The first Age Of The MCU is over. The Infinity Saga has ended and some of the original Avengers' stories have come to satisfying (or devastating) conclusions. If it feels a little like you've been put through the wringer, it's because you have. Both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame put such a high premium on emotional intensity and trauma in their stories that it's natural to feel a little battered.
Luckily, the mascara can be reapplied and red eyes will subside eventually and what we'll be left with is the very real picture that the last 11 years of Marvel Studio's incredible expanded universe have been some of the most rewarding, enriching and entertaining film-making of all time.
While it's somewhat inevitable that there will be lots of extremes and binaries applied to Endgame (is it good or bad? Is it better than Infinity War or worse?), the reality is that it is a complex experience. It is both magnificently entertaining and problematic. Both brilliant and frustrating at times. But what matters is the balance, just as it does to Thanos.
Now, with the film out in cinemas, let's look at how well the film achieves its goals and what doesn't quite work. First the positives...
11. The Marketing Has Been GENIUS...
When the Russos claimed that there was a lot of misdirection in the marketing and even fake scenes that had been shot they really weren't kidding. Several trailer shots were manipulated to remove entirely characters and lots more were artfully concealed out of context to completely throw us all off.
Even the introduction of the idea of a Vision/Scarlet Witch TV show seems to have been a masterful stroke, because it suggested something inherent by its very existence.
Watching that film and comparing it to the expectations we all had (well, those of you not trained implicitly to hoover up all spoilers and leaks as a matter of course), it's nothing like it could have been. Nothing like we were led to believe it might be, apart from in the broadest strokes.