At this point, everyone has probably seen Avengers Endgame and really, it’s an unreviewable film anyway. If you’re committed to this whole Marvel Cinematic Universe ride, then you have strapped yourself in already and nothing is going to change that. Good news, is you should see it. Yet still it’s a bit negligent to not share my thoughts on the biggest film of the year. So here it goes.
The cliff hanger ending of Avengers Infinity War was showy and shocking but ultimately you knew it didn’t mean much. Films were already announced for characters that had vanished in Thanos’ click of his fingers. What becomes very apparent in Avengers Endgame is that the consequences this time are real and messy. The world as Thanos left it is now filled with new possibilities and meaning. Its environment thriving, peoples have moved on and yet it is still haunted and crippled by it all. And this movie isn’t afraid to show it. For a long time, it wallows in consequences, futility and even despair. The cold open of Clint losing his family is gut-wrenching and sets the stake.
So, when a plan emerges to reverse Thanos’ action it is going to be messy. It also turns Avengers Endgame for a hot minute a heist movie and one with time travel. As I said its complicated but it allows for lots of character moments and for it to squeeze in ridiculous amounts of fan service too. As an audience we get to revisit past moments and characters squeezing out nostalgia yet injecting new perspectives in the familiar. It makes for a ridiculous number of laughs. Avengers Endgame for a film that feels emotionally heavy at times is also surprisingly funny throughout.
It all comes together well, into a final act that is both grandiose and deeply personal. You will be in awe of the scope of the action and yet you will cry and smile too. It ties it up in such a full way. It has an overabundance of computer special effects especially in the final act that diminish some of the grander moments (and probably more so in time). Yet the film is willing to fade that out in the finale for what counts. It’s a delicate balance that largely works. The fact that it manages to connect so many threads is inspirational.
If you were worried about the three hours running time, don’t for it really moves quickly. Personally, it’s also stupid that this is a thing, maybe some Gone with the Wind or Ben Hur might help train the toilet habits of modern audiences. Also seriously why are there articles about when to pee in Endgame?
It also goes without saying that if you’re not committed to this series the film offers little for you, don’t jump in with this movie. It doesn’t offer an act to help new audience members to catch up.
It would be easy to over analyse Avengers Endgame with a tonne of ‘why’ questions. Why is Thanos so powerful? Why did the person remain dead? Time travel questions. On and on it goes and the reality there are times where it feels like there is an even longer film hiding somewhere in the Disney vaults. Plot details, character development and even joke set ups seemed cut down to what is only essential at times. But given that the length of the film you understand the temptation. That it doesn’t feel too long one wonders if they underestimated what could be done in a slightly longer running time.
Still the film swallows up these concerns in the most bombastic and emotional ways. You forget quibbles you might have. But one thing that didn’t sit right with me of how underdone the Thor storyline feels underdone. His decline is funny but really lacks the arc and subsequent punch that the other two key Avengers have. In all fairness this is much as a problem of the Thor movies as is it is of Avengers Endgame, but it still feels hollow no matter whose fault it is.
Avengers Endgame Review Cheat Sheet
Avengers Endgame feels like a successful series finale in TV. It is filled with emotional bombast, clever call backs to the past and wraps things up nicely. It will satisfy most if not all fans of the MCU with a full experience of closure. It is not a perfect film with an overreliance of special effects, a plethora of why questions and some occasional uneven moments. But for once that truly doesn’t matter for what is achieved ultimately outweighs any of its problems. A must watch!
+ The consequences are real this time and so too are the messy emotions.
+Funny and fanservicey all at the same time.
+The ability to tie up so many lose end is inspirational.
-Thor story seems underdone.
-over reliance on effects in the final act.