The initial reactions to Avengers: Endgame following the first screenings were extremely positive. But now critics have had time to process what they saw, and well, they’re still mostly raving about the 22nd entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe it s currently Certified Fresh at 97%. Of course, there are some quibbles here and there, mainly about the length. Also, the long-form responses to the Avengers: Infinity War follow-up have some extra thoughts to share regarding Endgame’s best moments, as well as the movie’s MVP. Basically, just icing on the cake to get you even more hyped for this thing.Here’s what the critics are saying about Avengers: Endgame:How does it compare to Avengers: Infinity War?Endgame is a different type of film than Infinity War… there are actually moments of calm, where the audience can catch its breath. Charles Barfield, The PlaylistInfinity War floundered, it seems, so Endgame could soar. Angie Han, MashableWhere Infinity War had trouble finding time for characters, Endgame is about nothing but character work. Susana Polo, PolygonThe Russo Brothers were able to best themselves yet again. Dorian Parks, Geeks of ColorThere’s something considerably less elegant to the storytelling this time around. Peter Debruge, VarietyIs it the best Marvel movie yet?Avengers: Endgame is everything you’ve ever dreamed a Marvel movie could be…You will not be let down. Germain Lussier, io9One of the most ambitious, entertaining, emotional, and stunning blockbusters we’ve ever seen, and the best film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon thus far. Eric Eisenberg, Cinema BlendAvengers: Endgame is not the best Marvel movie ever made…But it is the most Marvel movie ever made, and there s something incredible about that. Angie Han, MashableAvengers: Endgame is the most Marvel movie in Marvel Cinematic Universe history. Charles Barfield, The PlaylistAvengers: Endgame is, without a doubt, the most confusing and convoluted of any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, yet it’s also unbelievably satisfying. Mike Ryan, UproxxAvengers: Endgame is now my favorite MCU movie and is probably my favorite comic book movie to date. Dorian Parks, Geeks of ColorIt’s not the best of anything in terms of the Marvel franchise…Avengers: Endgame is a merely okay MCU movie. Scott Mendelson, Forbes(Photo by @ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, @ Marvel)Should we be surprised at this?Whatever you think Endgame will be, it will still confound and amaze and thrill you in ways that is hard to imagine. Mark Daniell, Toronto SunOne of the nicest surprises of Endgame is how fun it is… So much so that the three-hour run time seems to fly by. Angie Han, MashableThere are things in Endgame you never could have guessed would come back to light, but they do, and it’s glorious. Germain Lussier, io9Endgame is truly a masterful piece of storytelling, which both goes exactly where you expect it to, and not at all. Anne Cohen, Refinery29(Photo by @ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, @ Marvel)How busy is the movie?The Russos juggle the tones with balletic finesse. Eric Kohn, IndieWireThe film is sometimes juggling five or six stories simultaneously, but the Russos and their editors never let the audience get too far from one or the other. Germain Lussier, io9It’s strangely sentimental for a movie that features the biggest all-out superhero fight I can ever remember seeing. Mike Ryan, UproxxHow is the action?The fight scenes that do take place are epic… seeing the epic battle in the third act makes the last decade worth it. Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the MoviesThe action sequences were choreographed and shot so beautifully. Without spoiling anything, you will need to be prepared for the third act. Dorian Parks, Geeks of ColorAre we going to cry?As emotionally affecting as any Marvel movie has ever been… a genuinely moving drama. Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-TimesEndgame focuses on the original Avengers…it’s immensely gratifying and emotional to see them struggle on a plethora of levels. Germain Lussier, io9(Photo by @ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, @ Marvel)How satisfying is it as a finale?Endgame does pull off the feat of feeling remarkably like a finale, and even the most casual fan may feel the emotional tug of those moments. Don Kaye, Den of GeekAs a Part 2, Endgame is a hugely successful ending to a story that began a year ago but truly dates back a decade. Charles Barfield, The Playlist[It’s] a moment to stop and look back in amazement (or terror) at what the MCU has pulled off…Endgame is Marvel s crowning achievement. Angie Han, MashableHow lost will we be if we haven t seen all 21 previous movies?There’s no shaking the fact that Endgame is very much a Part 2 (or Part 22, honestly)… not for MCU newbies… casual fans need not apply If you’re not someone that knows every character by name, you’re in for a confusing three-hour film. Charles Barfield, The PlaylistMy daughter hasn’t seen very many of these and only had a few in-movie questions… it works on its own terms and unquestionably sticks the landing. Scott Mendelson, ForbesThis is a film designed for fans… Newcomers will likely find themselves totally lost in this tangle of characters and relationships and mythologies. Angie Han, MashableIt does feel like a wonderful gift to all those who have spent the last decade-plus emotionally engaging with the lives and adventures of these characters. Eric Eisenberg, Cinema BlendRyan FujitaniCan you give me some comparative context?Newcomers to the series may as well be watching a Transformers movie. Eric Kohn, IndieWireWhile there is a big third-act action sequence, it’s (despite some grand fan service) closer in structure and visuals to Ready Player One than The Two Towers. Scott Mendelson, ForbesAvengers: Endgame feels like the last scene of Titanic with everyone back on the ship, applauding. And, you know what? I’m okay with that. Mike Ryan, UproxxWho is the movie s MVP?From a performance standpoint, Chris Hemsworth, for the second film in a row, delivers the best outing of the large ensemble. Clayton Davis, AwardsCircuit.comHemsworth especially has quickly become, due to Thor: Ragnarok and the last two of these Avengers flicks, a subtle MVP of the franchise. Scott Mendelson, ForbesHemsworth has inexplicably become the MVP of this franchise, able to balance big, broad comedy with soul-searching pathos. Chris Evangelista, SlashfilmAre there any big criticisms?Its biggest fault, however nitpicky, is that it doesn’t really confront or advance any of the big philosophical questions that have been running through the saga from the beginning. Scott Mendelson, ForbesI feel that Marvel’s secret weapon [Captain Marvel] is underused. Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the MoviesHas a sitcom episode like feel to it that is reminiscent of a ‘clip show’ – where the viewers get excerpts and highlights from previous episodes of the series. Clayton Davis, AwardsCircuit.comWill there ever be anything like this movie again?One can only hope that the next 10 years of Marvel storytelling — which will feature new heroes and villains — comes close to this. Mark Daniell, Toronto SunAvengers: Endgame opens everywhere on April 26.
