Avengers: Endgame and the apocalypse of cinema

Is Avengers: Endgame one of the worst blockbuster movies ever made? Should it even be called a movie in the first place? In a blistering critique exploring the final instalments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the culture that allowed these stupendous productions to prosper, critic Luke Buckmaster raises important questions about the current state of cinema – and what lies ahead for the medium of motion pictures.

As I observed the gods of the Marvel Cinematic Universe stomping across the big screen in Avengers: Endgame, each of these titans representing their own endless continuum of brand affiliations and corporate raison d’etre, the cacophonous tableau in front of me was contrasted by a stillness inside. During what alcoholics call a moment of clarity – to borrow words spoken by Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction– revelation dawned that this is what popular culture means in 2019. Endgame and its predecessor, the equally and intensely mediocre Avengers: Infinity War, are the defining cultural texts of our time.

I came to this conclusion as I watched the hero of the first MCU movie team up with the heroes of the sixth, seventh and 13th films, to assist characters from the 11th, 14th and 20th, in order to defeat the villain of the 19th and 22nd, with assistance from the heroine from the 21st and the sidekicks from the third. Or something like that. A Marvel superfan might claim those numbers don’t add up – but that’s OK. Just rearrange them until they form an acceptable pattern and pretend that the first iteration I wrote never existed.

To do so would be taking inspiration from the directors (Anthony and Joe Russo) and the screenwriters (Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely). They present a narrative in which something, or someone, is inevitable until it is not, and someone, or something, can’t be undone until it can. Instead of creatively addressing the ellipsis they bunged onto the end of Infinity War, robbing audiences of a conclusion while having the gall to instruct them ‘not to spoil the secrets,’ they simply hit a button marked “time travel.” Thus everything can be undone, redone, whatever. It is the equal worst plot development in a superhero movie since Christopher Reeves span the earth backwards in the original Superman.

What hope remains for the ravaged, apocalyptic state of modern cinema?

Imagine if all storytellers had this kind of disregard for their own fans, and indeed for their own creations. No word ever spoken and no deed ever committed on screen would ever be worth anything. That’s actually a pretty good way to look at Infinity War and Endgame: in these films nothing is ever worth anything; not even grief.

Just as Donald Trump’s presidency shows there’s no bottom in American politics, only various kinds of falling, these onerous and intellectually lazy blockbusters – which serve up plates of visual gibberish and laugh at the very idea of concepts such as narrative efficiency – prove the studio has no nadir. Nothing it won’t stoop to.

What do these productions mean in the scheme of things? What do they say about the current times? Why do fanboys and even critics (of all people) sing their praises? What stylistic form could the modern superhero movie have taken, had it emerged as a genuine film movement? What hope remains for the ravaged, apocalyptic state of modern cinema?

A new era of advertising

Discussing the increasingly rampant commercialisation in movies, the great critic Pauline Kael noted, in 1965, that movies are constructed with product tie-ins worked into their structure,” citing everything from mattresses and stoves to toothpaste, airlines and whiskey. The companies advertised in movies return the favour, she explained, by featuring the movie in their own advertisements, blurring the line between mediums that previously at least appeared to hold obvious distinctions. Kael continued:

“Even without produce tie-ins, modern-dress movies look just like ads and sell the advertising way of life. This is one of the reasons why our movies seem so slickly unreal: they look like the TV commercials that nobody believes…

“We’re sending ourselves up. We are reaching the point at which the purveyors don’t care about anything but how to sell and the buyers buy because they don’t give a damn. When there is no respect on either side, commerce is a dirty word.”

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You don’t need me to tell you that the current moment in history is a strange one for many reasons. Innumerable reasons, perhaps, and growing by the day, expanding like the proverbial never-ending packet of Tim-Tams, full of weird flavours and strange deviations on formula. Pick your topic: Trump and the era of post-truth; La La Land and the glitch in the matrix; social media and end of privacy; Siri and the beginning of the robot revolution; Brexit and the fracturing of the modern world; etcetera etcetera etcetera.

Digital media (which of course includes film and television) is only one of a seemingly infinite number of fields being contemporised, or “disrupted.” However in the context of this article, or whatever you want to call it – a screed, an essay, a brain bubble, an adverse reaction to CGI-slathered mediocrity, some kind of Howard Bealian monologue that won’t stop – it is necessary to begin with such context-setting. It is necessary because, in this brave new world of upheaval and convergence, great change comes with the ability (perhaps even the need) to rethink previously held assumptions and develop new labels and definitions.

Infinity War and Endgame are elephantine slabs of advertising, obviously, representing an era of advertising and brand management on an unprecedented scale.

I might be tempted to describe Infinity War and Endgame as a couple of the worst and most ideologically vacuous blockbuster movies ever made – except I’m no longer sure they should even be called movies in the first place.

They are elephantine slabs of advertising, obviously, representing an era of advertising and brand management on an unprecedented scale. They extend the core ideas in the above quote from Kael, from the realm of the cautionary (Kael’s world) to the domain of the dystopian (ours). But we’ll get into movies as advertisements, and the language we use to describe them as advertisements also, in a moment.

Here’s why Infinity War and Endgame aren’t movies

There is a word to describe, as dictionary.com puts it, “each of the separate instalments into which a serialised story or radio or television programme is divided.” That word is “episode.” There are also words to describe productions that depict the interconnected lives of many characters, in ways like Infinity War and Endgame– i.e. melodramatically, with extremely thin characterisation and backstories developed in previous productions. Those words are “soap opera.”

So we can all agree that Infinity War and Endgame are episodes of a soap opera. In other words, television. Just as movies can be made for small screens (any Netflix original film, for instance), TV can be – and often is – exhibited in theatrical spaces.

Regarding these two productions as TV soap operas doesn’t necessarily mean they are “good” or “bad”, given some soap operas (such as Game of Thrones) can be well constructed and excitingly staged. But it does provide a framework so we can at least think about reassessing what these kinds of motion picture experiences really are and the sorts of language we use to describe them.

Some of you are reading this thinking: so what? Of course they’re soap operas. As somebody who has written film reviews for over two decades, however – including critiques of most MCU movies – I can assure you that even the most obvious and logical conclusions can be met with howls of incredulity and white hot rage by members of the fan base, who are prone to interpret even vague criticism of beloved properties as an insult to their very way of life.

Blockbusters are ads, and ads are blockbusters

The above comments from Kael were published over half a century ago. You could say that those words – exploring how, as Kael puts it earlier in her essay, society “can no longer distinguish the ad from the entertainment” – are these days both more accurate than ever and kind of quaint. Both statements are true.

During advertisements screened in cinemas before features begin, of local businesses and movie trailers and the like, viewers shuffle in their seats and impatiently await the main event. But then, as the closing credits roll out for a Marvel Comic Universe movie, huge swathes of the audience do something quite strange. They remain seated and anxiously await the scene inserted after the credits conclude. This scene is as much an advertisement as any vision of choctops or any coming attraction. And yet Marvel fans cannot wait to get to it; one of the reasons they bought a ticket in the first place is to watch this commercial.

You could say Kael’s statements are quaint, because they presuppose that “the ad” and “the entertainment” can be different things. An outspoken voice on this subject is the influential French theorist Jean Baudrillard, who began his 1994 essay Absolute Advertising, Ground Zero Advertising by roaring out of the gates with the following declaration: “Today what we are experiencing is the absorption of all virtual modes of expression into that of advertising.” In Baudrillard’s view, advertising “effaces any support and any depth,” signifying a “reabsorption of everything into the surface” and “plunges us into this stupified, hyperreal euphoria that we could not exchange for anything else.”

The same people who are deeply skeptical of politicians regard motion pictures with an “accept the film on its own terms” mentality.

Applying these sort of concepts to discussions about silly popcorn movies buttressed by hugely elaborate marketing campaigns is perhaps a little easy. And yet it is bizarre how little the public seem to contemplate these matters or view what their behaviour means in the scheme of things. The same people who are deeply skeptical of politicians – because they know their words are lines of dialogue intended to ideologically persuade them, and to sell something that often doesn’t exist – regard motion pictures (from companies such as Disney, which any politician would kill to have the influence of) with an “accept the film on its own terms” mentality. This, in the words of the critic Armond White, is the same as saying that we should accept the film as it is advertised.

In the so-called “post-truth” era, Infinity War and Endgame are cultural monoliths, embodying like few other productions the disintegration of meaning into information. They arrive at a period in history synonymous with great cynicism towards our political leaders and utter complacency towards our cultural leaders – if that term can apply to the bigwigs in boardrooms at companies like Disney, whose decisions profoundly affect many aspects of society including the messages that inspire our children. In the words of the beloved TV presenter Fred Rogers: “children deserve better.”

The idiotic grip of spoiler-paranoia

This obsession with information at the cost of meaning is reflected in the childish attitude towards spoilers that has become de rigueur since the turn of the century. Whenever an MCU event movie like Infinity War or Endgame rolls into town, its creators inevitably preface its release by making public statements calling for people to ‘not reveal the secrets.’ Or, in the case of the 22nd MCU movie, #dontspoiltheendgame. They need to emphasise the supposed value of the information their blockbusters contain because if they don’t, they risk exposing their emptiness.

We all enjoy a good twist, and of course one should not reveal significant plot developments for the hell of it. The buzz experienced from plot reveals, however, is too often prioritised over the long-lasting satisfaction gleaned from a great story well told.

