“Whatever It Takes”
(This is a spoiler-FREE review of the film)
The less you know about Avengers: Endgame before going into it the better. The trailers have been exceptionally vague and revealed almost nothing about the true nature of what this film is. Suffice to say that this review will be extremely vague but I will be giving my overall impressions of how this phase of the Marvel Universe has wrapped up without any hints or nudges towards what actually happens. If you won’t to avoid any information at all, then its best to avoid this review for now because you have already made up your mind on whether or not you’re going to the see the cinematic event of the century.
Endgame is the culmination of 22 films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is not an overstatement to say that there are massive expectations for this film to wrap over 10 years of storytelling while also delivering the emotional weight and action necessary for such an epic film. There has been so much setup to this film that its overwhelming to think about how everything could turn out so well, and yet the Russo Brothers have pulled it off yet again and created a fitting ending to one of the greatest risks in cinematic history.
Not only is this film a great action packed movie delivering everything that fans could have wanted and more, it delivers on the emotional impact of having given your time to these 22 films and allows you to feel something truly special for being a Marvel fan. This is quite possibly the best Marvel has ever created and regardless of how nitpicky or critical you are of its flaws (and there are a few), this is hands down my FAVORITE Marvel movie of all time.
One of the greatest elements in storytelling, in my opinion, is putting your hero up against the wall and seeing how they come back from rock bottom. The Dark Knight Rises executed it gloriously, and Iron Man 3 for the most part hit the mark. When we last off with the Avengers in Infinity War, they had lost badly. Half the universe wiped out and the responsibility falling on them for failing to have stopped Thanos. Now the remaining members need to band together and figure just what on earth they are going to do.
To say anything more about the plot of this movie would be spoiler territory as the marketing has been great in terms of what this film actually is. Going into this film, I had no idea what to expect. I had a few theories here and there, but what I got I can honestly say genuinely surprised me. Even if I had called a certain element to happen in the film, it wouldn’t play out in the way that I expected. It’s this constant subversion and breaking of expectations that keep this film so fresh and fun for me. I cannot say this enough, the more you stay away from spoilers from this film the better.
So then, what exactly makes Endgame so great without talking about its plot? That’s extremely hard to do, so keep an eye out for a spoiler review later but what I can talk about is the exceptional cast, the celebration of Marvel, and just the overall excitement I felt while watching the culmination of my favorite franchise.
Whereas Infinity War had the big scale team up of all the Avengers across all the movies, this movie wisely chooses to focus on up on the original six team members. It doesn’t focus on their powers or costumes, but rather the emotional impact that Thanos has left on them. They lost, and they carry that burden heavily. The movie really benefits from focusing on the emotional weight these characters feel throughout the runtime and it makes their mission seem more urgent. While the first act of the film can be slow for some people, I felt it was necessary to truly see where our characters were at.
Endgame makes the Avengers the most human they have ever been. While they are billionaires and gods, at the core they are just humans with very real wants and emotions to them. It was a refreshing change of pace to see them not suited up, but rather just dealing with the different burdens they have left on them. While some may find this section boring and it may drag on in future watches, I was intensely fascinated with the depth this film chose to have and it was a great set up for what was to come.
The film also takes some considerable risks for its characters, some of which I am still not so sure how I feel about. There was no middle ground either I really liked the direction or I was scratching my head as to why that had happened. Here’s the thing though, I have been asking for Marvel to take risks throughout these past 11 years so I can’t dock them for actually going there and trying something new. However, some fans may seem a little taken aback with the direction certain characters go. All in all, it did not detract from my experience of the film.
As I have said before, this is not only the end to the current Marvel universe but also a celebration of everything they have accomplished. This is a film that is made for the fans that have invested their time in this universe, dissecting every detail, and always rolling along with whatever happened. There are numerous callbacks to the entire franchise that it makes it fun to see some of these references and allow you to smile at just how far this series has progressed over the years. I was filled back up with my 12 year old self seeing the first Iron Man movie and now being 22 years old it brought back a lot of emotion and nostalgia that I felt I had earned over these years.
The action in this movie is…well…it’s off the walls amazing! Let me preface this with saying that Endgame is a more emotionally resonant and slower paced film than Infinity War was but that did not detract from how well the action is. Like I said, the movie builds to its greatest moments and that’s why the action feels so good when it goes down. Not only does Endgame build your anticipation for the action, but the course of 22 films have as well. Everything you have wanted to see as a Marvel fan and even things you weren’t expecting to see happens. It is glorious and brought real tears to my eyes at everything that happened.
There is a scene, again no spoilers, but there is one in particular I want to say something about. With Stan Lee’s untimely passing it made me very emotional to watch this one sequence play out. The reason being is that I just hope that Stan Lee saw this sequence before he passed so he knows how far his creative work has come in this world. This scene is one that was truly epic and you will definitely know it when you see it, and I hope that Stan Lee saw it because my gosh was it amazing.
There are flaws, no movie is perfect and there are definitely moments looking back that could have been better paced, done in a different way, or just cut out completely. Here’s the thing though: none of it bothered me. Yes I know the film starts out slow, yes some of the characters go in weird directions, and yes a lot of the ending is “fan-service”, but I don’t care about them. The film did everything I wanted it to do and more. It was never going to be perfect, but out of the 14,000,000 ways this movie could have gone down the Russo Brothers stuck the landing beautifully. The film had an emotional core to it, a great celebration of everything that has been accomplished, and everything I could have asked for from some of my favorite hero’s final appearances. I love Avengers: Endgame and yes it’s not perfect, but it is the most satisfying and gut-wrenching ending that I could have ever asked for.
Do you need to see all the films in order to enjoy this movie? Not necessarily but I will say the same thing that I did for Infinity War, If you have seen all of the movies your enjoyment of the film goes up 3,000 times. You can still enjoy the movie all though you may be very confused as to what they are doing, but this is a movie that is made for the loyal fans that have stuck through everything until the end. Your faith will be rewarded.
The movie also does not try to set up anything for the future and I loved that. There may be minuscule teases to what’s to come, but you are allowed to enjoy this movie for what it is and have it close out in the best way possible. You don’t need more setup, there have been 22 films of that, just enjoy the payoff you have here and now.
This is it, the Endgame, and it is fantastic. The last Avengers movie (for a while at least) wraps up the last 10 years beautifully in a glorious tribute filled with all the emotion and action that’ll keep you teeming with excitement. The story is unpredictable, the characters are the best they have ever been, and the action is quite possibly the most exciting it has ever been. This has been 22 years in the making and it does not disappoint. Each character gets their moment to shine and you won’t be disappointed with outcome. All though it is goodbye to this generation of Avengers, I will never forget what this franchise and these heroes have meant to me.
10/10 Emotionally Spectacular
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