Since I saw Avengers: Endgame Tuesday, most of my co-workers have avoided me like the plague. I'll walk into a room, and before I even start talking someone will hold up a hand to silence me. My temporary shunning stems from a deep rooted fear: no one wants Endgame spoiled for them. (Update: one of my co-workers is currently not speaking to me because I vaguely implied a minor character might be in Endgame. I offer her a sincere apology.)
And I say to them all: I understand and I sympathize. We're 11 years, 22 films and nearly 48 hours of runtime into the MCU franchise. Being told secondhand what happens in the film, instead of getting to experience it yourself, really sucks. (Unless you're into spoilers. Hey, no judgments.)
So when the Endgame footage leaked last week I, too, tried to keep my head down. But my team quickly realized someone from CNET going to the screener should actually read the spoilers beforehand to see how knowing the spoilers would impact viewing. You know, for "science."
I asked myself, heroically, what would the Avengers do? And I took one for the team by reading through the spoilers and watching the leaked footage. (Just in case it needs to be clarified, there's nothing actually heroic about watching grainy YouTube clips on Reddit. That was hyperbole.)
Going into the film spoiled, I had mixed expectations. I was underwhelmed by the footage I saw. If those were the spoilers we were getting, would this even be a good film?
Spoiler alert (not an actual spoiler): Endgame is amazing, as our CNET reviewer Michael Sorrentino says.
Avengers: Endgame is completely deserving of the hype and wait. For a three-hour film, it's extraordinarily tight. I'd be hard-pressed to come up with any scenes that could have been cut or shortened. It was challenging enough for me and a colleague to figure out where you should take bathroom breaks.
So why did the spoilers lead me astray? First off, they weren't that spoilery. Many of the leaks were reveals that frankly could've been in the trailer, had Marvel chosen to be less cagey. As far as I could find, any end-of-the-movie spoilers (like which characters die and/or survive) weren't actually leaked. Though maybe I didn't dig deep enough.
Second, the six minutes of poorly recorded footage I viewed will never capture the timing, pace and scope of those scenes in the context of the film. Endgame is a three-hour film. And the scenes resonate so much more in the film than they do awkwardly spliced together.
All I can say is if you watched the footage or read some spoilers beforehand and are wary of Endgame, don't be. It's still worth your time. I'm already planning to see it again Friday. And maybe next week in IMAX.