Avengers: Endgame Review
Well, here it is. The film that concludes the Infinity Saga, the cumulation of 11 years of storytelling and world building, the sequel to the most successful movie of yesteryear, Endgame has finally hit the big screen. And oh boy, does it live up to the hype and deliver the goods.
Let’s rewind back to 2008. That year, Iron Man was released. A great standalone film, revitalized Robert Downey Jr’s career, but it was the stinger- the promise of the Avenger’s initiative, that was the harbinger of things to come. Later on, the Incredible Hulk would come out and its stinger featured RDJ as Stark, again promising a shared universe. But the properties were spread out across a host of media companies. The dream remained exactly that, just a dream.
Then in the next year something totally unexpected happened: Disney bought Marvel. That blew the doors wide open, and with the exception of a few characters whose rights couldn’t really be secured, the race was on.
The rest was history. The Avengers released in 2012 to critical and commercial acclaim. A sequel followed in 2015, and the third in the series came out just last year. Endgame then, has some big shoes to fill.
And fill them it does. Endgame is easily one of the top tier, if not the best film in the MCU outright. It brings together an incredibly huge and diverse cast of characters spanning 11 years into a whopping 3 hour long extravaganza that brings this iteration of the series to a satisfying conclusion. That is no mean feat, especially coming right after the critically and commercially acclaimed Infinity War and its own shocking conclusion.
MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
The movie starts with Hawkeye and his family. Predictably, they get dusted. It’s notable that they cut to the opening Marvel Logo after this scene, since all the MCU films opened with the Marvel Studios production logo. We then see Iron man with Nebula in space drifting about when they get rescued by Captain Marvel, who brings them to Earth. The rest of the Avengers get together, locate Thanos, and kill him. All within the first 30 minutes of the film, no less. Normally, this would be where movies would end, but really, Thanos has won. Half the universe is gone. So we get a five year timeskip, see the various Avengers dealing with the fallout and coping, when Scott Lang (Antman) is freed from the quantum zone by a passing rat, returns to the present and comes up with a plan to travel back in time and fix the devastation Thanos has wrought.
The result is a slow and unusually quiet first half of the film. We spend a lot of time looking at the Avengers not… doing superhero stuff. After all, the main villain won, even though he’s dead. Instead, we get quiet contemplation of how each Avenger deals with the consequences of the Snap.
It would be boring however, if the whole film was just about that and so in the second half we get a romp through what essentially is the greatest hits of MCU history (sans Thor 2). And oh boy, what fanservice it is. We see the same scenes from different angles, revisit key plot events and generally just enjoy the new takes on familiar classics.
The fanservice doesn’t let up once we get back to the present though. The climatic fight scene is possibly one of the most spectacular instances of superhero star power. When everyone comes back (because you know it happens) it’s hard not to cheer. Likewise when just incredibly unexpected and cool events happen (Cap wielding Mjolnir?! FUCK YES). The reward for watching these 21 movies beforehand really pays off as you see almost everyone beating the shit out of Thanos and his forces.
The humor is also top notch. Given that this is SHOULD be a relatively somber film now that half the cast is dead this is surprising. But a little levity goes a long way, and Marvel uses a LOT of it to offset what otherwise is a normally grim situation. Seeing far Thor for the first time. Watching Starlord badly dance and sing his way through the recreated opening of GotG. Rhodey pantomiming strangulating an infant Thanos. Stark saying a bad word in front of his daughter who then promptly repeats it- all display the trademark MCU sense of humor and makes that 3 hour runtime go by that much quicker.
But it all has to come to an end. This was a last hurrah for the original 6, in particular the 2 brightest stars in the MCU constellation. Robert Downey aJr and Chris Evans had been wanting out and this film serves as their final exit point from the Marvel superhero life. Cap gets the life he always wanted and Tony… he goes out a hero’s way. The unexpected death is Black Widow, given that she has her own movie, but hey, at least she gets her own film in the end.
It’s hard to say what comes after this. Endgame was such a monumental effort, a conclusion of such magnitude that it would be hard to see something of this scale attempted in the near future. With the purchase of Fox, and the inclusion of such characters as the X-men, Fantastic 4, and others, the universe (or multiverse) is wide open.
But this is a review about Endgame, not a speculation on Marvel’s future. Endgame is a triumphant end to the Infinity Saga, a fitting closure to the original Avengers, and a wonderfully crafted film in its own right. Do you maybe have to watch most if not all of the previous films to get the most out of this film? Of course. That’s the nature of the MCU.
And no, there’s no real stinger to speak of. Save your bladder (and bowels) the trouble.
Oh, and watch this in Imax or an equivalent format if you can. Not that Liemax bullshit either. You’ll thank me later.
CAN’T STOP WON’T STOP JPHIP
WRITTEN BY silogore