Recent years have seen a distorted emphasis on ‘what’ over ‘how’ and ‘why’: a focus on the contents of a text over other elements that enrich and complicate the experience – such as technique, construction, themes and ideology. The rise of recap culture, comprised of articles that most often function as little more than reminders of what the viewer has just watched, exacerbate this.

The reason great directors become great, and are remembered and cherished, is not so much because of the stories they told but the manner with which they told them. In short: content never trumps form. And yet company lackeys such as Anthony and Joe Russo try to convince us that the opposite is true. To say that fans take the bait is to put it very lightly.

Psychology professor Nicholas Christensen, an academic from the University of California, has been studying the relationship between spoilers and viewer satisfaction for years. He says that “what we found, remarkably, was that if you spoil stories, they (viewers) actually enjoy them more. Spoilers were actually enhancers…people watch these movies more than once happily and often with increasing pleasure…the point is we’re not really watching these things for the ending.” Here’s more information about his findings.

The anonymous style of MCU movies

The synthesis of form and content is what makes great films thrilling. Alfred Hitchcock for instance, had an amazing ability to take ideas lingering in subtext and find ways to visualise them. In Strangers on a Train he reflected on the theme of crisscrossing through a range of clever images, to use one of many films as an example. It is for this reason that Ang Lee’s 2003 film Hulk is the most important – and sadly overlooked – Marvel movie ever made: because it proposes a blueprint, informed by the visual structure of comic books, for how superhero movies could have had a unique cinematic style.

Through inventive use of split-screen images and transitions, Lee embraces the box-like composition of the printed comic book, and turns it into a feast – of frames within frames and various windows into reality. There are many bad things about Hulk, including a weightless performance from Eric Bana in the lead role and an obscene amount of tedious waffle blabbered by the characters. But if filmmakers had expanded on its ideas, the modern superhero movie might have had an aesthetic bedrock and at least the beginning of a style to call its own – comparable to the sharp angles and distorted landscapes of German Expressionism, say, or the continuity-breaking editing techniques of the French New Wave.

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Instead we got the cinematic equivalent of McDonald’s: homogenised goop intended for everyone. In the entertaining Thor: Ragnarok, which plays out with an appealing party vibe, Taika Waititi did about as much as a filmmaker can (read: is allowed to) when it comes to infusing an MCU film with a director’s personality. It wasn’t all that much – mostly a small comedic supporting character played by Waititi himself, and the sprinkling of some zany elements – but it was enough to remind us of what has been lost in blockbuster superhero moviemaking: the invigorating feeling one gets when watching a film inseparable from the personality of its creator.

The anonymous streamlined ‘style’ of the MCU franchise has been finessed over several years and reaches its machine-tooled epitomisation in Endgame. Rarely if ever have films of any kind felt so devoid of human presence. Endgamehas no sense of soul, no feeling that a real person exists behind the wheel. You could remove the names of the directors from the credits of every MCU movie and nobody would give a damn – especially not the studio that bankrolls them.

The disintegration of critical voices

In another world, the critical populace might have presented a vaguely united front when Infinity War and Endgame arrived, pointing out the various ways that these monstrous productions ridicule many decades of film language development. From their preference for screensavers over cinematic composition, for histrionic mumbo-jumbo over thoughtful dialogue, for key art over mise en scene, for serialisation over resolution, for committee decisions over individual artistic choices, for branded sound stages over interesting sets, for meaningless showdowns over interpersonal dynamics, and on and on and on we go. Perhaps even, critics could also have included some consideration of the socio-economic circumstances that allow productions like these to catch on in such a way.

Instead the reaction of most reviewers, as we saw with Infinity War and are seeing again with Endgame, formed a spectacle every bit as meaningless as the movies themselves. But even if the critics had seen some common ground and howled in unison, would it have made the slightest difference? For blockbusters as big as Infinity War and Endgame, the giants stomping across our cultural landscape, a good score on Rotten Tomatoes is an added bonus; a nice garnish. In the face of their marketing might, film criticism has been reduced to the equivalent of salad dressing. Considering the quality of the reviews (we’ll get to that in a moment) it is a perfectly reasonable response to say: good riddance. To hell with criticism.

The films that do benefit from positive critiques are often the kinds of productions most people are less interested in reading about. If I tweet a link to a riveting indie drama I’ve recently seen, for example, then tweet a link to a so-so Marvel Comics Universe film, and briefly describe my thoughts on each, hoping that audiences will feel compelled to read the full review, ten times as many people (conservatively speaking) will click on the latter. If my reading of the indie film is along the lines of ‘good but not great’, or ‘so-so’, or ‘it’s complicated’, then the disparity between those numbers will increase even further – to the point where editors might begin to wonder why they commission writing about indie dramas in the first place.

Superhero movies almost always only propose only two visions of the future: the end of the world, or the saving of it by the hand of a god-like entity.

In recent years in particular, comedy has emerged as a viable form of political journalism. Comedians such as John Oliver and Trevor Noah use their craft as a way of scrutinizing power; keeping authorities and people of influence accountable. A superior kind of screen criticism culture renaissance might take seriously its ability to scrutinize power, or at least to include in its remit some skepticism of vested interests, media conglomerates and mighty timeworn institutions. More often than not the DNA of these companies is infused into the art.

Instead, critics and audiences alike are wowed by displays of ostentatious spectacle and lap up stories about powerful people spouting capitalist fallacies. Mary Poppins Returns (79% on Rotten Tomatoes) for instance reiterates the rubbish idea put forward by the banks: that if you save a little money you will one day have enough to buy a house. Steven Spielberg’s period piece The Post (88% on Rotten Tomatoes) rewrites history from a power-fetishising perspective, pretending that the true hero of its story wasn’t the whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, but a socialite played by Meryl Streep who bravely decided to put down her martini glass to fulfil her duties as a newspaper publisher.

These films are relevant in this discussion because superhero movies are part of this – not just an infatuation with affluence, but a reflection of the myths of neoliberalism. In an excellent essay published on Salon, Keith A. Spencer argues that “superhero movies, and their increasingly expensive productions and complicated universes, are more than just reflective of our world: They are necessary to the perpetuation of neoliberal capitalism.”

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Discussing how superheroes inevitably save the day, but almost never meaningfully alter the fabric of society, Spencer writes:

“The superheroes’ work may save lives, but it never inherently changes the relationships of production: If the people are poor, they’re likely to stay poor. They don’t participate in redistributive politics except to attack the sort of universally detested social relationships about which there is broad consensus –for instance, slavery. Superheroes can’t and won’t save the middle class.”

By presenting stupefying spectacle and Campbellian stories of heroes with incredible powers, companies such as Disney present a fantasy of characters rebelling against evil forces in alternate worlds, but rarely encourage audiences to take a moral stance against wickedness in the real world, or even to pursue positive change of any kind. In reality such change is usually the result of a collective of people working together for a common cause – not from the sole, drastic actions of the powerful elite, i.e. all the principal characters in Endgame.

Superhero movies almost always propose only two visions of the future: the end of the world, or the saving of it by the hand of a god-like entity (or entities). Continues Spencer: “By providing these two poles and these two poles only, neoliberalism traps its subjects by repeating the myth that the future will consist of either A) more neoliberalism, managed by figurative supermen, or B) the apocalypse.”

We are moths heading towards the light, entranced by that big and beautiful thing that effaces any support and any depth. That – to borrow Baudrillard’s words – signifies a reabsorption of everything into the surface. That plunges us into hyperreal euphoria we could not exchange for anything else.

Advertisements of advertisements

The truth of the matter, though some critics might not like to admit it, is that when we review productions like Infinity War and Endgame, we are reviewing advertisements. Big, glaring, grotesque advertisements (thank god advertisements can be well made, and thank god watching trash can be so enjoyable). Rather than understanding that, and perhaps adapting use of language accordingly, most reviewers are cheerfully oblivious and happy to contribute their work as grist for the mill.

If you surf through the kind of quotes that typify reviews of tentpole releases, full of dumb marketing speak and embarrassing hyperbole, what you clearly see are advertisements of advertisements. Infinity War for example was “peak superhero entertainment,” “historic spectacle” and “the most Marvel movie that Marvel has ever Marveled.” This cacophony of loud voices is part of an endless continuum that, like these movies, has no end and no beginning. Also no purpose – other than to keep pumping out information at the cost of meaning, spinning the wheels of a machine bogged down in a cultural and critical quagmire.

Marvel Comic Universe superfans are among of the most passionate readers of film criticism in the current times.

The quotes I sourced for the sentence above were all taken, quickly and without much thought, from the Avengers: Infinity War page on Rotten Tomatoes, a site that barely pretends to adhere to any degree of quality control. Before we continue, here’s a sample of what some of the earliest reviews have had to say about Endgame. I haven’t included links, because nobody should be rewarded for pumping out this sort of starry-eyed dross – the kind of comments you might expect to hear in vox pop interviews with superfans gassed up on nitrous oxide. Steel yourself for Endgame, folks, because:

  • “We haven’t seen anything like this before in franchise movie-making”
  • “[O]ne of the most ambitious, entertaining, emotional, and stunning blockbusters we’ve ever seen”
  • “Everything you’ve ever dreamed a Marvel movie could be”
  • “It’s everything a fan could want”
  • “Delivers on all fronts”
  • “The triumphant crescendo to the biggest film journey that has ever graced cinemas”
  • “An emotional roller coaster I cannot wait to ride again”
  • “All of these Marvel movies are so much more than just 10+ years of entertainment – they’re family”
  • “An undeniable triumph for Marvel”
  • “A Marvel miracle”

On Rotten Tomatoes all the reviewers are lumped together in the same space, crusty old dudes, deep thinkers and unweaned fanboys alike, the dinosaurs of printed media positioned next to blogs with no more than a dozen readers. As if the New Yorker (which Kael used to write for) and Fanboynation.com were comparably robust or informed outlets. They are not, of course, but with so much information blasting at us from so many directions, few people have the time or the inclination to discern something as quaint as ‘credibility’ or bona fides (which is not the same as saying veteran critics are not seduced by stupefying spectacle. They certainly are).

