Juliet Jolley’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's the most “Marvel” Marvel movie in the best way possible and it's so close to perfect.
Very tight script with iconic as fuck dialogue. “It's alright, you could never hurt me,” absolutely gutted me. Very exhausting movie when you know the outcome, but a very tense movie in early viewings. Did Endgame sour this one?
Yes and no. There are great moments in this. When Cap shows up I can't help but smile. I love so many of the little interactions, it's so fun. The action sequences! Ah!
Minor nitpicks out of the way first: Oops, some of it looks like shit! I blame it on the Marvel factory of making these as fast as possible, but the CG here is the best looking of the whole “phase.” It's down mostly to the green screen (pin in that for later) and it's a shame that the Mandalorian technology didn't come out a few years earlier because this movie could really use it. Every time someone's body meshes with a CG element (examples: Mark Ruffalo in the Hulkbuster, Rhodey in the War Machine armor, Tony's face behind a broken helmet, any time Thanos touches a person) it doesn't work. Mark Ruffalo sucks! Alan Silvestri bring back MCU themes challenge, he literally only for it for Wakanda. Not a fan of the League of Legends dumbass aliens. What's with the design school of random angular shapes and lines, it's ugly. Maybe when you try your hardest to make sci-fi look as not-Star Wars as possible it looks kinda ugly.
Okay, no more nitpicks, my main problem with this movie (as well as Endgame) comes down to the fact that it doesn't feel like a movie. And yeah, it's an event movie, that's part of the script, but the Russos do this cool thing where scale, distance, and environment are conveyed either really badly or not conveyed at all. It gives the feeling of, ”oh it's a green screen and then a CG set,” we hardly get to know our environments or the scale of things. The movie is one constant shaky action sequence that's more focused on character interactions and action than it is on exploring the environments of this space opera.
So much of it is hidden by depth of field, I feel sorry for these set designers whose work is barely visible and entirely incomprehensible. Look at Thanos's big chair room: you got a big chair, water, and a detailed moving sci-fi wall that only exists in a blurred background behind Zoe Saldana's blue screen footage. Titan looks cool! Too bad all of it takes place in a generic 20 square foot space of debris. The only time this movie has a sense of scale and geography is in the Wakanda fight. So many of the scenes are just medium shots of actors that feel like green screen. The worst offender of this is the entire time at Nidavellir, nothing feels tangible or real but it's all due to the way it's shot. Shit, even Tony and Pepper's conversation in the park looks fake. This emphasis on action and dialogue over environment and tangibility adds to the feeling of “event” that this and Endgame have.
The only shot I can think of that doesn't follow this is the shot of Tony on a bench in the Sanctum Sanctorum and that's about it. It feels like backdrops for character moments instead of an epic space opera. Just a strange, feverish experience all around.
This all being said, cool movie. Oh also Chris Pratt in this movie pisses me off, idk why, please stop letting people other than James Gunn direct the Guardians. Uhhhh good movie?