Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Brie Larson, Don Cheadle, Josh Brolin
Runtime: 181 minutes
Well, folks. It’s finally happened. After 21 films, Marvel Studios has released the culmination of storytelling 10 years in the making. Back in 2008, when we all saw and loved Iron Man, I don’t think any of us could have seen such a massive franchise being born from its success. And yet, here we are.
This is a big movie. Huge in fact, from the cast to the runtime. Because of that, this will be a review that will remain spoiler-free. I won’t be touching on any specific plot points or events within the story and will be focusing mainly on the filmmaking, however, I will talk about how I felt about the writing without bringing up any specific instances. Of course, because of that, some points in this review might seem vague, but I want this review to be accessible to as many people as possible. With that intro out of the way, let’s get to it.
Endgame takes place directly following the events of Infinity War. With half of all life having been dusted away by Thanos, the surviving members of the Avengers and the rest of the universe are left to pick up the pieces.
So here’s the part where I say what you all came here to hear: Endgame is amazing. Not only is it a technical marvel to behold, with amazing CGI and effects (some of the best I’ve ever seen), but as a film founded on a decade of storytelling weaved together into one final narrative it delivers just about everything you could ask for as a fan. And believe me, this is a movie for the fans. Between all the deep cuts and references go old movies to the numerous references from the comic books themselves (and even some memes), this movie is dripping with fanservice. And that’s a really good thing. Besides, if you haven’t seen any of the other MCU films, why are you even here?
With a runtime of 3 hours, it’s understandable to be concerned about the movie being too long. I’m here to say that not only are all three hours of the movie necessary for the story, but the movie is so engaging that you barely even feel the runtime at all. I glanced at my watch a few times to keep track of how far along we were, and I was often surprised by how much time had passed. The movie is filled with amazing and satisfying action, but there are plenty of quieter moments between characters just conversing and even these scenes don’t feel like they drag at all. Although you maaaay want to skip the drink for this film. That, or bring your diaper.
Jumping off that topic, the movie does a really good job of further developing characters we’ve watched for years. Considering all that happened in Infinity War it would be ridiculous to say there were no ramifications left by Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet. Fans of the MCU will be very satisfied with seeing how their characters have changed and continue to grow throughout this film. The plot itself is also one that remains both interesting and entertaining, and while it is at the end of the day still “a Marvel movie” it’s worth noting that this film does take a lot of risks and doesn’t pull punches that other movies in the MCU may have.
In general, the script has all that you’d want and more. Great character interactions, dialogue that balances witty and serious without being overly expositional and is constantly moving at a great pace. The movie has tons of places where you’ll bust out laughing, but we all know that it can’t be all fun and games so remember to bring your tissues.
The action scenes in this movie were everything you’d want from the MCU and more. Combat looks dynamic and you can feel the weight in each scene, and even though the movie consists of aliens, gods, and superhumans everything still feels grounded in a sense. There are combat scenes on a grander scale than seen in previous Marvel movies (or ever), and even though there is the occasional scene of blur fighting blur, for the most part, everything looks amazing and is filmed in a way that captures the enormity of the battles without belittling or diminishing the magnitude. Not only that, but the score perfectly accompanies every moment in this film, and the famous Avenger’s theme song has never been used better in any movie.
I can’t talk too much about the few gripes I have with this film without spoilers, but let’s just say there were some things I hoped to get from this film that weren’t delivered on. I got just about everything I wanted, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a bit disappointed by some things that happened (or didn’t happen). It’s also worth saying that if you haven’t been a fan of the MCU before, this movie won’t change your mind. So, if you’re looking for another reason to say, “this is why the MCU sucks,” then Marvel has you covered, too.
This movie, and beyond that this event, is something that has never been experienced on the same scale and probably won’t be replicated any time soon. Endgame is a movie that has been teased at since the very first Avengers, and the payoff was well worth the wait. If you love the MCU, you’ll love this film. It might not be the best film ever made, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t impressive, nonetheless.
What are you still doing here? Go see this movie!