Marvel Comic Universe superfans are among the most passionate readers of film criticism in the current times. Whereas some readers (a diminishing number, it feels like) enjoy reading reviews that offer a different opinion to their own, understanding that this is a valuable exercise and not some kind of poison, the vast majority of MCU superfans consume reviews in order to have their own opinions validated, or to render the critic as a kind of cartoon villain to rebel against – their own (much less intimidating) Thanos. As A. S. Hamrah wrote the introduction to his recent book The Earth Dies Streaming:

“Today some of the most avid readers of film criticism are the fanboys who dwell in comments sections and on Twitter, eager to become enraged when film critics do not conform to their bizarre expectations about the reception of expensive blockbuster movies. Haters of the media in general, they eagerly participate in a tedious, predictable wrestling match, defending Superman and Iron Man and the franchise movies in which they appear from the people these fanboys consider the real haters, the critics.”

Are great film movements even possible anymore?

In the last decade and a half, blockbuster superheroes movies have gripped the global box office in a stranglehold. When was the last truly great film movement? A movement comparable to French New Wave, or Italian Neorealism, or German Expressionism, or Soviet Montage? Some obsessed with the current moment might recoil in disgust at those kind of words, retaliating with accusations that use of such labels constitutes evidence of pomposity or pretentiousness – and god curse the critic’s swinish face.

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But these movements were, are, will always be the cool types of films, not the dorky ones. They are the movements that brimmed with electricity; that shook the foundations of cinema; that evolved the language of motion pictures; that entertained and thrilled and inspired and challenged us; that broke new ground; that dragged the cultural fuddy-duddies and hard hats kicking and screaming into the sunshine. They are the cinematic equivalent of staying up late, partying all night, having sex on the street.

The core business of the MCU franchise on the other hand is the delivery of mainstream cultural mores. The marketing wings of these mighty conglomerates are so clever and well resourced they have tricked audiences into believing that the cool thing is the thing in the cultural centre, engineered to appeal to virtually everybody at the same time.

What kind of culture allows this to happen? And is it possible for a great film movement to even exist in the West anymore? At this moment, inside the media of traditional film, the answer feels like no (particularly when one considers the reality of the distribution system, a grid largely locked up by the major players a long time ago) but the question is genuine. Last year I wrote about how Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse– a rare, excellent superhero movie – belongs to one of modern cinema’s most exciting movements. But application of the word “movement” was generous and mostly in relation to thematic patterns, paling in comparison to the great movements of the past.

The business people defeated the hippies

That is not to say that films cannot be exciting anymore. Of course they can. Not because the world of traditional cinema is still fundamentally forming, or fundamentally changing, but because the real world around us can be interpreted and understood in cinematic ways, making cinema a constantly fascinating space. As Lev Manovich wrote in the prologue to The Language of New Media: “A hundred years after cinema’s birth, cinematic ways of seeing the world, of structuring time, of narrating a story, of linking one experience to the next, have become the basic means by which computer users access and interact with all cultural data.”

The act of people gathering in masses to sit in front of two dimensional screens in order to passively experience a single narrative production will one day – nothing is surer – be considered archaic. It is quite possible that cinema’s greatest influence on society will not be through cinema itself but through, as Manovich put it, cinematic ways of seeing the world. It is entirely likely that the word “cinematic” will still be with us long after cinema itself, as we currently know it, has died.

Avengers: Endgame does, indeed, represent an endgame. It marks a point in history when we can look back on the New Hollywood ‘revolution’ of the 1970s and say, without a skerrick of doubt, that the business people defeated the hippies, as they were always going to.

That gutsy independent film now has little chance of even making it onto the schedule, let alone achieving popularity.

The film distribution grid was locked up a long time ago and in some respects has entered a death spiral. Cinemas need to screen blockbusters like Avengers to stay afloat, and distributors exploit this. If you want the big marquee movie, you need to agree to program a suite of other titles released by the same company. Pretty soon the program is full. That gutsy independent film – which was always going to be up against it – now has little chance of even making it onto the schedule, let alone achieving popularity.

Blockbuster event movies weren’t always like the candy-coloured, empty pap we’ve come to expect. The top three blockbusters of 1973, for example, were bona fide classics The Exorcist, The Sting and American Graffiti. The top three blockbusters of 1975 were Jaws, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. All six of those films told stories never brought to the cinema before, and most of them are damn good movies.

Last year, all bar one of the top 10 films at the global box office were sequels and spin-offs. The top five were Infinity War, Black Panther, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Incredibles 2 and Aquaman. The January release date of Black Panther (one of the better MCU movies) allowed a reasonably clear insight into how greatly MCU titles suck up attention at the box office. By the end of April, 735 films had been released in America, with Black Panther grossing more than a quarter of all of those films combined.

As reported in Forbes, last year at the American box office Disney won winter (Black Panther), spring (Infinity War) and summer (Incredibles 2). The MCU movies to date have grossed more than US$18.6 billion worldwide. Those kinds of numbers, constituting a massive black hole swallowed up by one kind of movie and one way of viewing the cinematic experience, should send a chill down the spine of appreciators of art, and in particular lovers of film.

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To reiterare Kael’s words: we’re sending ourselves up. We are not just reaching the point at which the purveyors don’t care about anything but how to sell, and the buyers buy because they don’t give a damn; we have reached that point – and in fact we are well beyond it. The point where there is no respect on either side. Where commerce, like Kael said, has become a dirty word.

And yet, hope remains

And yet, sprouting from the ashes of the cinema, hope remains. In the first decade of motion pictures, from 1895 onwards, films were mostly novelties and sideshows – what author Thomas Gunning famously called “the cinema of attractions.” Most audiences didn’t recognise the technology’s amazing potential. Perhaps, in the cut and thrust of their day-to-day lives, they simply (and quite understandably) didn’t pay it much mind.

I believe that this period of infancy for traditional motion pictures is comparable to the current, nascent period in virtual reality, a technology that has been available to consumers on the mass market only for the last few years – making it (despite foundational work achieved in previous decades) a genuinely new artistic medium.

Generally speaking, the quality of VR content available today has a long way to go. But the trajectory is thrilling: baby steps forwards a vision of motion pictures prophesied by Morton Heilig in his great 1955 essay The Cinema of the Future– about a fully immersive medium that involves all our senses, not just a couple.

Virtual reality is the wild west, its future unknown, marked by great potential for success and great risk of failure. The language of VR filmmaking has barely even begun forming.

The gatekeepers and bigwigs in virtual reality filmmaking have barely found a way to make money from VR films at all – so they are a long way from locking up the distribution grid, or even understanding what that grid will look like. I mention the VR ecosystem because, when compared to the ravaged terrain of traditional cinema, the comparison couldn’t be starker. Virtual reality is the wild west, its future unknown, marked by great potential for success and great risk of failure. The language of VR filmmaking has barely even begun forming.

Traditional cinema, on the other hand, has companies such as Disney stomping like Thanos across a devastated landscape, determined to pillage everything that remains. The language of traditional film has fully evolved. Great movies (or TV shows, or soap operas) will continue to be made, of course, challenging us with different ways of cinematically observing the world, the medium, and ourselves.

But things will never be what they used to be. Unlike the titans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we won’t be able to flick a switch and jump back in time, or spin the world around like Superman. The apocalypse of the cinema is upon us, irrespective of whether it takes 30, or 60, or 100 years for the once mighty picture palace to crumble. Perhaps the silver lining is that, going forward, the great films – the films that challenge us, inspire us, and continue a meaningful dialogue with the languages and movements of the past – will taste so much sweeter.

98 responses to “Avengers: Endgame and the apocalypse of cinema

  1. The problem with people who review movies for a living is that they expect some epiphany or higher meaning, because they don’t get it anywhere else. I used to work for DHS and and sometimes I just wanted a movie that is entertaining. Endgame is entertaining and was the last chapter in a long story, which I appreciated. Movies can whet the appetite, serve as an appetizer or just be a pleasant meal and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Movies are my entertainment; for deeper dives into subjects, I read books. I would suggest that if the writer doesn’t like these kinds of movies, maybe he shouldn’t see them, or maybe he’s in the wrong business.

  2. You know Luke, this movie was incredible. It was dramatic and emotional, and climactic, and sure, it was a bit predictable and the climax came like, an hour after it starts, but it is still an amazing movie. You know, you have to be smart to be a critic.

    1. Dramatic and emotional? Lol, good joke. It was manufactured, made to make dumbed down audiences think they feel something. They react to Hollywood’s cheap tricks like seals, they clap every time they’re told to. Same goes to humor as well, where a popcultural reference or bathetic one liner are considered valid jokes.
      Climactic? Nope. It was visually impressive, but visuals are not enough, since I hardly recall an actually atmospheric scene in the movie. It’s as climactic as a generic Michael Bay flick.
      The movie was mediocre AT BEST. 5/10 seems like too much.

  3. These are comic books writ large. Those of us that read,and have read for decades know the nature of the beast. The medium has no end. Death never means death, the end is only the end until the next crossover or miniseries. We know this. Fiege knows this. You are illiterate of the source medium.

  4. Aye, the author makes some solid points that don’t require deep delving to make and then draws connections that are tenuous at best.
    I agree, Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe is an antipole of the meaty depths cinema-as-art can reach and has previously explored. The MCU is absolutely vacuous on an intellectual level and largely bland as a cinemascape.

    However, fireworks shows–another style of massively entertaining event celebrated worldwide–have no depth and hold few surprises in the presentation–I still enjoy seeing them every fucking summer and New Year. And they don’t need to be more than they are. I honestly receive some movies (like the MCU) as extended fireworks shows with more unique and anthropocentric representations of light and sound.
    —-
    The connection with neoliberalism is tenuous at best. The Hero’s Journey always pits a singular few against a host of odds. It’s how humans have understood themselves as living in a causal reality of interconnected events at which they’re the center–since time bloody-fucking immemorial. What? Superheroes are the same narrative on steroids and with a greater degree of spectacle? Color me surprised.
    —-
    I find his support for the assertion that it’s a 3-hour advertisement utterly lacking. If product tie-ins utterly dominate the narrative or move the plot forward, I will agree with him. If they’re just characters of the same universe interacting with each other…that’s part and parcel with world-building. Seriously, go read a fucking comic book.
    —-
    The criticism that the stories are soap-operas because they’re episodic–and therefore not movies–is an odd angle to take. I mean, comic books have always been soap-operas in the sense that they’re contorted melodramas between sets of characters that are inextricably interwoven and have stories that continue in episodes over years. So fucking what, though? Let him come for Star Wars.

    I would like to see him develop a more meaningful definition of “movies” and “cinema” than his description of what he believes it not. That’s just exclusionary gatekeeping and puffery.
    —-
    The lament that money is made hand-over-fist in delivering spectacle over depth is a highly-warranted point. We are in an age where we’ve returned to a bread-and-circuses type appeal of entertainment. I too, find it alarming how the focus on such vacuous spouts of information can crowd meatier, more meaningful content from the theater market.
    —-
    Spot-on with how we now ingest information that adopts a cinematic format (of story movement) in all media we consume.
    —-
    This largely reads as a film-lover’s lament over the success of things that are not what inspired him to love the genre. And that do not exemplify the heights of what his beloved format can achieve.
    —-
    I think the author could have achieved far greater depth in his pop-culture criticism from more deeply exploring Disney’s asymmetrical ability to shape a bland monoculture of storytelling that affects a worldwide audience. That’s a premise worth unsettling some folks over.
    This critique mainly falls into the commonly and often exercised trope: NoBOdy AppRECiates REAL ART anYmoRe.
    This asuthor can go back to the Greeks with that.

  5. Interesting essay. You’re obviously a smart bloke and quite the film connoisseur but I thought the essay was a bit abstruse in some places and quite taxing to read. The death of cinema has been predicted before, very inaccurately as it happens, by many erudite men and women. Here’s an essay predicting something similar from one of my favourites from 40 years ago. Perhaps these things go in cycles?
    http://www.lesliehalliwell.com/decline_fall/index.html

    1. That “review” was quite a lot of words, very little directly relating to the film at hand. it is as if he was given a 1 page summary of the movie and used it as an excuse to write a manifesto about the decline of cinema, pop culture, and western culture in general. I made it as far as I could tolerate, but when he started criticizing the lack of Marxist ideology I had to bail. I write a lot of music criticism, but I avoid genres in which I have no interest. This writer should follow my example in his choice of movies to review. With quality film and audio gear available to ordinary folks on the most modest of budgets, the pure volume of new media is overwhelming. That is a blessing and a curse. Bottom line is that this “critic” should spend more time seeking out the films that better meet his artistic ideals than arbitrarily bashing movies that have huge fan appeal which he has no interest. There is still plenty of room for low budget idiosyncratic films that have no connection to the corporate behemoths he so clearly disparages.

  6. You are a genius sir. It sickens me that people think these movies are the height of cinema. It’s like saying McDonald’s is the best burger place. Sure it hits the spot sometimes and can be addictive to some, but it’s always going to be McDonald’s. Can’t wait for these movies to fade away. The early films already don’t hold up, even super fanboys don’t watch them anymore and newcomers don’t want to dig through 20 movies.

    If you like the MCU, cool, good for you, but you need to accept that it’s pure junk food.

    1. Of course it’s junk food. And tasty junk food at that. Sometimes people go to movies for pure entertainment.

  7. Reading this review was far more stimulating and entertaining than the film itself, which at best felt like one long theatrical preview and more often views like a 3 hour end-credits scene. For those of us simply looking for a film with a story to tell rather than a 3 hour attempt to offend the least people, Endgame was more than a disappointment.

    The MCU experiment had potential to transcend the medium, and I would even be excited about the fact that they found a way to serialize theater had it not come with a host of corporate dictated story-lines. When characters are worth 9 figures, you cannot expect a story with anything new to say. They become inoffensive shadow-characters making cameos within their own movies. It turns out that the MCU was never building up to a conclusion, for Disney, making more movies will always trump telling a good story. With dozens of character arcs, it makes sense that Endgame was so confined to political correctness and unable to string together a plot.

    Talking about film is fun, less so when everyone says what they are told to say. I was surprised by the overwhelming number of positive reviews contrasted with my own disappointment with the film. Thank you for taking the time to try and express the true meaning behind what a film like Endgame says about the film industry and society at large, there is still an audience for critical thought.

    1. It’s not really a review – I think that’s the hang-up for a lot of people.

      The points you made about the movie, just there in your short comment, did a better job of reviewing the movie than this seasoned film critic did in this huge piece. You actually inserted some actual targeted criticism – you identified what you didn’t like specifically about the movie. Whether I agree with you or not is irrelevant, you actually inserted some analysis for the movie in question.

      This guy didn’t do any of that.

      You deserve this writer’s job more than he does, apparently. A disinterested commenter did a better job than the writer reviewing the movie. That tells me it was poorly done.

  8. Thank you for an honest review. This was the worst movie I’ve ever seen. I went through all of the five stages of loss in the three ish hours of this hellscape, until I finally arrived at acceptance. Everyone around me had the same reactions that you described so articulately. I had to accept the fact that all I can do is laugh at this soulless, corporate propaganda and (silently) at everyone around me. Again, without embellishment, this is the worst movie I have ever seen and possibly the worst piece of any media I have ever consumed.

    1. Interesting assessment. Was this the first Marvel film you have ever seen? If so, why did you start with this one? If not, what were you expecting and why did you bother to pay to see it? I didn’t think this movie was generally any better, nor worse, than the 21 that preceded it. I got exactly what I was expecting. You can’t watch 15 James Bond movies and then whinge about seeing the latest one in the theatres. You might have learned to stay away after the first few,,,

  9. So you have a problem with modern cinema and use the most popular movie now as a pivot for your rant. Alexa define sensationalism.

  10. Interesting article, but I can’t help but disagree with nearly everything you said. You seem like you’re quite literally looking for something to complain about and rather than just telling us, you dance around the problems you have with the movie. This article didn’t need to be anywhere near this long.

    You come off as pompous at your inability to understand that maybe this movie wasn’t made for you. Your review being one of only a handful who seem to despise both this and Infinity War proves my point. Not all movies are ‘art’. Some are just meant to be enjoyed. You clearly don’t like blockbusters or superhero movies (ragnarok, while a good movie wasn’t really a traditional superhero movie until the last half hour) and I can’t help but think you’re not the person who should be reviewing these kinds of movies since you’re predetermined to hate them.

    You also seem to take offense with the ‘episodic’ nature of these movies. I think as cinema begins to escape the theater, this will become the norm. There are many, many, many movies I’ve seen where I thought they would be better as an episodic storyline, but you know as well as I do that even 10 years ago, it was impossible for a TV show to have a movie budget. With shows like Game of Thrones proving that there is money to be made in expensive, episodic TV, this is the next phase of cinema and yet you seem unwilling to accept that the world is changing and will no longer cater to an outdated idea of cinema that you seem to have.

    Comic books revel in the idea of building up characters who are greater than us, but have enough flaws to humanize them enough so that they are endearing to us. For me, this movie accomplished what it set out to do. This was an incredible comic book film, but unlike a film like ‘the dark knight, it is not what I would call a ‘great movie’. It’s a pity that you seem so averse to fun and speak of movies more like art than entertainment because this was a heck of alot of fun and fan service is generally not a bad word when it comes to this kind of fanfare. I enjoyed the movie alot, but when someone asks me in 5 years what the best comic book movie is, none of the current batch of Marvel movies is anything more than escapist entertainment and you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that

  11. As someone else mentioned in the comments, the biggest take away here is that this writer needs an editor. Just because you can write as long as want on the internet doesn’t mean you should, especially if you’re essentially saying the same thing over and over again.

    There isn’t anything particularly “blistering” about this commentary. It isn’t insightful to point out the MCU is an episodic soap opera nor does making that observation mean they aren’t films. Every film in the MCU follows a distinct three-act structure and can stand alone, yes, even Infinity War. That was Thano’s story and he has a complete journey.

    The serial format has become associated with television, but that doesn’t mean films that are episodic are TV. By that logic Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future, etc., are TV as well. Serials started as film shorts before the advent of TV, so they have a place in film history. The rise of binge-watching thanks to streaming services have made audiences more interested in long-form storytelling and so it was inevitable that serialized filmmaking would make a return to cinemas. That doesn’t mean the death of cinema. There’s still plenty of stories being told in single films. So, these cinematic doomsday writers can take a breathe. The MCU hasn’t destroyed film.

