THE first time I caught “Avengers: Endgame” on the big screen, I was overwhelmed, and mostly by questions. Give credit to the filmmakers, the three-hour film did not feel like three hours at all.
I know this because I went out again to catch the movie a second time, and it still did not feel like me being tied to a chair while watching paint dry. Every minute absolutely counted. I leaned forward, as if trying to catch anything I might have missed during my first viewing.
The eight-day grace period between my two viewing schedules allowed me to appreciate all the memes, speculations and theories on the internet. It felt great browsing social media spoiler-proof. During the second viewing, with most of my questions already answered reading pieces online, I braced myself for maximum impact.
I sat there inside the cinema until the very last audio faded—the sound of Tony Stark hammering away on his first Iron Man suit prototype as seen in the 2008 film. “Iron Man” was the film that launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) into the blockbuster-churning behemoth it has now become—“Avengers: Endgame” is closing in on the record of highest grossing movie of all time.
But more than the records, it’s just amazing how all of the writers, actors, directors, producers and the rest of the crew just banded together to create a pretty tight collection of 23 films (including the last and upcoming title “Spider-Man: Far from Home.”).
That’s where a bit of my dilemma comes in. I want to celebrate the MCU. I want to be able to enjoy it, understand it in its entirety. But 23 films is just too much for me to backtrack on. I’m no super fan. My comprehension wobbles at the thought of going through a movie marathon. My mind freezes every time “Thor: The Dark World” is ready to play.
And that’s why I’ve thought of a shortcut—enjoy the “The Infinity Saga” (that’s what the first 23 films are called as a collection) through one lead character at a time. And there’s no better character to start off this trip than with Iron Man himself.
Think of seeing these films in order: “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,” “The Avengers,” “Iron Man 3,” “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “The Avengers: Infinity War” and “The Avengers: Endgame.” Nine films is still pretty long but this definitely beats 23 films, right? Also, this order works best if you’ve seen the other MCU films at least once.
Do you think this short list is a good compromise? Do you have a better batch in mind? Or do you think Captain America’s story should be the first we should follow? He is, in fact, the “first Avenger.” Let me know your thoughts on our social media pages!