Film Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Dir: Russo Bros
Starring: Everyone, really.
Runtime: 3hr1min
Rating: PG-13
Spoiler level: Light (ANY MAJOR SPOILERS WILL BE BELOW A CUT)

20190425_172726_HDR.jpgAt last, the moment Marvel fans have been waiting for is finally upon us – the hotly-anticipated sequel to 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and the culmination of a 22-film saga that began with 2008’s Iron Man has been released for eager audiences to devour. Avengers: Endgame is an epic three-hour adventure that offers an explosive, entertaining, and emotional ending to  the first major chapter of a steadily expanding film universe.

Avengers: Endgame follows the remaining non-dusty Avengers in the post-Snap world as they come to terms with Thanos’s actions and seek to inject hope into their seemingly-dismal circumstances.

There were several things that Endgame needed to accomplish on the heels of the dramatic Infinity War, and hundreds of dangling threads to tie together from multiple movies in the franchise. I don’t know how the Russo brothers, the writers, and everyone who works on these films does it, but somehow, some way, they managed to balance out fan-service, humor, heart, action, a balanced narrative, and a multitude of characters and their interactions in a huge film universe to create a thrilling and satisfying conclusion. Sure, some folks can probably nitpick and find a stone or two left un-turned, but of all the factors fans expected this film the deliver, the most important is probably closure. And though certain fans may disagree with how certain events played out, this film felt complete when the credits began to roll.

Of course, the core of the Avengers are the original squad, with RDJ as Iron Man / Tony Stark, Chris Evans as Captain America / Steve Rogers, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk / Bruce Banner, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow / Natasha Romanoff, and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye / Clint Barton. They’ve been with us the longest, have fought the most battles, and have established themselves as characters who are important to fans, and have had a lasting impact on audiences. Appropriately, much of the spotlight centers on them this time around – not entirely on them, because there are a lot of characters to give screen-time to, but primarily on them – and it gives each a chance to show how far their characters have come since their initial appearances. And by the end, each of their journeys feels finished, their arcs complete, their characters fully-developed.

Endgame delivers the usual Marvel staples – witty banter and memorable quotes, bombastic fight scenes and action sequences, stunning visuals, and throwbacks to prior films and other Marvel lore. It’s all too easy for MCU films to rely on hallmarks and a successful formula – I mean, if it works, it works – but even 22 films deep, this installment offers up twists and surprises. Some familiar, but perhaps unexpected faces show up. Some plot points seem predictable, but take jarring detours. Even the expected events are engrossing. It didn’t feel like I was sitting in a movie theater seat for three hours, and not once did I think, “Is it over yet?” I laughed, I sat in open-mouthed shock, and yes… there were tears. And when it was over, the fan in me was so happy to have been along for the entire ride, and I’m excited to see where the MCU goes next.

For a film series that has been churning out successful film after successful film, barreling forward and building momentum since 2008, Endgame offers a finale that is sure to keep audiences engaged from start to finish. The MCU has experienced some bumps in the road and has battled through fatigue in order to keep viewers in their seats, but they have also proven the merit of superhero films time and time again, and when it matters most, they deliver the closure that the Infinity Saga needs.

Overall rating: 10/10

***********UNDER THIS ARE THE SPOILERS, BEWARE, STOP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS!!!!! THERE IS A READ MORE THING UNDER THIS BUT I KNOW IT SOMETIMES DOESN’T WORK, SO HERE IS YOUR WARNING!!!!!*************

There’s so much to say, but I’m going to keep it brief and just talk about the big things.

I love Ant-Man even more than I did before – Paul Rudd does an incredible job. Everyone delivers stellar performances, especially the original members, and I am consistently amazed at how great Karen Gillan is as Nebula.

I predicted the “time heist” plot, but was still surprised at how well they pulled it off. Time travel can easily succumb to cliched pitfalls, but Marvel has a way of making even the most ridiculous plots seem plausible, melding the outrageous nature of comic books and the more grounded film universe into something real world audiences can connect with, and they aren’t afraid to poke fun at themselves along the way. Taking out Thanos at the beginning was also an unexpected twist that is sure to keep some viewers guessing as to what could possibly happen at the end.

Best hair award is a tie between Jeremy Renner and Brie Larson. Oh, and young Michael Douglas.

I have to watch this film again just to see the final battle because I’m sure I missed bits and pieces of it while focusing on other parts. I saw it in IMAX 3D, so it’s a big screen to cover. Valkyrie was badass – I so hope she shows up again. Loved seeing the women lead a charge against Thanos, and every character contributing in the final face-off in their own way was amazing to witness. Everyone gets their time to shine and it all works seamlessly.

Oh my god, Thor was amazing. His character has changed so much since his first solo film in the best possible way, and if he really is going to be a new addition to the Guardians franchise, I am all for it.

Finally hearing “Avengers…. ASSEMBLE!” was iconic.

Losing Nat was hard, but I loved how they did it. Her and Barton duking it out over who would make the leap was gut-wrenching, but gave her character a fitting end. Johansson nailed it, as did Renner – their emotion was palpable. Glad we will still get a solo film for Black Widow at long last, though it will obviously be a prequel.

I figured we would lose either Tony or Steve, but as the plot unfurled, it became clear that it was going to be Tony. His confrontation with Steve at the beginning, Pepper encouraging him to take a risk, his conversation with his father in the past… it was sad, but it was right, and it closed his character arc in a satisfying way. RDJ absolutely knocked it out of the park. Tony finally began to see the world the way that Steve does, and understood the perspective that risking it all is worth it if it will do the greatest good. In turn, Steve honors Tony by finally pursuing the life he was denied so long ago, and passing on his shield to a worthy recipient. Their characters have been at odds at times, but ultimately, they contribute to the other’s development in a meaningful way. And it was handled so, so well. Hats off to RDJ and Chris Evans for defining these characters and bringing them to life onscreen for so long, and seeing it through to this brilliant end.

The credits were fantastic, as was the last Stan Lee cameo.

Really, I can’t wait to see it again and pick out all the things I missed.

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Film Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Add yours

  1. I am still. so. shook. The way Endgame pays off all the films that came before is SO unprecedented and staggering, I am dumbstruck by the entire endeavor. I don’t know how you managed to write this splendid review because I can hardly get my thoughts together. I honestly don’t know what to do with myself except pour through every write-up I can find lol.

    Spot on about Paul Rudd. I love that in the midst of the original six, the film sets aside ample time for Rudd’s performance. Karen Gillan, too. If Gamora was the unexpected heart and soul of Infinity War, then Nebula is Endgame’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think this film is so hard to discuss because there’s both so much to talk about, and yet, not enough. I am also shocked at how well it lived up to the hype and didn’t crack under the burden of sky high expectations. I can’t imagine a better send off for this phase of the MCU, and for the characters we’ve had to say goodbye to.

      My friend and I were talking after the movie and both said that we always forget how great Karen Gillan is until we see her again, and she steps it up everytime. In the wake of this film, Guardians 3 will be verrrrry interesting!

      Can’t wait to see your full review if you post one!!! But you’re so right – it is not easy to encompass everything that needs to be said, lol.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: