A triumphant conclusion
Avengers: Endgame (2019): After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos' actions and restore order to the universe.
What a way to go out. The conclusion of the Marvel's ambitious 11 year plan that began with 2008’s Iron Man can be described with a multitude of glowing superlatives: triumphant, dramatic, nostalgic, emotional, and most of all: entertaining. It's hard not to overlook how captivating it is to watch a film with a billion dollar budget unfold in front of your engrossed eyes. For all its faults, Endgame is still the final result of the most (seemingly) unattainable project in cinema history, and for every time my cynical side came out watching the same rules established in this wildly flawed universe be broken over and over because, “plot,” (remember when it took 5 people just to hold one Infinity Stone?) I found myself internally screaming with glee. One thing's for sure: Marvel saved the best for last.
Ok so as I jump into what I liked and disliked, know I'll do the best I can to avoid spoilers. But, let's be real: if you truly don't want anything spoiled for you, stop reading now and come back after you've seen the film. It is worthwhile joining the other billion people that will watch this film in the theater, so do yourself a favor and do that and come back. Get it? Got it? Good. So. By FAR my biggest complaint of this film is what the Russo brothers did to its once-great villain. The previously complex Thanos is reduced to little more than a psychotic madman: a villain who simply wants to watch the world burn because he feels like it. Had we not already experienced Infinity War, Thanos would've been just as forgettable as the many one-dimensional Marvel villains that preceded him, simply more overpowering. Like, hilariously OP. Additionally, since I'm cynical and leading with this film's faults, the film does drag in its first act. This film is a HARD 3 hours, and if you're not a die-hard Marvel fan that's watched every film and knows every line, you may find yourself rather bored early on. As the film tugs on your nostalgic strings, it will leave those behind that haven't taken the time to watch the other 22 films in the giant MCU.
That said, there's no denying that if you have been with this bloated franchise since the beginning, you're gonna love every second of this. Cynical Joe was in the backseat during this film's wild and unparalleled final act. While it takes a gratuitous amount of time to reach this film's pulse-pounding climax, when it arrives the payoff is 10+ years in the making. We may never see an action sequence like this ever again. The embodiment of unforgettable filmmaking, it's a sequence that's overarching and bloated yet somehow managed to be emotional and poignant. It is the single best action sequence this franchise has to offer by a considerable margin and one I'll be revisiting for years to come. Additionally, the solid writing from Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus gives each of the franchise's original characters a worthwhile and engaging character arc while simultaneously tapping into our nostalgia for the MCU during this film's (admittedly) clever second act. While it is too long, I, as someone who's seen every Marvel film and knows far more about this franchise than I care to admit, was never bored. However, I do think the first half of this film (and especially the first act) will not stand up well to rewatches, as I'll almost certainly be fast forwarding though it before long.
In conclusion, there's not much that can top the gravitas of Endgame's finale, and directors/architects Anthony / Joe Russo's gratifying decisions far outweigh the frustrating ones throughout the 3+ hour runtime. Marvel wraps up its epic 10+ year plan with a completely satisfying conclusion, despite leaving a couple victims along the way. If you're invested, bring the tissues and prepare yourself: we're in the end game now.
The Critique: one of the wildest climaxes we'll ever see in cinema caps off the MCU in dramatic fashion, despite its mangling of certain characters along the way.
The Recommendation: …….lol
Rewatchability: gonna break this down
First Act - Moderately Low
Second Act - Moderately High
Final Act - so high it's ridiculous
My Number: 8/10 Great.
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