AGE OF “AVENGERS”

Just slightly over ten years since Marvel has started to introduce their universe to the big screen in their first superhero movie Iron Man, MCU has managed to evolve from the comic books subculture to a global cultural phenomenon which calls for an adequate apprehension. Marvel’s universe is currently functioning as basically the biggest and most epic series in contemporary cinema history, and the Avengers franchise has grown to become the backbone of the whole thing – something that not only brings the certain famous comics’ characters together but also serves as the heart of the matter that really unites all the universe’s plotlines. So much so, that some of the “solo” installments of MCU at times come across as “filler” episodes, the conflicts of which would only get truly resolved in the next film of the Avengers series.  The emotional center of the Avengers franchise – and something that really distinguishes it from its main rival DC Comics (where beautiful people also wear a lot of colorful latex) – is the collection of insecurities, inhibitions and frustrations that a lot of MCU characters exhibit, which makes them so relatable to the audience in all of the world. 
 
The previous installments in the franchise, The Avengers, Age of Ultron and Infinity War all make use of pathos – in a classic aesthetic sense, but at the same time they eagerly play around with different genre traditions – from comics to epos; from comedy and gags to quite dramatic reenactments of relevant social statements. The main characters of the Avengers franchise – in both Joss Whedon’s first and second films and Anthony and Joe Russo’s version – are all formally superheroes, but not necessarily super humans.  In the diverse gang where someone can fly, someone is green, someone is dressed in tight spandex, and the most genuinely heroic hero serves as the main target for others’ jokes, not so many of them are really interested in saving the world, so most of the characters spend their screen time trying to solve their inner existential problems in the context of some really big global disaster. Worth mentioning that the antagonists that the Avengers have to face are also of a curious variety – not so much classic villains, but also insecure lost souls who strive to save something only to end up destroying it and everything in their path. And that is the context that makes the fourth installment in the Avengers franchise – Avengers: Endgame, which will also be screened along with the previous movies at 41 MIFF – not only a highly anticipated feature, but also an incredibly timely one. 
 
Olga Artemyeva