  12. There was a new style in superhero filmmaking emerging with The Dark Knight films, Logan, Man of Steel, and Batman v Superman. But Disney, the endless horde of its backers, and marketing have destroyed chances of these kinds of films ever being made again.

    1. Batman v Superman is one of the single worst films ever created, mush for brains. Meanwhile every Avengers movies ranges from a 9 to a perfect 10/10.

  13. We get it, you don’t like comic book movies, and in fact you haven’t given a single positive review to any comic book related film, even though you’ve apparently reviewed dozens upon dozens over the years. In this review alone you clearly state your disdain for the genre and yet we as readers are supposed to give credence to your review like it has some sort of merit? As a critic, you would think that knowing your own biases would enlighten the process rather than just become a means to bash a genre of film making you hate. As a result your review becomes meaningless, the films qualities good, or bad are irrelevant because you don’t like any comic book films and therefore can’t objectively distinguish quality within that genre. In simple langue you’ve failed at being a “critic” because your not criticizing this movie but rather the entire genre. A competent critic would be able review individual films within or without their own personal likes and dislikes. You simply haven’t shown the ability to do that and therefore you tell us nothing of the movies quality or lack of, but everything about your own failings as a critic.

  14. I think you expect too much. It is a comic book put on a screen. If you ever read the comic books, there are plenty of story lines that have convenient plot twists similar to what are in this movie.

    The audience gets exactly what it wants. The problem is that movie critics are expecting art. It is a superhero movie. It is not Shakespeare. It’s a 15 dollar movie. It was worth exactly what I paid for. I wanted to be entertained for three hours. The acting was good, the music was good, there were characters on the screen that I cared about, and I did not fall asleep.

    The audiences expect a roller coaster ride, a tug of war between good and evil, and they get it. If you don’t want to be on the roller coaster, then don’t go to the theme park. Don’t blame the theme park for being exactly what it is.

  15. You are literally the worst critic I’ve ever seen on this website, to the point where I feel obligated to comment.
    It’s not that you gave an outstanding movie a bad review–although clearly you are going to continue doing this for every single Marvel movie (who hurt you?)–it’s that you have given positive reviews on such cLASsIcS as The Predator, Skyscraper, and the Great Wall . All of which embody the exact blockbuster complaints that you have against Marvel movies, but completely lack the substance of characters that are so well-written and fleshed out that they feel like a second superhero family to an entire generation of people, representing the best versions of all of us while also enduring many of our regular-people struggles. Not to mention the unprecedented connectivity of hundreds of heroes and villains in an immensely satisfying conclusion that can be enjoyed by both die-hards and casual fans.
    Please stop reviewing movies, you have all of the worst qualities of movie critics and none of the good ones.

  16. Hi Luke,

    this was very depressing to read, but I think I agree with most of what you said.
    Before I go on I should say I haven’t watched this particular movie yet, and I don’t think I really need to, based off your article. (Like someone mentioned, it’s not a review, but a think-piece about Marvel).

    Regardless you said things that NEED to be said. The chorus of critics praising the “film journey” of the MCU is so concerning. The films can be fun bu they truly are vapid. I appreciate that they’ve brought a lot of joy, entertainment, laughs, even tears to heaps of people, but that doesn’t matter. Collectively our standards have completely dropped. An earlier commenter called it: “the ultimate cinematic experience of a generation. ” Jesus Christ. The same commenter also called you “idiotic”, which is a perfect example of the point you raised regarding the fanboys. They seem unable to understand that the relationship between film-making and film criticism is not Batman vs The Joker, it’s far more nuanced. Their narrow-mindedness is ridiculous. They approach the consumption of criticism having already planned their reaction, if the criticism is not what they want it to be.

    I have to say it would’ve been extremely optimistic to think that the creation of the super-hero, franchise films could’ve become a stylistic movement akin to French New Wave or German expressionism. I can easily see how some would cringe at what you wrote there, thinking it incredibly pretentious. But still, you brought up great points about the future of film movements. As a young, aspiring film-maker, I can’t help but feel there is so much less to inspire me then there has been in previous decades. i want to be a part of a movement “brimming with electricity.” I’m not sure I’ll be able to.

    Put simply, I just think we’re getting dumber. Everything is. This example might seem stupid but thousands of years ago, civilisation entertained themselves by listening to epic poetry like The Illiad. Incredible stories filled with everything. Human nature: betrayal, mortality, love, friendship, family, etc. Cinematic imagery. Engaging plotlines. Conclusions, everything. you could argue that today, this is our Illiad – “the defining cultural text of our time” – and it’s not very good.

    When it comes to the future of cinema in general I’m definitely not as pessimistic as you. While the insane amount of money these films make is depressing, I’m thankful for every movie like Roma. or American Animals. or The Favourite. or Vice. or BlacKKKlansman. All recent movies with distinct styles that I really enjoyed. Films that inspired me. So while VR may be an exciting new canvas for artists, I definitely don’t think cinema in it’s current form is dead, or close to dying. The director still needs to point the viewer’s eye in certain directions to communicate a story, and to communicate it using their own style.

    That being said, while i consider what you wrote here to be a bit too doomsday-ish, you’ve written a comprehensive piece that highlights a lot of important things. These movies aren’t very good. And for some reason we’re all pretending that they are. I appreciate you trying to explain why.

  17. Excellent article. I wanted to write about how the Japanese movie, Inuyashiki, was actually the best superhero movie of 2018 because it almost intentionally seems to do the opposite of what the MCU and its conservatism-posing-as-liberalism attitudes do: Its hero is almost an old age pensioner, which is the antithesis of the young and beautiful = strong & powerful politics of Western movies.

    The hero’s power is not destructive, he actually heals people (and a pigeon), which is also the opposite of Western superheroes, whose own superpowers are basically a metaphor for the American child who is given a gun and has to learn how to use it responsibly (in other words, only kill people who are “bad” by some kind of definition). On the other hand, the villain’s powers are the opposite: they are designed primarily to hurt and kill people, just like Iron Man’s many weapons, just like Thor’s hammer or Cap’s shield. The only MCU exception is Mantis, whose powers are desinged to pacify.

    And yet villain isn’t really a villain by Hollywood standards, he’s sympathetic because he comes from a broken home and was bullied at school. He’s trolled on social media and his mother is driven to suicide.

    The hero’s attitude isn’t, “I disagree with this person so I must kill them as the ultimate solution to our problems” like all Western superhero movies. The hero actually tries to talke to the bad guy and reason with him first, continually begging him to “Stop killing people”. This never happens in the American-made films because their attitudes are: if someone is ideologically different to you…kill ’em first, don’t bother to ask questions. There’s no promotion of vigilante justice, which is inherently right-wing. There’s no promotion of individual superiority.

    1. Yea most definitely, because one of the most memorable lines in all the MCU, “I’m with you till the end of the line,” didn’t come from a scene where Cap surrenders to Bucky knowing that he has intentions to kill even though Bucky has been the main antagonist throughout the movie. And why did Cap do this? Because he believed that fighting Bucky wasn’t the answer. And another big reason he doesn’t want to continue on fighting because he is willing to give his life for his best friend, even if it means he’s the one taking his life. I mean, Cap does live to see another day because they can’t kill him off just yet, but when’s the last time you heard of a hero dying for the villain?

  18. I greatly appreciate this article and the insight (and catharsis) it brings. It’s a common human weakness that people will choose the sugary, empty food instead of the food that has subtlety of taste and actual nourishment. But addicts don’t realize they are addicts if “everyone’s doing it,” and they feel validated by the movements of the mindless consuming herd of which they are identified. I’d say one of the main reasons studios and “fanboys” try to defend against spoilers is because to enjoy the bubble you can’t break it and reveal the emptiness of its actual nature. And I’d say that browsing the comment section of the article proves the author’s point about “unweaned fanboys” in spades. “Haters gonna hate,” said someone. To the author, great job, thanks for your bravery and intelligence, and thanks for the references to other more in-depth works. True substance keeps through time while everything else fades, so time will bring justice to the cultural and mental destruction wrought by the mindless spectacle of such superhero movies.

  19. The fanboys manifesting themselves here in expected fashion obviously didn’t read far enough into the article to notice that he enjoyed Spider-Verse, which is maybe the best superhero movie ever made. Despite being saddled with decades of origin stories, reboots, prequels, What If…?s, etc., it did something fresh and new. It introduced a new character without shitting on the past and where it could have been mean or dismissive of fanboys, it was celebratory. It was everything you could want in a superhero movie AND an exciting film with an exciting style.

    He doesn’t hate the premise or the genre (such as it is), he just hates bad movies, and is distressed when bad movies are not only incredibly successful, but begin to dominate the market and crowd out proper good movies.

    I still enjoy some of the Marvel single-protagonist films, but these Avengers movies are just bloated versions of playing with action figures in a sandbox. Infinity War was a legitimately an awful film, and I get where he’s coming from…is it even a film? If so, who is the protagonist? Which character is allowed any development at all? Which character is better or worse or in any way different than they were at the start of the movie (I mean, other than the obvious ceasing to exist thing)?

    More important than all the film school talk, however, is that Infinity War was both boring and pointless. Boring is self-explanatory, and pointless because the end ensures that none of what you’ve just watched had any weight whatsoever. It was stupid too, but let’s not open that can of Thanos’ stones.

    tl;dr If there must be so many superhero movies, can they not at least TRY to be good?

