Release date: April 26, 2019 (USA)
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Screenplay by: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Bradley Cooper, Josh Brolin.
What an emotional ride! Avengers: Endgame made me shake, laugh, gasp, tear up a little, and made me consider taking out my asthma inhaler.
The world tries to recover after Thanos made half of the living creatures in the universe disappear at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. After pyrrhic victory at the beginning of Avengers: Endgame, the Avengers are unable to move on. At least most of them. Or so it seems. A ray of hope appears with Ant-Man, and this will become first a “time heist”, and then the most spectacular superhero battle ever witnessed. DC will have a hard time topping that, so maybe their plans to make smaller or more experimental movies is a good idea. Also, unlike Infinity War, this is so not Thanos movie, Endgame is an Avengers movie through and through!
Avengers: Endgame brought many storylines to satisfying conclusions, specially character arcs. And while the film is indeed three hours long, you don’t feel it at all. Because the world, nay the universe (but we are focusing on Earth here of course), ended up in such a bleak situation in Infinity War, each minute was needed to fix it. Well, most of them.
The first act is slow, but necessary, since this is were most of the character development happens! We get to appreciate all the pain and loss reflected on heroic faces, who don’t look so heroic anymore. Most of them are in civilian clothing. And those who aren’t, are trying to do their part to maintain peace and order. Because the situation is an all time low, the Avengers feel the most human they ever had.
Once the ray of hope makes itself present, the second act picks up the pace significantly. It is definitely more action-packed, and it is a gift to all those fans who had stuck to the MCU since the beginning (and also those who came later!). This is where the comedy appears, but it is interwoven with the situations. The movie doesn’t stop for the jokes. Still, there’s a sense of desperate urgency, and the heroes are always in motion.
The third act is the last battle. And it delivers. It’s what’s been building up for 11 years, and you have to watch it in the big screen. It’s almost a whole hour of movie madness. That final action sequence was this movie’s pièce de résistance. Even if you are not here for the slow (but important) first act, the third act is worth the ticket price alone.
After all that action and excitement, we have an emotional epilogue, which shows us the farewells, torch passes, and new horizons.
Yes, Avengers: Endgame is full of fanservice, but it’s the good kind. Back to the Future references included! The film still manages to takes risks throughout its runtime. Though some end results were predictable, the “how we get there” was surprising. Also, this film already has some instant classic moments.
The cast was damn good across the board. And most characters had excellent moments. It was to be expected, most of the main cast had years inhabiting the skin of their respective characters. Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. played Steve Rogers and Tony Stark as the old pros they are, but this time both their humanity and their superhero persona were highlighted to heavens, and it was a delight to see. Chris Hemsworth’s Thor was both tragic and comedic gold in this. We have never seen him more vulnerable, and thus relatable. Mark Ruffalo was the one who had to do something new, and this fusion of the Bruce Banner and Hulk’s personas was both funny and painfully awkward. As for Scarlett Johanson and Jeremy Renner, they managed great chemistry between Natasha and Clint. Their pain, self-sacrifice and not-so-great coping mechanisms, were amazing to watch.
Rounding up the “time heist” team, we had Nebula, who gets a satisfying ending to her character arc, Rocket Raccoon who keeps getting excellent chemistry with Thor, Scott Lang who also had good comedic beats and some appropriate family melodrama, and Rhodey who kinda got the short end of a stick but he was there helping too.
Surprisingly, Captain Marvel, the most recent addition to the MCU, didn’t have much to do. But she was there when she was needed, and had such an amazing scene with all the MCU heroines that I couldn’t help but cheer.
Most other characters had minor roles, but since this film had so many of them, they were either there in entertaining or poignant scenes from the “time heist” part, or magnificently kicking ass in that overwhelming final battle.
That said, there was one main character whose characterization suffered, and it was Thanos. He was less complex and fascinating than in Infinity War, except for that glimpse at the beginning. Then again, this Thanos is not exactly the same we saw in Infinity War.
Besides Thanos, the one obvious negative was pacing. Infinity War was better paced and more cohesive. Like it was mentioned before, the first act is indeed slow for set-up reasons, but there were some scenes that felt kinda unnecessary. That said, Endgame is more emotional satisfying. I would say the two movies compliment each other well.
Avengers: Endgame may not get a perfect score, but after 11 years and 21 movies, it totally sticks the landing. This is indeed the movie event of a generation, and I sure hope it reaches those James Cameron movie’s box office numbers. Which it should, because if you care about comicbook movies in general, or the MCU in particular, this movie needs to be seen at least twice. Specially so you can appreciate that magnificent last battle better, now that your feels have calmed down. Yes, I have mentioned that last battle a lot, and that’s because it deserves it. It’s what all comicbook fans want from a big budget comicbook movie. The MCU raised the bar, and it must be acknowledged.
And now we wait for Spider-Man: Far From Home to see the end of “The Infinity Saga”.
P.S.: For the first time in forever, no after credit scenes! That said the film has plenty of teases for Phase 4, and the Marvel TV series we’ll get from Disney+. It seems the MCU won’t be slowing down any time soon.