(Photo by Netflix)In their initial meetings, the executive talked about the sensation of jeopardy the old cartoon conveyed to younger viewers despite being outwardly silly. To his mind at the time, it was possible for Skeletor to win. Only with as he grew older did he come to understand why that would never be the case on the Filmation show. Nevertheless, the experience of that potential jeopardy stayed in his mind.“The dude kind of charged us with recreating a memory, if you will, of [that] feeling,” Smith said. And as viewers will see, jeopardy is definitely part of Masters of the Universe: Revelation. There are big shake-ups and, indeed, revelations that will surprise fans of the old show: from the selection of featured characters to the way it incorporates ideas from other MOTU projects.(Photo by Netflix)Another of the program’s interesting twists is its focus on Teela (Sarah Michelle Gelllar), a member of He-Man’s inner circle despite being denied key secrets about the world around her. When she learns about one of them at the beginning of Revelation, it sets her on a new path. According to Smith, giving her a bigger role in the series was part of a desire on both Biaselli’s and Mattel’s part to give the other characters more of their own individual stories. Or, as Smith phrased their request: “Look, we love that He-Man sells, but we got a bunch of f ing toys. So use all the characters.” As it happens, a lot of Teela’s story was already suggested by ideas in the toys and the 1980s series. But the format of both meant she could never find resolution – something which is possible in Revelation.“We started diving into the Teela of it all, man, and then realizing like, ‘oh, s , this is a story of betrayal,’” Smith said.Fans of the Filmation cartoon may remember two secrets withheld from her by He-Man, Man-at-Arms, and the Sorceress. One is definitely more important to the events of Revelation’s first batch of episodes while the other is … not forgotten.“That created rich situations for drama,” Smith said. “To me, [He-Man and Masters of the Universe] has always been family melodrama. You go back and look at all the shows, and it s all about like, ‘We got a problem. We re going to get through it together’ and stuff like that. All the characters like and respect one another on each side and whatnot.”The old show was also famous for recapping its moral quandaries at the end of each episode. “So for us, the same thing is going in here,” Smith continued. “The idea is like all the relationships are the absolute same [from the old show]. They just have to deal with death and consequences for the first time.”(Photo by Netflix)That sense of consequences extends out to other relationships like Evil-Lyn’s (Lena Heady) and Beast Man’s (Kevin Michael Richardson) devotion to Skeletor. It also changes the way Teela regards her adoptive father Duncan — aka Man-at-Arms — especially after the events of the first episode, which really alter the Eternian battlefield after nearly 40 years.The overall effect is not a bleaker Master of the Universe, but a more serious version in which even joke characters like Orko (Griffin Newman) can carry dramatic content. As it turns out, giving the character a chance to shine was something Smith and the other writers seriously debated.“Some people swear by him, and other people [were like,] ‘He ruined the show for me. I hate the stupid magic jokes and [things] like that,’” Smith said of the writing room conversations.(Photo by Netflix)The floating and legless magician of questionable skill was a favorite of Filmation co-founder Lou Scheimer, who also voiced the character in the ’80s. He was popular enough to get a toy of his own in the classic MOTU line, but his presence made the old series feel more, well, childish. Watching episodes of the show now — or clips from He-Man She-Ra: A Christmas Special — will definitely illustrate why he can be a divisive character for anyone over the age of 9.But that debate led to a mission statement: “How do we make Orko tattoo-worthy?”“We knew that Orko was a kid’s way into the show, right? Every kid who watched the show, they re going to dream about being He-Man. They can aspire to that, but who do they identify with? The dude who is always shoved to the side and not as good as the adults and can t be counted on to do the right thing. And he s little as well, so that s their way in,” Smith explained. “In this iteration, it s telling the kids like, ‘From little acorns, great oaks grow.’ The smallest can, at the end of the day, become the biggest under the right circumstances. So we thought so much about Orko. We wanted to make him bulletproof, so much so, that if anyone was like, ‘Orko sucks,’ it s like, all right, we failed.”Smith also credited Newman, who actively lobbied for the role on Twitter, for bringing an extra level of pathos to the part: “That f ing speech … I’d give Griffin Newman a f ing Emmy right now for his performance, where he s just like, Take me on an adventure. I promise I won t mess up like the old days.’”