    1. Infinity Wars protagonist was Thanos and both Tony Stark and Thor has excellent character development but it wasn’t even needed because it was given in the other movies. You’re just as bad at this as the guy who wrote the review

  20. Really, the biggest takeaway from this review is the necessity of editors to reign in people in love with their own words. Not exactly sure when the last time was I saw so much space devoted to saying so little.

  21. Thank you for this comment, this was my exact thoughts while reading the entire article. There is such negativity and spite-fullness in his words that I feel like he had been mugged by Kevin Feige himself.

    And low hanging fruit throwing trump in a “review” for endgame and trying to make any comparisons between the two.

    If you are a student then well done, you are working in the industry of critical writing, oh dear.

  22. As for today’s audience being dumb, the top weekend earning films in 1965. were Thunderball (Bond), Dr.Zhivago and Sound of music, scoring equal weekend earnings, while in total Sound of music earned almost thrice of Thunderball, while Dr. Zhivago managed almost twice…so much about today’s movie goers who throw money at garbage, being tasteless ignorants.You can’t have good films being blockbusters today, but that’s solely thx to piss poor education system and low to none values in life of your average Joe

  23. Dude why cant you just review the movie. Superhero movies didnt kill cinema, if anything they revived it. You come off sounding so salty in this review it is clearly not objective

    1. As for today’s audience being dumb, the top weekend earning films in 1965. were Thunderball (Bond), Dr.Zhivago and Sound of music, scoring equal weekend earnings, while in total Sound of music earned almost thrice of Thunderball, while Dr. Zhivago managed almost twice…so much about today’s movie goers who throw money at garbage, being tasteless ignorants.You can’t have good films being blockbusters today, but that’s solely thx to piss poor education system and low to none values in life of your average Joe

  24. OH MY! My dude just wrote a dissertation instead of a film review lol, wow! I actually agree with some of your points, but as many have stated…. you literally, had one job, review the film, and this is not it, chief.

    I use to be a film snob just like you, picking apart blockbuster movies as EVIL, discussing with my other filmmakers that the world and film making were coming to an disappointing end, but then I started to look at the history of storytelling, and how the art of storytelling has basically been the same since 1400BC till 2019- which is do people relate to your story? Maybe just a few people within your community will understand, maybe the WHOLE world, but that’s the way it’s been since the beginning, Comic book movie story telling is what many people relate to right now, it’s really that simple. So don’t beat yourself over the head, cinema ,film , storytelling will survive and will continue to evolve in different great ways to express it. Now go enjoy a movie, ANY movie.

  25. True enough. I took a personal stand 3 years ago. I will not pay to watch any movie that is based on pre-existing intellectual materials. I don’t care if the movie is good. I don’t care if it’s based on that one awesome thing that I thought only I liked. Enough.

    It’s not really about hating the MCU, or about hating sequels, or anything like that. The entire landscape of cinema has become boring and manipulative. For example, I like X-Men as a kid. Studio execs know that I liked X-Men as a kid. That’s why they keep making movies about X-Men. Because they think that odds are good that I don’t resent the fact that they’re trying to manipulate me into spending money. It’s no different from wealthy people who get tired of people looking for handouts who agree with everything they say and have suspiciously similar opinions and interests to the target. Hey, this wouldn’t have anything to do with my money, now, would it?

    Do these filmmakers actually even WANT to make a superhero movie? I love Godzilla, but if I were a filmmaker, I would never want to make one. It’s been done! It’s played out. It’s someone else’s project. I don’t care how many tickets it sells.

    Rush said of music “All this machinery making modern music can still be open-hearted. Not so coldly-charted, it’s really just a question of your honesty, yeah, your honesty. One likes to believe in the freedom of music, but glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity.” The same could be said of movies right now. The artistic impulse is totally missing. This is filmmaking by the numbers–the numbers being the in-the-bag sales they can expect from idiots with no standards who can’t resist seeing a movie that references something they already enjoy, no matter how superficial the resemblance or how transparent the manipulation. I don’t care how good the movie is. No, I will not give any of my money to it.

  26. Title: Review of the movie
    Article: This movie is bad I’m not gonna explain why, instead I’m gonna talk about why I don’t like blockbusters

  27. This isn’t even a movie review you are giving. You’re inserting a political statement and advocacy about the dangers of future pop culture. I appreciate what you are doing and what you’re trying to bring forward but you have definitely posted on the wrong platform and the wrong movie. You could have just set up a separate blog for your ramblings and not link it to one of the most popular movies currently.
    And if you are those kinds of people worrying about future movie trends and not enjoy what if currently in front of you, why are you even posting this in the first place? Shouldn’t you advocate for Global Warming, the poor-rich wealth gap, or other imminent threats approaching, and not waste time reviewing this thing that you call mediocre? I don’t really understand.
    Here’s a spoiler: You can write good stuff, I had seen that. However, doing stuff like these tarnishes your reputation and people will not take you seriously, evident by the comments above me. There, I hope I have “enhanced” your experience, and pray that this isn’t the end for you.

  28. Just the use in your review of the shot from Nosferatu, a personal favorite, made my day. Expressionism. Man. If only! There are few quality films made anymore. (ARRIVAL anyone?) You even mention two years that really did matter, 1973 and 75 (JAWS being my all time favorite movie, a film NOTHING made today can hope to equal!) in your referencing, and what tickles me most is, the review responders, angry with you for disliking this new wave of monumentalistic tripe can’t even fathom why you dislike this new movie.
    Proof made.
    Very few viewers today will understand though. It’s too cultural now. We have become a generation of squallers and complainers and “trolls’ online and off, since we all have equal footing in the modern media. Everyone’s a critic. And can be. And have their own show online if they so wish. But with little or no real experience or study of what Film Narrative actually is, the modern fan can do little more than blast the works of some other person or group’s works. Like the modern take on the Star Wars Saga, the “Haters” as they are called, are calling the shots. So, it doesn’t surprise me to see you labeled as such yourself with this review.

    Hang in there and see with your own eyes. If others disagree, so be it. “Lovers” of decent cinema don’t really exist much anymore. Critics of any of this new “MEDIOCRE FLUFF, well… good luck I guess. The personal attacks will come.

    Marvel, DC, Lucasfilm, whatever, without original ideas, none of these lines can possibly be the classics of yesteryear. Like bloated balloons they come out year after year with one simple agenda, just over-inflate and release.

    Glad to read an honest review again. You give me hope.

  29. Your article is certainly entertaining for people who actively look for pieces of thoughtful text written on the page or on the web. I’d just like to point out that certainly your article is a bit different from the other reviews about this new film, but I do not think it, on it’s own, merits such a tirade critiquing the commercial establishment that exports ideas and concepts via motion pictures.

    You are critiquing basically the development of society over the past decade, but that is fair. There is plenty of things to feel bad about, after all there are many catastrophes looming in the coming decades. Could we be a bit more involved or a bit more empathetic, I’m certain that we could.

    I want to thank you for using the word cacophonous, I haven’t heard it in such a long time that I had to look it up, but I did understand raison d’etre on the spot, which made me quite happy. All in all, this review was a delightful read.

    The section about our obsession for avoiding spoilers is poignant, since at times people take this idea to the very extreme of censorship, which I don’t like and I am glad someone pointed that out. As a whole, wanting to isolate oneself in your own little world is rather selfish and I for one feel that it is not healthy behaviour. Your comment about how film franchises are making some films feel a bit “soapy” is a worthy argument and it is definitely a caveat for future films made in similar fashion.

    As far as the multinational conglomerates are concerned well, you point out that our souls lay exhausted as out primal instincts are bombarded by mindless noice. Isn’t that message a little ambitious since people are actively looking for such entertainment and have done so since the days of the old carnival shows. My meaning is that phrases like “My poor soul drained empty before me as I watched those high podiums spout out their _____ to the droning crowds that cheered so loud it drowned out the faint voice of _____ and so our ______ was in grave peril.” can be made in any situation where we are frustrated with the prevailing status quo.

    I do want to share a slight sliver of critique myself, when you say that something is sure to change that is quite clear, since everything changes over a given period of time. So please just give an estimate and stick to it, all this business with starting off with 30 years and then finishing with 100 years gives the impression that with all your arguments about new technologies, the rise of commercial agendas and distribution monopolies you are not sure at all how they will change or effect the business of film, if at all.

    As I did your text, I myself found the premiering film by Marvel to be quite well written for it’s kind. I do not think that it will age well though, but then again they’ll probably just make it again, won’t they.

    I wish you sunny days, I could not have written this without your article, sorry, review. Great fun!

  30. A hater HATES! And this guy is the perfect example of the most idiotic hater EVER! Wow man, you just can’t handle Marvel’s success

  31. I think this guy just disappeared up his own ass (thank you Erlich Bachman). I’ve never seen a more pretentious piece of trash than this article. He was ready to bash this movie before he walked in.

  32. A very thoughtful and well-argued essay. And some of the reader responses to it neatly illustrate the problem in terms of the demise of healthy fan culture.

    1. I think there are some good ideas buried in here – and you hit the nail on the head by calling it an essay, rather than a straight review.

      The issue, though, is this article was submitted to Rotten Tomatoes as a review, by whoever. This is very confusing, which might be causing some of the backlash. I realized about 5 paragraphs in it wasn’t a review at all.

