On April 26th, 2019, Avengers: Endgame will premiere in IMAX and 3D. The Avengers and their allies will assemble in one last stand against Thanos, who destroyed half of all life in the universe in Avengers: Infinity War.
This is the 22nd film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, which has brought different plots, worlds and characters together in a truly incredible way. To get the most out of watching the movie, we suggest preparing your own gameplan and revisit previous MCU stories.
Choose Your Film Screening Order
You have two options when it comes to how you watch the action; release or chronological order. If you’ve never seen any of them before, or have only watched a few, release order is probably your best option.
You’ll get to see them the way that Marvel intended, meeting characters and learning about plot points at the right times. So once you’ve stopped admonishing yourself for not watching them before – it’s okay, you’re fixing it now – cue the films up in this sequence.
You might still choose the release order option if you are up to date on your MCU viewing, but chronological order can offer an interesting new perspective. By screening the movies so that MCU events unfold linearly, you’ll gain more insight into the relationships between key figures, and the overall narrative.
Storylines to Prioritise
In an ideal world, you’d get to watch all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe releases before Avengers: Endgame, no matter what order you chose. But that adds up to over 40 hours of viewing, and hardly anybody has that kind of time.
That’s why we suggest focusing on origin stories and films with major plot twists and points, rather than something that stands alone, or is purely character-driven such as The Incredible Hulk. Read summaries of these if you want to be thorough, but when it comes to what to watch, stick to what is important for continuity.
The MCU Movies You Have to Watch
Top of the list of non-negotiables here is the first Iron Man, and Avengers: Infinity War. Iron Man was the very first MCU release, and establishes the full context for the Universe. Infinity War shows the events leading into Endgame.
Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger are important for understanding where these characters are coming from, and why they do the things they do. You’re also shown a little of the universe beyond Earth, and the all-important Space Stone is introduced.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is especially significant for showing the budding romance between Vision and Scarlet Witch, and the brewing tension between Captain America and Iron Man. Both these relationships drive later parts of the storyline.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is just all-around brilliant, and also details the total destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D. so it’s pretty essential viewing. Guardians of the Galaxy should also not be missed, since it not only introduces the Power Stone, but gives audiences their first real look at Thanos too.
With so many world events and heroes featured, Captain America: Civil War most definitely deserves a look. Captain Marvel is a must-see, where we meet Carol Danvers and see parts of the MCU that haven’t ever been revealed before.
Finally, Ant-Man and Doctor Strange give you a better idea of how big the MCU is, and what the heroes are actually fighting for. The more fantastical elements of the Universe, such as magic, are also better explained. They’re not as essential as the other movies we’ve mentioned, but they’ll really enhance your enjoyment of Endgame.
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