Avengers: Endgame accomplishes many things. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo take stories that were introduced more then a decade ago, starting with Iron Man, and tie them up rather nicely. There are some serious geek out moments peppered throughout. It also sets the stage for future films and potential stories and characters we will see down the road. There’s a lot to take in, but it never feels overwhelming. At a run-time of 3 hours and 1 minute (that minute is extremely important you know), Endgame is a love letter to the MCU and its fans.
At the end of Infinity War, we witnessed Thanos do the unthinkable. With the snap of his finger, half of all living creatures were wiped from the face of existence. When Endgame begins, things look bleak. The Earth that we remember is a distant memory now. Abandoned cars line the streets. Baseball stadiums are empty. There are support groups for people that lost someone during the “snap”. Our heroes aren’t the same as we remember them either. They’re broken and damaged. Endgame definitely has its lighthearted moments (because it’s a Marvel movie) but most of the time it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are dealing with the fact that they couldn’t pull off a win, and it shows.
Without giving anything away, the remaining Avengers need to figure out a plan in order to reverse the damage that was done. If they weren’t going to try… well we wouldn’t have a movie. Endgame is the first time I’ve ever felt any tension in a MCU film. Sure, Infinity War was a wild ride, but we knew that the events from that film were somehow going to be reversed or dealt with because we knew Endgame was coming. Spider-Man already has a new movie coming out so they’re obviously bringing people back from the dead. Even with that in mind going into Endgame, there truly feels like there are real stakes and lives on the line this time. There are consequences to characters actions. They will literally do “whatever it takes” to get the job done. It’s refreshing, and breathes new life into a decade long franchise that I feel can carry on for decades to come.
With these damaged characters that we’ve grown to love, quirks and all, Endgame allows a few of the actors to push their limits. Specifically, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Paul Rudd. They each bring emotional weight to their characters circumstances. We get to see them at their most vulnerable and this allows them to grow. Because so much is on the line, there are some serious tear jerker moments. Numerous people in the theater my family and I were in were full on crying. I don’t think any Marvel film has had that privilege before.
While I’ve given props to how emotional this film and its characters can be, Endgame has its fair share of laughs and great moments. There are so many tiny details that long time fans of the MCU will pick up on. It’s like a buffet for the senses. You get to see who survived the snap and you won’t be disappointed. Watching these characters come together to defeat Thanos is a sight to behold and I promise you’ve never seen anything like it. You’ll be geeking out long after the movie has ended.
My only gripes with the film can’t really be considered as justifiable. There are some moments where logic doesn’t exist, especially with the way in how the Avengers think they can bring the “vanished” back (it’s amazing how they do it and there is some serious fan service if you’ve watched all the films), but in a film where talking raccoons and a dude called Ant-Man exist, you just have to buckle up for the ride and not worry too much about logic.
Overall, I couldn’t be any happier with how Endgame turned out. As it stands right now, this could be considered the greatest comic book movie ever made. We haven’t seen anything of this magnitude on the big screen before. Congratulations to all involved, especially producer Kevin Feige, as this is a huge cinematic achievement. Avengers: Endgame is a fantastic conclusion for its beloved characters that were introduced 10+ years ago. – NVJ