      Also, it’s hard to read. His writing style is confrontational and dismissive. It’s not too much a stretch to think he may have been trying to cause outrage, rather than put out an objective analysis, based on the tone of the article. Any chance he had at changing someone’s mind was out the window after the first couple paragraphs. It kind of comes off as an angry man screaming into the void.

      TL;DR: I don’t think it’s JUST angry fanboys, I think this is a legitimately poorly put together article.

  33. Well-written. Given there are countless reviews out already, diving into various levels of detail, I’m glad to read one that tries to place the film in societal context.
    However, I don’t have the same appreciation for cinematic style as you seem to be enamored with being able to see the artist in their work, or the pursuit for some great film movement. This seems as arbitrary an artistic preference as seeking out big tent spectacles or indie novelty.
    Ultimately, I agree with the spirit of your review, and especially your observation that the suits have, and were always going to, win the big screen.
    But, I don’t think that finding newer screens and distribution formats are going to spark serious revolutions in cinematic storytelling; perhaps excepting some one-off, format-specific attempts to innovate – e.g. Bandersnatch. My hope is that proliferation of new technologies (like A.I. assisted production tools) may further democratize the industry and allow greater numbers of filmmakers to experiment, produce quality films that capture their visions, and grow an audience.
    The economics of big-screen, wide-release, culturally-dominating cinema were never really a welcoming home for meaningful artistic expression. Endgame is just a massively conspicuous reminder of the almost-pedestrian observation that we humans will gladly dive into some collectivist zeitgeist even if empty of any real substance, depth, meaning, novelty or larger cultural meaning. It’s a very-specific peg that seems to fits its very-specific hole, very well; in a similar way as your well-written culturally-reflective review.
    Thanks.

  34. Just made it home @ 1 am from Endgame.
    My family & I are massive MCU fans & we’ve spent good portions of the last 2 weeks re-watching some wonderful movies from the franchise, to ensure we were ready for tonight.
    Wow, what a load of pretentious, emotionless rubbish. If fact, the only emotions we are feeling are that of being robbed, hoodwinked & conned.

    1. Really? You’re a fan of the MCU, a massive fan at that, and that is your take on this movie? You clearly like Infinity War, Thor: Ragnarok and other movies to be so excited for this one as to go to the trouble of several movies from the franchise and yet this one was somehow among the worst of them all? Not Captain Marvel, not Iron Man 3, not even Thor: The Dark World, but this one? I get the feeling you’re just pretending to be a fan of the MCU to lend some sort of credibility to bashing this film so you can ass kiss this pretentious film snob.
      You cite nothing from the film that would make you feel hoodwinked or conned or robbed or why it is rubbish.
      Are you a film purist? Clearly not, as you’re a fan of the rest of the MCU, a massive one in fact. Was it the role of Captain Marvel, the girl power moment of A-Force, the ending, the plot? What exactly was it about this movie, over all the others that Snapped away your joy?

  35. This is overwritten, mundane and directionless critique of a film series that is not meant to be anything more than spectacle. These films are not trying to make a statement – they are trying to portray heroes that have existed for decades in another medium. Heroes that many people around the world have grown to love and share with their kids, and these movies allow them to do that. You are trying to make an argument that your perspective of what a “good movie” is is completely different from everyone else’s opinion of what is. That is blatant elitism. Just because you don’t like flashy, high-budget action films, doesn’t mean everyone else can’t without criticism. You seem to be critiquing the industry and culture around superheroes more than the movies themselves, which is almost sad in a way. Your writing style screams pretentiousness and only getting through about half of it, I knew that you were writing this to put yourself on a pedestal above everyone else. Maybe that was intentional, maybe this was done to be inflammatory on purpose to get more clicks. If so, good strategy. But the fact that you would put journalistic integrity aside to purposely drive up views on your article is borderline mockery of the very industry you work in.

    Also, the fact you cite Donald Trump and use the word Fanboys in a critique article about a superhero movie is indicative of some sort of complex of either jealousy for not liking what everyone else likes or just trying to be rebellious.

    All in all, this is bad writing and should not be considered a “movie review” but instead a “stink piece”.

  36. You don’t actually review the movie. You don’t really make any concrete assertions about the movie, you don’t provide any specific examples from the movie to support your analysis, because your analysis is about movies in general, not this movie. This is not a review.

    You say it’s not a movie because the franchise is episodic, so it’s really a soap opera. That… is ridiculous. It can’t be both? Those terms are mutually exclusive now? No overlap between them at all? This is a think piece that wasn’t thought out.

    I think you had this written up before the movie even released, then you awkwardly shoe-horned the Avengers movie into it to pick up press. That’s the only way I can explain why this “review” isn’t a review at all. Even your main points are rambling and incohesive. But, oh boy, you sure use a lot of nice, ten-dollar words. Good for you – another pretentious film critic to reinforce the age-old stereotype. You are a walking caricature.

    You talk about the movie in really vague terms for the first two paragraphs… and that’s it. You refuse to link to the articles you quote, because you are above those reviews – your critical analysis is so completely beyond them, they arent even worth upholding journalistic standards. That’s so incredibly low and unethical.

    You seem to hate the film industry, so… find another gig maybe?

    1. What review? I saw a thesis on the state of modern blockbusters but I saw no concise review of this movie. Maybe in an alternate reality, either that or you have both contact lenses in the same eye.

  37. I’m guessing that maybe 5 people in the world did more than skim past the first 3 paragraphs of this long-winded and somewhat pretentious rant.

    Endgame isn’t a work of cinematic art and it’s not trying to be. It’s a fracking comic book movie . . . and that’s okay. There is room in the world for light entertainment. The MCU is not the herald, vanguard or embodiment of the ‘death of cinema’. It’s a world where nerds get to chill out and watch a ridiculous space viking fight wizards.

    Get over it.

    1. You had better believe you’re wrong. If you had read the article you would have seen exactly how he predicted everything you fanboys have said. All too easy for people who don’t blindly consume everything thrown in front of them. Such people take the time to think about what they are reading or watching. Its called being discerning. You should try it, it can be incredibly rewarding.

  38. I came here looking for a review of Endgame. I found a meandering critique on pop culture and merchandising that is about 30 years too late.

    Can we really call this a movie review?

  39. What a self-indulgent piece of drivel this is. It’s not a movie review, it’s an attack on a genre. You undoubtedly wrote 95% of this “piece” before you even saw the movie. For 97% of critics to like this movie, but you can’t find a single thing positive in it, speaks to your failings as a critic, and the monotony of this dull “review” emphasizes your shortcomings as a writer.

    1. The movie feed you dozens of ‘wait, what just happened’ moments that are meant to give fans fun nostalgia feelings, when in fact it’s smoke and mirrors to cover up the hundreds of mile-deep plot holes that make no sense. Basically, any rules that this universe held true to in previous movies, and even this one, are completely thrown out the door . . . everyone can do everything, and also nothing . . .

  40. If you didn’t like infinity war, I can expect for you to give end game this trash review. So with that said your “review” is senseless to me, by the way KYS! Look it up, it’s an acronym for what the young kids say today.

  41. Author literally predicts the swarms of MCU nut huggers berating him over a critical review/social commentary of said shitty universe in the review itself and yet…here you all are, comments abounding. Baited and triggered way too easily.

  42. I’m a Marvel fan, so I enjoyed Infinity Wars, even with the downer ending. I watched it again when it came out on DVD, and actually wasn’t as impressed as I was the first time, but I wrote this off as knowing the end was not going to be fun. So in preparation for Endgame, I re-watched Infinity Wars a third time the other day, and it was a real slog getting through it. I laid aside my fandom in trying to understand and perceive a way the Avengers could salvage the final episode. There’s a lot of action, but it’s all separate sequences of this or that superhero getting his/her butt kicked in preparation for their final butt kicking by an unbeatable super villain. There is hardly any plot. It’s just a review of the Marvel characters, sometimes in unexpected couplings until the end where they finally come together as an ineffectual team in the face of Thanos.

    I don’t know if I will agree with your review or not until I see the movie, but at this point, I’m thinking Endgame is going to have to show some major improvement over Marvel’s most recent films to rekindle my interest in Superheroes which has been wavering in recent films. A good movie needs a little more than anticipation by the fan base. It needs to actually do something interesting, fun, or relevant, and Marvel seems like it has been abandoning those qualities that got this whole superhero fan fervor started 10 years ago. Or maybe Marvel is just getting stale.

  43. What this review fails to address is the characters in the MCU aren’t ‘just’ ten years old. They’ve had a fanbase in the comics going back decades. People have wanted to see these movies and this story for years. Do people know that Blockbusters are mostly tie ins for product placement? Duh. But this movie succeeds in entertaining because while it is a blockbuster, it’s done better than most and has heart. This review doesn’t get it, obviously and is trying to make the movie a teachable moment; to who I have no idea.

    If future filmmakers learn anything from Infinity War and Endgame it’s how to entertain an audience and hold interest for a nice five hour block, how to expertly weave ten years and 22 movies worth of story into a finale that does satisfy. I would wager this reviewer has no idea how to even construct a story or understand how to deliver enough heart to make it memorable…his reviews aren’t. lol

  44. Golly gosh; I read comic books as a kid and enjoy seeing slick movies telling those comic book capers on the screen as a grown man. This ‘review’ is so passionate about something, but it kind of makes me feel bad about enjoying a bit of serialised escapism. I’ve seen some pretty cool indie films from Australia in the last couple of years, and this same ‘reviewer’ dumped loads of crap on them and wrote with far less passion to boot. Methinks I’ll pass on reading any more opinion click bait from LB, going to see a movie is a fun social outing for me and my friends and I think I’ll stick to talking about the movie with friends instead of wasting my time reading through this kind of rant, it just isn’t informative. It may be really really informed, but I’d rather enjoy my movie experiences without being damned for doing so by some hack who writes for lots of outlets and counts his Twitter retweets.

