HOLLYWOOD—This is a big movie and I don’t just mean that in terms of the cast, but the epic conclusion and large time frame. Yes, it has been a movie more than 10 years in the making, a total of 22 films. Yes, “Avengers: End Game” has at long last arrived. The question that people keep asking me is if you need to see all 22 films to be prepared for this iconic conclusion.

The answer is NO, but you do indeed want to have a refresher of the three previous flicks in the “Avengers” universe. Specifically, seeing “Infinity War” will be crucial. You can skip “Age of Ultron” and the first entry into the franchise, but seeing the precursor to this conclusion will be vital to understanding all that is transpiring. Let me be crystal clear: “Avengers: End Game” is a long movie! It clocks in at 3 hours and 2 minutes to be exact. I’m someone that argues it’s really hard to keep a moviegoer’s attention after 120 minutes, even 150 minutes, when you reach 180 minutes you have to be careful because people get bored quickly.

I must say I was surprised by the pacing, which works quite well here. There is so much going on that the writers find a way to keep the attention of the audience without forcing you to lose interest. This is perhaps one of the most difficult reviews I’ve written in a long time because I don’t want to give any spoilers away to audiences, but our remaining heroes Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans) , Bruce Banner aka Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), and that foul-mouthed Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper) are at a loss for words.

They’ve just lost an epic battle to a villain to end all villains. Is Thanos the greatest villain we’ve seen in the comic book universe or on the big screen? Not quite, but he is a formidable foe and I give credit where it’s due. One would think the strongest hero of them all Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) could dethrone Thanos, but that ain’t the case. Its Nebula (Karen Gillan), Thanos’ adoptive daughter who holds key information to helping restore all to mankind.

All I will say is that time travel plays a massive role in the narrative and it is slightly complicated if you don’t stay focused. Will you have headaches trying to keep track of everything? No, but will it throw you for a loop. Yes, because it loses some points on the believability element, but this is a comic book flick so aligning with reality is not expected. Those Infinity Stones come back into play in a big way and some faces from the past come into play to help our heroes take out this titan.

Those players include Scott Lang aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), characters that deliver some laughs that are needed for a movie that while not completely dark, presents some grim circumstances. The action and fight sequences are grand in nature and there is a lot of emotion in this flick. We get to see some range from our heroes that is not always a given in the superhero universe and it’s a welcome change to say the least.

Do people die? I won’t actually spoil that revelation, but I will say there are some surprises that you don’t see coming and that tension draws the viewer into the movie that much more. The Russo brothers, who helmed this installment and “Infinity War” do a fine job of not allowing the flick to become a jumbled mess. There are a lot of players here and to balance a variety of storylines with action, and not giving something flat to the audience is not easy. I will not say I was surprised by how the movie turned out, but I will argue I did not expect it to be as satisfying considering the circumstances.

For those who did not get to see “End Game” during opening weekend (don’t feel bad there are plenty who didn’t), you still have time and it will be a ton of fun in the multiplex and is not to be missed.