"Avengers: Endgame" reactions — ruined by runtime issues?

Avengers Endgame Poster

It's here! Avengers: Endgame has hit cinemas and the verdict is finally in.

Avengers: Endgame reactions have flooded in and it appears Marvel Studios are ready for their greatest success yet. Without a doubt, the fourth instalment in the Avengers series is the most anticipated film of 2019 and for UK audiences it's finally set to arrive tonight. However, other territories were lucky enough to see the film a day early and, of course, the critical response is here ahead of tonight's sold out UK showings. 

It's going to be a busy night at the movies, as the film recently broke presale records as a result of fans' determination to see the film as soon as possible. Most cinemas are holding numerous screenings at 00:01, most of which have sold out entirely. You can expect lots of costumes, lots of tears, excitement... but, can you expect a truly terrific film?

Often with huge blockbusters, audiences get swept up in the hype and the atmosphere, tricking themselves into believing a film is better than it actually is. It's all personal opinion, but this seems to have been the case for certain superhero efforts in the past. On the other hand, last year's Avengers: Infinity War was no example; the previous instalment truly earned its praises and was perhaps superhero cinema's most ambitious movie event to date. That is, until now, of course. So, what's the verdict on Avengers: Endgame

It currently boasts a whopping 96% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and both The Guardian (Peter Bradshaw) and Empire (Helen O'hara) - incredibly prominent sources of influence - have given the film five stars, declaring it an overwhelming triumph. On the whole, it's proven a resounding success straight out of the gate, but as is expected, the film hasn't exactly won everyone over. 

Keith Uhlich of Slant Magazine awarded the film a mere one-and-a-half stars, arguing that "Every serious narrative beat in the film is ultimately undercut by pro-forma storytelling, or by faux-improvised humor." It appears to be the most severely condemning of the critical reviews so far, but there have indeed been some middling reviews too.

Barry Hertz of The Globe and Mail ultimately gave the film a five out of ten, saying that "Even if I could muster the strength to defy studio marching orders on plot details, there is no point. There is little in Endgame that is worth spoiling, given how its core is spoiled rotten to begin with." These are pretty harsh words, but honestly, there's nothing that can stop the Russo brothers' film now. 

For the vast majority that has already seen Avengers: Endgame, the lengthy runtime hasn't been an issue. At just over three hours long, there was initial scepticism that the project may feel a little bloated for its own good, stretching out narrative events to the point of tedium. Yet miraculously, both critics and audiences have enjoyed the film for its entirety; quite an achievement. In the not too distant future, this MCU offering could be widely regarded as the greatest yet. 

In other news, the director of The Witch returns with The Lighthouse.

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