11 years. 21 movies. Roughly 4 billion dollars to produce. Grossing over $18 billion at the box office worldwide. Most importantly, it’s 1 out of 14,000,605 possible outcomes that could’ve happened after Infinity War.
It’s all be leading to this one movie: Avengers: Endgame.
This is going to be a tough movie to give my thoughts about because this is a SPOILER FREE review. And there is a lot to spoil, I can tell you that! But I can generally summarize the review by saying this: go watch it. If you want to know more, please read on without the fear of me revealing anything because, as I said, this is a SPOILER FREE review.
Avengers: Endgame takes place after Thanos collected all of the Infinity Stones and snapped his fingers, completing his plan of wiping out half of the universe’s population. The Avengers, demoralized at their worst loss ever, regroup and attempt to find a way to bring back everyone who was wiped out and defeat Thanos.
Avengers: Endgame is not just a sequel of Infinity War. When I say the film being the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not an exaggeration. Avengers: Endgame works best if you’ve watched every single movie from Iron Man in 2008 up to Captain Marvel of 2019. While it’s not important to watch each and every film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’ll miss out on a lot of callbacks that Avengers: Endgame does. You’ll still be able to follow along fine if you’re at the very least familiar with each character’s story but you’ll be missing out regarding how clever these callback are. Call those scenes fanservice or whatnot, these callbacks are woven into the story incredibly well and they feel earned.
At around this time, I would talk about the acting and the performances… but, honestly, since these guys and gals have been taking on these roles for around a decade and have practically embodied these characters, it would be foolish. These people are the characters by now. It’s hard to picture Iron Man being played by anyone but Robert Downey Jr. or Captain America by Chris Evans.
But I will still commend most of these actors as, although they still do take on other roles, whenever they step into the spandex costumes of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, I can’t help but believe these are the comic book characters come to life. I guess if you put a gun to my head and I have to give my opinion who gives the worst performances, it would be Brie Larson as Captain Marvel and Paul Rudd as Ant-Man. Not because their acting is bad. But because I still see Brie Larson and Paul Rudd on screen instead of Captain Marvel and Ant-Man. They both do a stellar performance as a whole but, when I see Scarlett Johansson, I do see Black Widow, not the girl who tried to play Makoto Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell.
Speaking of performances, is it weird that I totally forgot that Rocket Raccoon was a full CGI character? Honestly, when I watched Avengers: Endgame, I really believed that Rocket was actually there conversing and interacting with the actual human actors! This is a testament to how great the special effects were in the film. They were incredibly seamless and I bought into the fantastical elements and never broke my immersion because they never felt like I was watching something artificial on screen.
It’s not just Rocket that looks real. Everything else does. Thanos looks like he’s a body made of flesh and blood again. The Hulk looks like he’s actually on the set. The spaceships look like they were really flying all around. It was only when writing this review when I realized, “Hey, those things weren’t there! You should really write about it!”
One of the staples of any Marvel film is the humor. A lots been made about how they’re too “joke-y” at times. I’m not one of them because, if the jokes work, why should I complain? Avengers: Endgame does have its fair share of comedic moments. While most of them do land, there’s a good number of them that miss. Oh, the jokes that aren’t hilarious to me did get a chuckle from the audience I was watching with. I just personally didn’t find some of the comedy all that good because they were rather predictable and I could see it coming a mile away. Still, most of the comedy bits do work so it’s not a dealbreaker.
The weakest part of Avengers: Endgame, if you can it “weak” at all, is the overall plot. It’s not a bad story; it’s just told in a very uneven pace. The first part of the film feels slow. The first third of the film is just building up to the action. As Avengers: Endgame is just a smidge over 3-hours long, that would mean they spend 1 whole hour setting up the actual plot. The problem is I can’t figure out how to punch it up without destroying what the Russo Brothers, the guys who wrote and directed Avengers: Endgame, were going for. Also, the first part is necessary to set the tone of desperation and despair the Avengers feel after Thanos’ ultimate victory. It’s there to build their characters so it is important but I do feel there are some moments that could’ve been trimmed down for time.
Despite the first act being kind of plodding, the middle portion picks up significantly and it makes going through that first act worth it. But the final act… boy! The last hour of Avengers: Endgame is one of those scenes that just blew my mind! It’s as if the Russo Brothers just sat in a room and thought up the coolest things Marvel fans would want to see on screen. This is probably my second most favorite scene in the history of comic book movies, with the “Avengers circle” from the first Avengers film still coming out on top because… just look at how perfect that scene was!
Not that Avengers: Endgame doesn’t have moments like that shot, though. There are a lot of scenes and moments that will get the entire theater cheering and will connect to emotionally. Like I said earlier, these moments are generally linked to the previous movies, which may be considered to be “fanservice.” They are little winks and nods to loyal viewers who will catch why that scene is supposed to be a big deal or why it’s of significance to the grand scheme of things. Tiny little rewards to those who watched the entire slate of Marvel movies.
Ultimately, however, they are there to illicit a strong emotional response from Marvel fans who’ve watched the entire slate of what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been dishing out over the years.To me, however, they’re a little more than simple “fanservice” as Avengers: Endgame is indeed the climax of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it. It’s a closing of the chapter to this series of films. Despite some minor flaws, Avengers: Endgame certainly feels like it gave me a satisfying conclusion to 11 years and 21 movies.
If you’ve seen the previous movies from Marvel, you owe it to yourself to watch Avengers: Endgame to see how it all ends. Hopefully, you’ll leave with a big grin like I did.
Have you seen Avengers: Endgame? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!