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'Avengers: Endgame’ is big, bigger, biggest superhero blockbuster

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Friday, April 26, 2019

Three hours? That’s a lot of movie. I’m surprised Marvel didn’t take the “Harry Potter” or “Hunger Games” tactic of dividing “Avengers: Endgame” into two films — twice the ticket sales.

Is three hours too much of a good thing? Maybe not in this Age of Binge Watching.

But unlike with TV you can’t hit a pause button at the movies to take a break.

Even “Gone With the Wind” had the courtesy of giving viewers an intermission.

Time aside, this is meant to be the Avengers movie to end all Avengers movies.

This 22nd movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is a direct sequel to “Avengers: Infinity War.” The two blockbusters were originally titled “Avengers: Infinity War — Part 1” and “Avengers: Infinity War — Part 2.” Together, they would have made a movie that’s five-and-a-half hours long.

Whoa, my backside’s getting tired just thinking of it.

The plot: After nearly everybody gets killed off in “Avengers: Infinity War” the remaining members of the superhero team assemble to fight a last stand against Thanos.

Sure, you gotta see it.

“Avengers: Endgame” is currently battling it out at AMC Fire Tower 12 and Regal Cinemas Greenville Grande.

As the saying goes, the gang’s all here. Even characters killed off in the last movie get to reprise their roles in this battle royal.

You will see such familiar faces as Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Clint Barton/Ronin (Jeremy Renner), Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Vision (Paul Bettany), James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle), Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) … and that villainous Thanos (Josh Brolin). Plus many others.

Of course, my ol’ pal Stan Lee appears in a (posthumous) cameo. The Avengers was created by Stan and Jack “The King” Kirby back in 1963, after the publisher of Timely ( Marvel’s predecessor ) heard that DC Comics had come up with a superhero team called the Justice League.

When I was publisher of Marvel Comics, we claimed 5,000 characters in the Marvel Universe. It seems like most of them appear in “Avengers: Endgame,” although some fanboys count only 60 or so.

The film reportedly cost up to $400 million to make, chalking it up as one of the most expensive films ever produced. You would think most of that went to star salaries.

And with that many characters to cover, no wonder the movie runs slightly more than three hours long.

Shirrel Rhoades is a former executive with Marvel Entertainment, a writer, publisher, professor and filmmaker. He is from North Carolina and lives in Florida. Contact him at srhoades@aol.com.


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