I saw Avengers: Endgame yesterday. This review is spoiler-free because you need to see it for yourself. It’s simply too epic to have me ruin it for you in a review.
Endgame is everything I dreamed it would be and more. It’s three hours that pulls together threads from twenty-one other movies, completes some character’s arcs and launches others into new and exciting directions. Endgame is a complex and deeply satisfying conclusion to the story that began with Iron Man almost eleven years ago.
The film brings closure to last year’s Avengers: Infinity War in the most fun way possible. Endgame is a story bursting with the ways the Avengers attempt to solve the issue of half the Universe being snapped away by Thanos. While their main plan is fairly obvious, the fun is in the surprising ways that other plans are executed. I can’t go much further without venturing into spoilers, but I will say that there are plenty of moments to cheer, moments to make you gasp, and moments where you’ll probably shed a few tears.
The last 11 years of Marvel movies that laid the groundwork for this film are not forgotten. There are some great moments from the past that get fresh attention, and it’s awesome! The film is once again directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, and the script was written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. These individuals have an incredibly ambitious story that somehow tops anything done by Marvel to date. The plot knows what the stakes are for these characters and piles on the complications for our heroes. Things don’t go smoothly, there are no easy answers, and what answers they do get come with some very difficult consequences. It is three hours long, but it flies by at a brisk pace and leaves no room for a bathroom break, so hit the restroom right before you go into the theater.
Endgame primarily focuses on the original Avengers but leaves plenty of room for other characters. Each of our heroes is pushed to their breaking point and we see Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor, and Hawkeye sent on huge journeys that will transform them in unexpected and mostly satisfying ways. The greater the hero, the greater the challenge must be for them to overcome, and the Russo brothers, Christopher Markusm, and Stephen McFeely laid out a plot so intricate and delicate, it is remarkable that they pulled it off and stuck the landing. Almost all characters get a moment or two to shine, but at its heart, Endgame is a love letter to the original Avengers team.
The directing talent of the Russo brothers is on full display here, as they stage huge and impressive set pieces that never cause the audience to lose track of where characters are or become too overwhelming to the senses. The action is fast and furious and there are moments that will make audiences cheer with glee. It was the quiet moments though where the film deals emotional punches that I will remember the most. And almost every emotional beat feels honest and earned. It helps when you have great actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans. Jeremy Renner was especially powerful as Hawkeye.
There are some moments where the plot plays out with little or no explanation. And there are some characters who don’t have the impact that most expect that they will. In the grand scheme of things though, these are small items to nitpick. I have very few issues with Endgame. It’s a movie that manages to tell multiple storylines without dragging, it never loses the audience, and doesn’t feel rushed at all.
With Avengers: Endgame being the culmination of eleven years and twenty-one movies, fans want a satisfying conclusion of epic proportions and they get one. Endgame manages to conclude a complex and wonderful adventure with an actual ending while launching characters into new and interesting directions. The future and the playing field is wide open and fans will no doubt be debating the future after they leave the future. See Endgame on the biggest screen you can, bring some tissues, and enjoy the ride. Thank you Marvel Studios, I can’t wait to see where we go next.