Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame
How do you wrap up 11 years of storytelling over 21 movies? Avengers: Endgame is the finale to an epic story that began with Iron Man in 2008. It’s not a film that stands on its own, but instead it’s a movie that would be a satisfying finale to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The reality is, no matter what I write this is a must for fans of Marvel’s epic tale. Even if it were a total disaster, the film would still make a fortune just so people can see how it all ends. The film pays that fan service rewording those would have stuck along throughout the decade. The film is both a final chapter and a “this is your life” walk through Marvel’s cinematic history.
Broken in to three distinct sections the film is a rollercoaster ride clocking in at a little over three hours. Once it’s all wrapped up, it’s clear why the film had to be three hours. There’s so much packed in, it’s difficult to keep track of everything and causes so much to be given so little focus. There’s so many boxes needed to be checked and strings to be weaved together, it’s an impressive accomplishment in achievement for that alone.
The film opens post events of Avengers: Infinity War with the world, and universe, dealing with Thanos’ actions. Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, the film surprisingly focuses on the emotion and adds layers to an already devastated world.
It would be easy for the team to just get together and charge after Thanos in hopes of fixing things but instead with a jump of five years there’s a conundrum presented. The world has changed, so how do you bring back those lost? Do you? And what happens if you change things? What would be lost? It’s a new spin on things and surprisingly deep, though not explored enough. What it does do is add layers to characters whose lives have been impacted for the positive. That begins to show the thought and intelligence having gone into the film.
The second part of the film is basically a heist film and the solution to the problem. The less said about that the better but it does dip into various open questions and also shows us some more Marvel history we’ve never seen before. Here, the fan service kicks up with winks and nods to the memes and moments that have become so popular.
That all leads up to the finale which is titanic in scope to the point there’s almost too much on the screen. So much, so little screen time. All together it feels like each actor being given their moment to shine and take their curtain call in their own various ways. And this is where the film feels like the “most Marvel” falling into the third act we’ve seen so many times before. This is on a level we haven’t seen before. More though, isn’t necessarily better. Unlike the battle in Infinity War, this one is specifically focused on moments bouncing around the screen like a pinball as the greater event goes on in the background to fill the screen.
There is a brilliance of that final act though. With a tight focus throughout the film as far as characters, when we get to that climax, there’s an explosion of excitement that hits you as to what you’re seeing and what’s being done. It’s the magician finally concluding the trick that’s been set up for 2 hours and it’s beyond satisfying with a sense of childlike wonder.
There’s nothing particularly bad about Avengers: Endgame. It’s a beyond satisfying conclusion over a decade in the making. And, if this were the end of it all, it’d be an amazing way to go out. But, in it’s Lord of the Rings like infinite endings, it reminds us that it’s just on piece in a massive puzzle and story. For as much as it is an ending, the film also sets up the next decade as it bounces around delivering more emotional moments and the next phase(s) of films.
Avengers: Endgame is a big screen spectacle that invites you to turn your brain off and enjoy it for what it is, a swan song and look to the future. It’s both an end and a beginning delivering emotional moments that pay off for long time fans and hopefully exciting them for what’s to come for years.
Overall Rating: 8.0