call-backs to previous films. Our heroes are inserted directly into scenes from other MCU movies, and we get a little more context around iconic set pieces. There’s also a brilliant comics-based Easter egg involving Captain America and an elevator. So, even though it doesn’t make sense, it’s still a lot of fun.
There are also some pretty big character changes early in the film that are hand-waved away with a little bit of exposition, leaving you scratching your head and asking, “Why?” There are some comic bits that go on too long or fall flat—mostly involving Thor or Ant-Man. Captain Marvel is presented as so powerful, you wonder why Nick Fury didn’t page her about a dozen movies ago.
But...you’re not supposed to be paying attention to any of those things. The movie is merely a foundation for emotional beat after emotional beat. The only think that kept me from standing up and cheering loudly during the final fight is the fact I was in a crowded theater. Seriously, this movie was made to be shown in a stadium with the entire crowd roaring.
And crying. There was audible sobbing throughout the theater I was in. My daughter went through tissues like they were candy. I was choking back tears plenty of times myself.
Call it an epilogue. Or a coda. Or a finale. Whatever it is, it wraps up what is really phase one of the MCU. I know Marvel calls this the end of Phase 3. (Well, technically, July’s Spider Man: Far From Home is the end of Phase 3.) But, this has been one continuous story since Iron Man in 2008. We’ve been building toward this film—this MOMENT—for eleven years. And at the heart of the entire saga have been two iconic figures: Tony Stark and Steve Rogers.
Endgame is, first and foremost, the story of Iron Man and Captain America. If you are a fan of either (or both), you will leave...well, not satisfied, per se, but complete. This is the end of their stories, at least, for now—this is the comics, after all. It is a huge, fantastic, celebratory flourish to eleven years and 22 films. The only question now, is what’s next?
The movie really does end with the credits. There are no credit scenes. The credits themselves, though, are a love-letter to the fans from Marvel and the actors who have been with us on this journey. So at least stick around for that—you’ll know it when you see it. Then, spend the remaining credits scroll decompressing and get one last, little audio-only tag at the end.
What did you think of Endgame? Go ahead and post spoilers in the comments if you wish. I’ll post warnings all over the place keeping people away from the comments unless they don’t care. For now, all I can say is, make mine Marvel.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novels are one of the more unique entrants into the mystery genre. Combining the intellectual acumen of a Sherlock Holmes (Wolfe) with the hard-boiled street smarts of a Sam Spade (Archie Goodwin), the novels are a treat to the ears, especially for lovers of good dialogue.
In The Final Deduction, Archie, the narrator, is in peak form. From badgering Wolfe into working (twice!) to convincing a wishy-washy client to show some spine (by lying about his--Archie's--mother!), the patter never slows down. Stout also likes to set up Wolfe's routine and then break it, and does so here by having Wolfe and Archie decamp for 24 hours to earn a fee. Archie's one-paragraph description of Wolfe's travails during the absence from home (he has to use soap that smells of tuberoses instead of geraniums!) is mournful and sarcastic in a manner that is pure Stout.
If there's any knock on this novel, and there is, it is the plot is pedestrian, easily deduced by the reader, and seems--more than most Wolfe novels--to be a perfunctory vehicle for the characters. Of course, it is those characters we love, and The Final Deduction is full of them. There are precious few Stout books I would actually recommend against reading, and this one is certainly not one of them. Enjoy deducing your way through The Final Deduction!
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This is a transcript of the above video...
Hello. My name is Barry Scott Will and this is episode seven of my video blog, “Go Game, Young Man.” Today I’m doing something a little different, I am going retro. Today I discuss Traveller, a space-faring RPG from my youth.
Traveller was first published in 1977 by Game Designer’s Workshop. It was written by Mark Miller, who has continued producing new versions ever since. The second version of Traveller is called MegaTraveller and was published in 1987. Traveller: The New Era followed in 1993 and then T4: Mark Miller’s Traveller was released in 1996. The current version of Traveller is Traveller5, published in 2013 by Far Future Enterprises. Along the way, other versions of Traveller have been released.
Steve Jackson Games released a version of Traveller under their GURPS rules. It’s called Traveller: Interstellar Wars.
In 2002, a d20 version of Traveller, called T20, of course, was published by QuikLink Interactive. And, in 2008, Mongoose Publishing published a version of Traveller simply referred to as Mongoose Traveller. It is now in a second edition published in 2016.
I give you all that just as a brief history. You can read more about the game’s versions at the Wikipedia entry linked below. I have never played any version except the first, now commonly called “Classic Traveller.” And today I’m just going to talk about the game and what I like about it.
The original ruleset for Traveller was published as three “little black books” sold in a box set as pictured here (along with some additional books). Those three books cover characters, spaceships, and worlds for adventuring. In 1982, those three core books were consolidated into a single book with additional material, and sold as The Traveller Book. I still have mine here. This is the hardcover edition. There was also a softcover that had artwork on the cover rather than the plain black. Obviously, I like this one much better. Especially since it has held up for 35-plus years.
My newest Betty Sterling novel, "The Long-Lost Troll," is now available!
Betty Sterling is a common thug with a chip on his shoulder—not surprising since his name is “Beatrice.” When Betty is sent to shut down a potions ring, he ends up traveling to the Troll homeland and comes face-to-gaping maw with a dragon. And that's only the beginning! Join Betty, Lilahh, Jewels, Sam, and others as they get to the bottom of a hostile takeover unlike any that has been tried before.
Want a signed copy? Check out my list of upcoming events in central Virginia and central Florida!
Early reviews are a hit!
The world blends the rich tapestries of places imagined by the likes of Tolkien and Rowling into a whole new dimension. Even if you normally do not read sci-fi books about magic, and ogres, and men named Betty, the story draws you in from the very first.
Because the story just picks up and goes, it hooks you in and you once again become enthralled in the world Mr. Will has created.