‘Avengers: Endgame’ Spoiler-Free Movie Review – A Beautiful End Of An Era
The Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it comes to a beautiful close with the ending to stories that began 11 years and 22 films ago, in Avengers: Endgame.
It’s hard to do a proper Movie Review of Avengers: Endgame without delving into the Spoilers of it all. Despite that, this will be an entirely Spoiler-Free Review of Avengers: Endgame. However, I will be diving into spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, so
Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War coming up!
When we last left all the characters of the MCU, around half of them, including the world’s population were snapped out of existence by Thanos (Josh Brolin). The team, including the audience, were left in ravages after losing the battle to the Mad Titan. Avengers: Endgame picks up 23 days after the events of Infinity War, as we see what’s left of the team, as well as the world.
The story begins with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) stranded on the Guardians’ ship, from when we last saw them on Titan, after their own losing battle with Thanos. With Starlord (Chris Pratt), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Mantis (Pom Klementief), and Drax (Dave Bautista) snapped out of existence, Nebula and Tony are the only ones remaining. With life support running out, Tony records his last messages for Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow).
From there, the story takes off as we see what the remaining Avengers, such as Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Rhodey (Don Cheadle), Black Widow (Scarlett Johanssen), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) are up to. While some are moving on, others are having a lot of difficulty with the consequences of what happened.
I mentioned in my Infinity War Review, that that movie worked as the final act of multiple movies leading up to it. Avengers: Endgame functions very much the same way, as the continuation of multiple story arcs of multiple characters set up years ago in many different films, come to a close. For that reason, it’s difficult to critique it as a movie with the usual format of set-up, conflict, and resolution. But there are a lot of resolutions. Years worth of them. Endgame provides meaningful and poignant arcs to many of its characters, that are endearing, heartbreaking and just plain sweet.
While every actor knocks it out of the park, there are a few standouts.
We already know that there is a Black Widow movie in the works, and maybe because of that, Johannssen really takes center stage in Endgame, and with good reason. Despite being in multiple movies, Widow has always been portrayed as the sexy, deceptively charming spy whose loyalties change according to the storyline. So it’s glad to finally see her be written and performed as a three-dimensional person with layers and internal struggles and most importantly, flaws. Johannson is wonderful in a role that we’ve already seen her so many times, but never with this much humanity.
Chris Hemsworth continues with his reinvention from Thor: Ragnarok, and provides much of the movie’s comic relief and light-hearted moments. Most of the heavy lifting is done by the actors who have come to be known as the main leads of the entire franchise; Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.
Downey Jr. is pitch perfect as Tony Stark, who gets to showcase an entirely different side to the character and its incredibly heartwarming. Evans does the same with his role of Captain America, but in a more nuanced way that showcases his broken side, as well as a bit of his dark side. It’s a sharp contrast from the 1-trick pony that he’s always been before, sticking to the gimmick of being an All-American hero.
Endgame, obviously, doesn’t handle all the different characters’ screen time equally. But that is completely understandable given the scope of the film itself. However, one large complaint would be Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). The large hype-building for the Captain Marvel movie teased at the end of Avengers: Infinity War feels anticlimactic when you actually see Avengers: Endgame. While I loved Captain Marvel, the build-up of her being the key to events in Endgame is incredibly misleading given her minimal screen time in the movie itself.
Avengers: Endgame has moments of joy, hope, callbacks to the other films which will bring tears to your eyes. Yes, it did to mine.
Recently, in an episode of one of his Podcasts, Kevin Smith reclaimed the phrase ‘fan-service’ from being a negative one to one of positivity, without which none of these large franchises, movies, sequels would be possible because, in a way, all of it is fan-service. And Marvel Studios respects and seems to love their fans, as Avengers: Endgame makes being invested in this universe, completely worth it.
Avengers: Endgame is truly the end of an era, of a franchise that did the unthinkable and will now shift into a different era of storytelling with other characters and different challenges. It’s a beautifully fitting end to cinematic history and all the emotions that came with it.
Avengers: Endgame is now playing everywhere.