It’s been over 10 years and 22 films in the making, and Marvel Studios’ epic tale of the Mad Titan, Thanos, and his Infinity Gauntlet finally comes to an epic conclusion with Avengers: Endgame. For the sake of everyone involved, this review will try to remain as spoiler-free as possible, being overly vague in areas and speaking more on the impact of the film — and the series — and less on specific details. Thank you for understanding.
Avengers: Endgame opens up in Missouri while the events of Infinity War are still going on, then jumps ahead to 21 days after the Decimation, the ominous moniker given to Thanos’ devastating finger snap. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) are adrift in the Guardians’ ship, the Benatar, running out of food and oxygen. On Earth, the surviving Avengers, Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), along with Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and newcomer Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), are still evaluating the devastation and loss of half of the world’s — and universe’s — population.
Tony and Nebula make it back to Earth and rejoin their comrades, and together they begin the search for Thanos (Josh Brolin) to get the Infinity Stones back to make things right. This begins an epic journey through space and time as the heroes not only try to end Thanos, but reverse the Decimation and make the world right again by doing, “whatever it takes.”
I’m being intentionally vague there, and that’s as far as I’ll go for any kind of recap, as Avengers: Endgame is packed with huge, epic moments, and they’re not all what you think they might be. Even the quietest conversations between two people can carry immeasurable weight, and the script by MCU veterans Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely finds ways to make these moments as big as any battle scene. Endgame overflows with these moments, big and small, and there are so many great call backs to EVERY Marvel Cinematic Universe film that precedes this one.
After a slower, quieter start than what audiences experienced with Avengers: Infinity War, things begin to really ramp up in the extended second act of Avengers: Endgame, and so does the fun factor. In fact, if you are reading this now, before seeing the film, just go on ahead and buy tickets to another showing. Trust me on this; you will want to see this one a few times in theaters.
By the time the third act rolls around, directors Joe and Anthony Russo are on absolute fire, and they are driving Avengers: Endgame like they stole it. The third act is nothing but epic moment after epic moment that comic book and comic book movie fans have waited our whole lives for. I’m not ashamed to admit I cried quite a few times during this screening, and even had to take two hours after the credits rolled and the house lights came up to compose myself and gather my thoughts. Not because I was sad, mind you, but because everything I was seeing on screen was just so — Perfect.
All of the main characters — and there are a great many — get their moments, and even Thanos went from being a character that was bad, but with good intentions in Infinity War, to a pure bastion of evil here in Endgame. This is the Thanos that we’ve been waiting for. There is no sympathy for this devil.
What Marvel Studios has done in the last 11 years is unprecedented in visual storytelling. After 2008’s Iron Man, Kevin Feige and company set out with a plan, and Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of all of that planning. Sure, the timelines through the 22 films that make up this complete saga have not always gelled correctly, and things have been retconned on the fly in many cases, but for comic fans, this is not new to us. So we let it slide in the hopes of the execution of the bigger picture, and Avengers: Endgame is the end result — and the fulfillment of those hopes. This is the movie that fans new and old have waited for, and the Russos, and McFeely and Markus, and Kevin Feige, they all came through in the end.
I will go out on a limb and say that Avengers: Endgame, in its epic comic book movie perfection, is the pinnacle of what can be done with a story like this. There can be other crossovers in the future, and even bigger baddies than Thanos. I mean, just wait until you meet The Beyonder or Galactus, but those stories, if they are to be told in the next decade or two, can not and will never do what Avengers: Endgame has done.
This, my friends, is the absolute perfect comic book movie and no other comic-book-based film will every be able to replicate what was done here. This is the film that every other comic book movie will be compared to until the end of time. Enjoy it. Feel the real emotions in the various story beats. Let the intense action on-screen melt your face off. Cheer and laugh and, yes, cry. Avengers: Endgame is the perfect end to the amazing film series, and we will never see anything of this magnitude ever again.
Avengers: Endgame is in theaters worldwide on April 26. Also, there are no end-credits scenes or stingers, so don’t feel like you need to stay all the way through until the house lights come up.
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