**THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS NO MAJOR SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS: ENDGAME. I HAVE PUBLISHED A SPOILER-FILLED POST, BUT THIS ISN’T IT.**

After 11 years, 22 movies, countless colourful characters, post-credit scenes and Stan Lee cameos, the Endgame has finally been revealed. Was it worth the wait?

Yes.

What Marvel Studios has pulled off with the Marvel Cinematic Universe is incredible and Endgame is the culmination of that. Oh, Endgame isn’t perfect – I’ll get to that in a moment – but what this movie has done is pull together multiple threads to create a picture which can only exist because of everything that has come before it.

The callbacks to the past, none of this would be possible without the steady approach that Marvel Studios has taken. All the other studios that tried and failed to create a cinematic universe over the years, by rushing ahead without a clear plan, *cough* DC Entertainment *cough*, could have achieved the same results if only they hadn’t gone for the quick payoff.

Watching a movie like Endgame isn’t just about seeing a big comic book film, it is about sitting down with a group of people who have all invested years into the same narrative. The world is talking about Endgame right now – that’s not an exaggeration just look online – and that is because this is a huge cultural event.

In the same way Black Panther and Infinity War brought people out to the cinema last year – people who never bother going to the cinema anymore – Endgame has done the same thing and then some. The screening I attended this morning was the perfect example of this – it was 9:40am and the auditorium was RAMMED!

9:40am on a Thursday morning, in a cinema that has 79 screenings of Endgameacross a 24-hour period and it was jam-packed. And everyone in attendance was respectful of everyone else (a rarity these days) because we all wanted to take the same journey.

So… the journey.

OK, well let me get this out of the way now. Endgame isn’t perfect. It’s slow. It’s a three-hour movie which feels like a three-hour movie.

The first hour is very talky and unlike Infinity War, which felt relentless in its storytelling, Endgame meanders a fair bit. There’s a reason for this – the film has to re-establish the status quo – but there are definite pacing issues to begin with as it lurches from one idea to the next.

The pace of the film was the main problem for me. Because it takes a while to get going I do wonder how well Endgame will stand up to multiple viewings?

There is also the pesky problem of some side benching. You’ll know what I’m referring to once you’ve seen the movie.

Image: ©Marvel/Disney

Now, all that aside, Endgame truly lives up to its status as an event movie. Not only does it manage to bring together so many characters from so many different stories, it does it in a way that allows for the founding members of this series to shine.

The main characters get to continue their journey in a fitting way. In particular, Iron Man and Thor get some great moments in the spotlight.

However, it is Cap who gets the best moment. If you’ve followed this series from the beginning, you’ll be very pleased with his journey – from what was to what’s to come.

Endgame is as much about concluding a 22-movie series as it is about setting up the next run of films. Sure, we’ve still got Spider-Man: Far From Home to come in July, but that is going to be a summer blow out rather than a bold new entry, so it was important that our old favourites got their chance to excel.

We need new characters, new stories and a new dynamic to take us forward and that’s what Endgame has given us. Not necessarily in the way you might expect.

As is the norm with comic book movies there are a bunch of nods and references to the original source material. I won’t go into details here, but my SPOILER FILLED discussion makes mention of some of these things if you want to check it out.

One of these moments got a huge laugh from the audience, which was good, because there were times where the audience were pretty sedate in my screening. I feel this was partially because the jokes were sometimes in short supply and other times because the audience were on the edge of their seats, unsure what to expect.

To be honest, I was on the edge of my seat unsure what to expect too. I kept trying to second guess everything and was almost always wrong – except towards the climactic finale.

I had my suspicions and they paid off. What I didn’t know was just how amazing the finale would be.

Going back to what I said towards the beginning of this post, what Endgame has achieved is truly incredible and this is perhaps most evident in the final act. My inner fanboy was jumping for joy.

The biggest comic book movie battle of all time took place in Endgame and it’s likely to be the biggest for a very long time to come and I’m OK with that.Endgame earned everything it brought to the table.

As a comic book reader of 27 years, who started his comic book journey with Marvel, I can’t quite believe the gift that the MCU truly is. Never did I expect this level of movie making and to see all of these characters share the big screen together.

Whatever the direction this universe takes from here on out, it’s had an amazing run so far and I am truly excited for what is to follow.

I still have questions and there is still much to unpack, contemplate and consider. For now, Endgame entertained me and was more than worth the cost of my ticket.