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Why is ‘Avengers: Endgame’ 3 Hours Long? Has God Truly Abandoned Us?

Avengers: Endgame is coming to theaters on April 26 and by all accounts you’re going to be in that theater until the sun goes red giant and engulfs the Earth because this movie is going to be over three hours long. Seriously. AMC Theaters briefly had the 182 minute runtime on their website and it was tweeted by Fandango as well.

What fresh hell is this? Keep in mind that this is just the second part of the last movie which ended at the all is lost moment, which is sort of towards the end of act two structurally. All that’s left is the Dark Night of the Soul, the Break Into Three and the Finale. How do I know that’s how it’s going to be structured? Because there have been 20 Marvel movies and every one of them has followed Blake Snyder’s beat sheet from Save the Cat! basically to the minute and they fired Edgar Wright from Ant-Man basically because a group of comic book writers thought he wasn’t following it closely enough.

Actually, I might be wrong, because if you consider Avengers: Infinity War to be a movie about Thanos and not The Avengers then it actually follows Snyder’s beat sheet to the letter as well. So I guess the set-up to Endgame is half the world is dead and the catalyst will be some way to change it and we’re going to have to go on the whole hero’s journey again because they think they can top “Thanos killed half the population of the universe” as an all is lost moment.

Is this runtime good news to anyone, though? Did any one of you see that Endgame is going to be three hours long and go “Awesome!” and not “ugh”?

And that’s not to say that long movies are bad. Kill Bill is somewhere in the neighborhood of four hours long and it is great from start to finish. It’s actually better as a single four-hour movie than two separate movies because of the way Tarantino front-loads the action in his films and uses the back half for slower plot resolution. As two movies, Kill Bill is the best action movie ever made and Kill Bill 2 is a long soliloquy from David Carradine. The Hateful Eight also has a runtime of 187 minutes, but there isn’t a single second that’s wasted. Does anyone think Endgame will play out similarly? I sure don’t.

Not that I think Endgame is going to be a bad movie; Marvel’s films are so formulaic (and I showed you the formula) that they basically run the gamut from “just okay” to “good but not great.” If you were giving them letter grades, they all fall somewhere between a B- and a B+. I’m sure it’ll be fine, but a three hour run time for a popcorn flick is just… indulgent. Ask DC.

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