As Dr. Strange said in Infinity War, “We’re in the endgame, now.” After an 11-year, 22 film saga, Avengers: Endgame has the daunting task of wrapping up this era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only did it succeed in tying together a decade’s worth of characters and storylines, but Endgame delivers a satisfying conclusion that rewards fans for their dedication.
*Note: This review will be as spoiler-free as possible. No major plot points will be revealed. I believe in #DontSpoilTheEndgame.*
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame picks up where Infinity War left off. Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, War Machine, Rocket, and Nebula were the only major heroes who survived Thanos’s snap, which wiped away half the universe’s population. Down and seemingly out, the Avengers receive a much-needed ally in the form of Captain Marvel. The Avengers seek to reverse the damage done by Thanos and bring back half the universe’s population. Sounds simple, right?
The film succeeds in the fact that it answered so many questions that have been lingering throughout the MCU up until this point. However, it’s far from perfect. My biggest gripe is the beginning of the film. The first act of the film sets the scene for life after Thanos and explains how the survivors live in a desolate world. The film has a run-time of 3 hours and 1 minute so the film did not rush at all in terms of giving the appropriate backstory. However, it wasn’t almost too much backstory and not enough planning to defeat Thanos. If this movie trimmed it’s runtime by about 20 minutes and sped up some of the beginning, it would have been perfect.
That being said, once the Avengers picked up Ant-Man and Hawkeye (now Ronin) towards the end of the first act, Endgame begins to hit its stride. The scene in the trailer where the Avengers assemble while wearing the Quantum Realm suits is where this movie took off. The final two acts were immensely entertaining and turned my theater into Yankee Stadium after a walk-off home run with all the cheering and clapping.
What impressed me the most about Endgame was the balanced mix of dramatic and comedic bits. This is a Marvel movie so you’re guaranteed to get a bunch of superheroes using their powers in elaborate fighting scenes, which is awesome. However, I didn’t expect to laugh as much as I did. In particular, Thor’s evolution from a serious, semi-charming god to a witty, fun-loving superhero has been spectacular. Huge credit should go to Taika Waititi, the director of Thor: Ragnarok, for showing that Thor can be much more than a god with a hammer. Chris Hemsworth is a movie star in every sense of the word and this version of Thor is his best work.
I keep coming back to the word, “satisfying,” to perfectly describe Avengers: Endgame. Part of the reason why fans relate to these movies so much is the films’ ability to deal with common themes despite incorporating supernatural elements. The feeling of loss and regret in Infinity War is channeled into revenge and resilience in Endgame, which is felt by not only the heroes in the movie, but the audience in the theater. Endgame ties up many storylines and gives fans exactly what they have wanted for a decade. However, it also poses new questions for the future of the MCU, which is fairly unknown at this point.
Avengers: Endgame will make you laugh and cry, but most importantly, you’ll be rewarded for your patience. I’m not sure where the MCU goes from here, but if there’s one thing Marvel needs from us, it’s trust. After witnessing Avengers: Endgame, trust is exactly what they deserve.