It’s finally here, the closing chapter of an unprecedented 11-year, 22-film journey that began in 2008 with a C-list Marvel hero, a washed-up movie star and the director of Elf. And make no mistake, Avengers: Endgame is the definitive conclusion to the Marvel Cinematic Universe up to this point and it’s difficult to imagine a more fitting one.
As far as the story here goes, it’s difficult to be specific without giving anything away. Avengers: Endgame‘s massive marketing campaign has been tight-sealed for reasons. Even explaining basic plot points would be risking saying too much. In light of this, my review is going to be as vague as possible; like, outer regions of the known galaxy vague.
Avengers: Endgame trends towards three distinct genres depending on the act. The first act is a melancholy, dialogue-heavy drama featuring the heroes who survived Thanos’ decimating snap at the end of Infinity War. They are now broken and lost, struggling to find purpose in a post-superhero world. This identity crisis unearths sides of the original Avengers that we have never seen before in a decade of getting to know these characters. That coupled with universally powerful performances from every member of this all-star cast inform some of the most emotionally resonate exchanges in the series.
A lot of the credit here goes to screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Together they quietly built the framework for the overarching narrative that began with the first Captain America movie and spans all the way through to its resounding resolution in Endgame. Just when we think we know these heroes, Markus and McFeely surprise us by excitingly and unexpectedly peeling back yet another layer of complexity, which makes each new film and revelation wholly relevant to the larger picture.
The second hour of Avengers: Endgame plays like a heist thriller with staggering stakes. Though it thoroughly relies on a narrative device that I am not a fan of, the way the film utilizes it in such a fun and unique way that it never felt bothersome. Instead, the second hour felt more like a geeky tribute to the previous decade of Marvel films that will undoubtedly put a smile on the faces of moviegoers who have been following the series for years. Though this hour is wackier and more action-packed than the first, directors Joe and Anthony Russo keep the emphasis on the characters, offering each compelling moments which further their individual arcs.
The final hour of Avengers: Endgame is perhaps the most satisfying hour of any Marvel film and maybe any superhero film ever. It largely consists of the high-octane superhero sci-fi fantasy action that we’ve come to expect from one of these films. Every few minutes is punctuated by some unexpected, sweaty fan service that in some form or fashion pays something off from either earlier in Endgame or a previous Marvel film. Never has the scope of the cinematography, the score, the action or the character moments been bigger than they are during this last act.
Avengers: Endgame does what a great finale should. It gives meaningful and heartfelt closure to numerous character arcs and ongoing storylines while providing added contextt to even the smallest moments from throughout the Marvel cinematic universe. Though there are some technical inconsistencies the film demonstrates with its own rules, I can’t say that I was ever taken out of the movie because of them. When the credits rolled, I found that I was more than willing to take whatever flaws this film had to give if it also meant keeping the film that it ultimately wound up being. Can you say anything better about a movie?
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 (out of five)
Have you had a chance to check out Avengers: Endgame yet? If so, what did you think? Do you agree with me or do you have a different point of view? Sound off in the comments below and let me know your experience with the film!