It’s finally here. The biggest blockbuster event in the last couple decades. Twenty-one films and countless superhero introductions have been leading up to this film. Is Avengers: Endgame the end of the Avengers franchise? There’s no way to know. But the Russo Brothers bring a satisfying conclusion to many of the story arcs that audiences have been watching develop for the last eleven years.
Typically, at the beginning of a film review, I describe the general plot of the film to give the readers who haven’t seen it an idea of its tone and to give context for the rest of the review. However, the marketing team for Avengers: Endgame has revealed almost none of the actual film in the trailers, and even the most basic plot elements could be seen as spoilers. I will simply say this: Avengers: Endgame is a direct follow-up to Avengers: Infinity War and continues the storylines of the Avengers who survived the snap.
To say the Russo Brothers did a great job continuing the Avengers saga would be a vast understatement. With their three previous Marvel Cinematic Universe films (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War) they have created some of the best superhero films ever, and they are not looking to break that streak with Endgame. I doubt it is possible to find a more emotionally investing superhero movie, and this is done with an enormous ensemble cast.
Each actor gets more than enough time to shine, even some who have been ignored in past films. Without giving anything away, the character choices made during the first half of the film with Hawkeye and Ant-Man in particular were enthralling, and I definitely want to see more of both characters in years to come. Jeremy Renner nails every single scene he’s a part of, and proves that the only reason audiences thought Hawkeye was useless in previous films is because he didn’t have enough screen-time. Robert Downey Jr. also gives a typically amazing turn as Iron Man, yet again stealing most of his scenes. I would state what exactly these actors do that makes their performances so amazing, but again it would give away some of the most crucial and emotional moments of the film, and it is critical that each audience member go in completely blind to get the full experience.
Every character in the movie is treated with care, even if they are on-screen for all of thirty seconds. The Russo Brothers direct their battle scenes in such a way that each character’s personality shows through the actions they take, a feat which no other big-budget director has been able to pull off as well as they have in these past couple of movies. At some point it would be nice to see them direct something non-MCU, because to see them bring their excellent sense of character-driven action and pacing to a more low-budget project would be something to behold. Avengers: Endgame is a full three hours and one minute long in total, and it feels like an hour and a half due to the Russo Brothers’ incredible pacing. They let the emotionally heavy scenes have the perfect amount of time to settle with the audience before moving on, and they also know exactly when to interject the quips and fast-paced comedic dialogue. Not one joke feels out of place, which makes every dramatic moment feel earned.
When the film gets heavy is when it hits its stride, and there are plenty of emotional moments that will simultaneously satisfy and tear apart fans. In the end, Endgame sets itself apart from other MCU films because of its dramatic weight, and they hit almost every nail on the head in that department. The writing can be a little hokey at times, but whenever I noticed this it always felt as though it was warranted given the situation. Sometimes when the predicament seems especially dire for the superheroes we know and love, a little familiarity and fun is needed, and the screenplay found exactly the right moments to give audiences memorable one-liners to compliment the drama.
The only real problems I have with Endgame are based on spoilers so I won’t specifically name them here, though these problems are inevitable given the direction the writers take regarding the basic plot. Besides some minor plot holes and a lack of interest when it comes to Captain Marvel, this blockbuster conclusion to the Marvel saga is damn near perfect, and it makes one marvel at the accolades Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios team have garnered since the original Iron Man film. To say this is a definitive conclusion is ignoring many hints throughout the movie (as long as some confirmed future MCU projects), but if Feige decided to wrap it up right here it wouldn’t be a disappointment to many fans because of how well they executed these character arcs.
Is Avengers: Endgame the best MCU movie? It’s honestly too early to say, but along with the Russo Brothers’ other three films, it is definitely in the running. Superhero storytelling has never been as vibrant and enthralling as it is right now, and given the current box office numbers for the first weekend, it seems that most people agree. It would be nice if the Oscars and other critics’ awards ceremonies finally take notice of the quality filmmaking on display in the MCU, but we all know they won’t unless it’s Black Panther. Avengers: Endgame takes the audience’s expectations and throws them out the window, giving fans all across the world an experience they won’t soon forget. This era of cinematic history will definitely be seen as important in years to come because of what Disney and Marvel have accomplished with films like this.
I give Avengers: Endgame an A.