  45. Gets the attention. WHO agrees with me, to announce Bond 25 tidbits today of all days – when Avengers is trending…how very very silly.

  46. Mr Buckmaster I’ve decided to temporarily put aside the fact that you are such a pretentious nob and point out a couple of errors in your piece just to help you out a bit. The actors name that played superman was Christopher Reeve. No ‘s’. I think you’re getting mixed up with George. A little bit of research wouldn’t go astray. Google is just a click away. And I think he actually ‘spun’ the Earth backwards, not ‘span’ it. Then again maybe you went to a different school than I did.

    Please in the future can you just review the movie instead of all that other diatribe.

  47. Summary: It’s not a silent movie about people crying, therefore capitalism, therefore BAD. I’m fairly certain you wrote this before seeing the movie. You write well, if pretentiously. I get being critical of the movie and its cinematography, or its bathos, or because of plot inconsistencies. I don’t get disavowing the movie because blockbuster comic book filmmaking exists and involves plots and characters that extend beyond the confines of its run-time.

  48. Wow…That seemed like it took you a long time to write. All for a simple review.

    You payout on this movie so much, yet The Last Jedi got 2.5? That movie shouldn’t have had the 2 there! What did you actually score this movie?

    I admit I’ve liked the majority of the MCU movies, there are quite a few duds, but these epic ending stories with such a culmination of characters and their back stories coming together was pretty well done.

    Good on you for having an opinion though

  49. You have created some valid discussion about the nature of film in our time which enjoyed and largely agree with, but not at the expense of Endgame. I think it should be reviewed in the context of the genre and what it set out to achieve. It was a fitting conclusion to this point, even with the convenience of time travel inserted. Ragnorok was one of my favourites for its style and I agree that there is room for more of this – perhaps we can see more of this in future Marvel creations? We can only hope.

  50. This review is getting far too much hate. A lot of great points were made here, and the review is technically well-written. (Good sentence structure, easy flow, etc.) Honestly, the recent Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has made me realize just how much the MCU films lack, and it’s surprising that another superhero film has to be the one to highlight that. These films rely so much on each other, it’s impossible to judge them based on their own individual merits. It’s almost like the MCU films are in their own world, and that shouldn’t just be the case. Films should be able to stand within the creative environment they were created in.

    That being said, it’s not as if I watch Pixar films completely forgetting that it’s a Pixar film. Of course I’m going to have different standards for it, simply because it’s Pixar. The fact that MCU movies have become serials need not necessarily be a bad thing – just a thing people can either find good or bad. These two critiques can and should be able to co-exist. And if this is the way MCU movies demand to be, and the fans are okay with that, then so be it. But no movie is exempt from critique.

    Still…you would think they would choose an MCU fan to be the one to review this film. I guess the rotten review definitely helps Daily Review stand out!

  51. Looks like you just wanted attention for your haughty “think piece” rather than doing your job and actually writing a review. Yawn. Clickbait culture pretending to be journalism is worse of a problem than the state of movies.

  52. you are wrong, both MOVIES are exactly that, and all of your elitist rubish wont change it. critics and people are loving the MOVIE. you are just the sad kid who couldnt stack up with the group

  53. I might be tempted to describe this review as one of the worst and ideological vacuous reviews ever written – except I’m no longer sure it should even be called a review.!

    Seriously though, this is more a think piece about a film genre than a review and it’s quite disingenuous of you to pretend otherwise.

    1. That might be why the article never once claimed to be a review.

      People who can’t read should stick to watching Marvel movies. Thanks for proving every point in this article.

      1. If it isn’t meant to be a review why was it submitted to Rotten Tomato site as a review? At least do your basic research, mate,

  54. I’ve never read anything more idiotic than what you just wrote.
    Is it a movie ? No, it’s the ultimate cinematic experience of a generation. It’s the best thing I have seen in the MCU, the best thing I have seen on screen period.

    1. “the best thing I have seen on screen” – really? Are you positing that Avengers: Endgame has more emotional depth than, say, Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Persona’ or a truer depiction of the realities of armed combat in Gillo Pontecorvo’s ‘The Battle of Algiers’? I suggest that you, along with the other angry commenters here, need to watch a lot better films.

  55. Its evident from your ramblings that your issue is with the superhero movie genre itself and less so with this movie itself. In fact you seem more obsessed by the movies impact on contemporary culture in film/arts than your job; reviewing films letting readers know if they are good or not. I would be ok if you just didnt like the movie. Give your reasons, faulty as they may be, and that would be the proper way to go. But its almost as you are faulting this genre of movies and anything that fits that genre will get caught in the crossfire in your struggle against it.

    Idk, seemed like overkill. And melodramatic at that. But you know all about that already i am sure lol

    1. Buckmaster’s reviews of anything in this genre or indeed other scifi/fantasy works, always follow the same pattern. Each time he tries to outdo himself on how much he can dump crap on them thinly disguised as a review process. Clearly he absolutely loathes them, and its consistently disappointing that DailyReview cant find a staff member with some semblance of objectivity to write about them. With this one I think he’s finally run out of simple trolling to deploy, so had to resort to this extended pseudo-analysis of film generally. Its all getting a bit tedious.

  56. I was disappointed, but not surprised, to see that a traditional comment thread is not allowed for this… uh, piece.

    I’m sure you’ll be getting a lot of blowback for this – the review aggregate website you panned in the article indicates 97% of critics disagree with you. Of course, this in itself doesn’t discredit you.

    My honest thoughts and feedback (and I’m really going to try to be constructive here) are as follows: this is hardly a review for the movie; it’s more a thought-piece on the state of cinema using the movie as a springboard – the actual quality of the movie isn’t discussed much relative to the overall length of the article. And wow, do you go in some interesting directions here.

    First off, the tone of the article is immediately pretentious and combative. Almost as if you knew your ideas would be considered extreme, so you preemptively started the fight in your mind before the article was published. This is not the way to go.

    Also, I suspect you are using this very popular blockbuster movie as a vehicle to get your psuedo-intellectual thoughts in front of many eyes as possible by asking incendiary questions such as, “Is it even a movie?” Of course it is. I think you know that, but you want to ruffle some feathers to get your ideas about the decline of cinema out there. I think it’s very smart, and very disingenuous at the same time. It is a net negative, because you have some good ideas here, but they are absolutely buried under pretension and sensationalism – if a reader gets even a whiff of a pretentious film critic, they tune out instantly, and the well-written parts of your piece may as well have never been written at all. Those extra eyes and clicks you scored by provoking nearly everyone don’t do your good ideas a service at all, in the end.

    One of the most basic parts of communication we are taught starting out is to consider your audience. Not sure what the demographic of your readership is, but I’m sure this article is going to attract a lot of fans of the other films in this franchise, whether that falls within your standard readership demographic or not. You alienate them from the first paragraph, inserting commentary about how mediocre movies are a cultural hallmark. This is elitism on its face.

    Before you think I’m thoughtlessly trying to roast you, let me ask you this: how many people do you think read beyond the first 2-3 paragraphs? This is really arbitrary number I’m gonna summon from the ether, but I’d say… 90% of readers clicked out of the review in the first 60 seconds. (Or should I say 97%?) When you have a dissenting opinion, which you clearly do, you need to ease your audience in to have any chance at changing views. Insulting them relentlessly is an interesting tactic, but not effective. You seem smart, so I’m gonna assume you know this.

    Lastly (if you read this far) I gotta say this, my man: limit your usage of French words and film terminology/jargon. The first sentence includes a french phrase that could easily be substituted with a more easily understood and direct English word. We know you are a connoisseur, you don’t have to impress us with fancy phrases. Again, coming across as pretentious doesn’t win you any mindshare. If there is a simpler way to say something, do it that way. I’m not alone by being irked by what I see as intellectual posturing through unnecessary verbiage – that includes your coworkers and readers. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that is just your writing style. Easier said than done, I know, but consider changing it.

    Some things to think about from one insignificant stranger on the internet. Hopefully, you see at least one thing here that may help or incite some introspection.

    Best of luck in your writing career.

    1. Edit:
      I initially took this to be an actual review of the movie; I see now it is very possible it wasn’t intended that way at all. It reads like a long-form opinion piece on a host of other things besides this specific movie’s qualities. I thought to myself – he uses no specific examples from the movie, he barely refers to the movie by itself, there is no critical analysis of THIS specific movie, only sweeping statements about cinema.

      I was confused because I linked to this article from RottenTomatoes.com, under the ‘Reviews’ section for this movie. I have no idea how the submission process works, but either your editor submitted this as a review, or RottenTomatoes mistakenly assumed it was a review (I’m guessing this one).

      I guess the question is, will there be an actual review of the movie coming?

    2. Love this!

      He clearly writes to get paid, nothing more. It probably makes him more money to write articles that are contradictory to popular opinion so more people view this. The last movie review was Aquaman which was also bashing…clearly he picks and chooses what he wants to write about to make money on promoting negativity.

    3. I read this entire comment. I dont think i read more than half that amount of the actual review, for exactly the reasons you stated here. Please get out of my head.

      But yeah seriously, that french word in the first paragraph had me rolling my eyes so hard. He really did have some good points, but I couldnt take him seriously. His writing style and tone is unattractive.

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