And now for something different

Every once in a blue moon, I discuss matters of little consequence except as entertainment. After all, entertainment is a major need in these troubled times of insane political events (in the US and the Philippines), deadly effects of global warming felt by nearly everyone, and a future made uncertain due to technological challenges to our employment.

Donald Trump may be as divisive a president as the US has had in recent memory, but believe me, Rodrigo Duterte is much, much worse.

When the Philippines experienced one full week of earthquakes in every part of the archipelago, something that has never happened before, I knew beyond a reasonable doubt that the entire planet is in trouble because not enough has been done to arrest the effects of climate change.

And now it would seem that the age of robots is already upon us, and while it should be a good thing, it may also cause millions of ordinary folk to become unemployable in a decade or two. Robots are already replacing human workers at an awesome pace, and it will not slow down anytime soon. Some say robots will also replace journalists like yours truly. Groan.

So what does the world need now?

The Avengers, perhaps? Also known as Earth’s mightiest heroes, they have a blockbuster of a movie that is set to break all box office records. The Avengers Endgame is now showing, and what a film it is.

I had always expected the movie to be big. I did not expect it to be humungous.

I finally got to watch it after two failed tries. See, I am  lucky enough to live a few steps away from a mall that has four cinemas. It’s where I almost always watch movies when a big screen experience is a must.

I dropped by the mall just to see if it was possible for me to get a ticket on the first day’s screening. It was not. Not only were all four cinemas showing the Avengers movie, they even had early morning as well as midnight screenings.

The queues for all four were kilometric, and still fans persisted.

I told myself to wait a few days, and on the fourth day I and my partner headed for the mall. Again, the lines were long, and though it was only 6:00pm, the only tickets still available were for the 11:30pm screening. This means we would have gone home close to 3:00am, and the movie was more than three hours long.

On the fifth day, in mid-afternoon, were were finally able to get tickets. The theater was still full, but no longer at 100 percent capacity.

We actually got  to enjoy it, and I told myself that I would watch it again later this week. In fact, I plan to watch it another two times, at least.

It really was one of the most ambitious and enjoyable movies I have seen in ages. I say ambitious because there are at least 30 big stars in Avengers Endgame, yet the Russo brothers who directed it did a marvelous job of giving every one sufficient screen time.

As for enjoyable, what can I say that other movie critics haven’t already said?

Such an awesome movie is a once-in-a-lifetime event. In some theaters, it has gotten standing ovations, or at least raucous applause. I left feeling totally satisfied.

Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been in existence for more than a decade, with Endgame being the 22nd movie in the three phases, it does conclude the interlinked stories quite satisfactorily.

Yes – spoiler alert – there are a few deaths among the Avengers, and one of two central figures still manages to have a happy ending to his colorful life. Time travel made it possible.

Movie fans have come to know and love the characters, and thankfully the Russos even found a way to have a Stan Lee cameo even if the creator of the Marvel universe passed away before filming was completed. Blink and you’ll miss it though.

The three-hour movie goes through numerous twists and turns, and there is a perfect blend of comedy and drama. And action, of course. The final action sequence has to be seen to be believed.

Watching that extended battle scene, I felt like a giddy 13-year-old fanboy seeing all those superheroes and villains come to life.

On a final note, I have always been a Marvel fan, but still enjoy some of the DC comics and movies. DC’s cinematic universe can never hope to match Avengers Endgame. They shouldn’t even try.

What they can do is create their own entertaining movie universe, and they have been taking the right steps of late.

I may or may not ever devote another column to a movie like Avengers Endgame. But this is definitely one film that I give a perfect score of 100 percent, as well as two thumbs up. Way, way up.