Courtesy of Marvel Studios
Editor’s note: This review does not contain major spoilers. Read freely without fear of ruining the movie.
“Avengers: Endgame” is quite possibly the most anticipated film of the last 10 years, and it didn’t disappoint. After witnessing the malevolent purple alien Thanos wipe out half of life in the universe in “Avengers: Infinity War,” audiences have been waiting anxiously to see how the remaining Avengers will redeem themselves after their previous colossal failure.
The surviving Avengers that are primarily featured in “Avengers: Endgame” include: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), War Machine (Don Cheadle), and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). Along for the ride are the two remaining Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and the only surviving daughter of Thanos, Nebula (Karen Gillan). And lastly, making her Avengers debut is Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) having been in space rescuing other alien races since the 1990s (and apparently not aging).
As usual the original Avengers have the best chemistry of any other ensemble in an action film. Having worked with each other since 2012, the original six members all have scenes with each other that seem as though they aren’t even acting. Out of the six, Johansson and Renner probably have the most emotional moments and thereby the best relationship on screen.
The only person who seems to have no purpose in the film is Captain Marvel. In the beginning she helps the team with one small task and then leaves for space for the majority of the movie only to return for the very end. She has no likeability as she talks down to all of the Avengers and comes off as a condescending loner who doesn’t respect anyone on the team.
Besides Captain Marvel’s involvement, the film is written extraordinarily well for a superhero movie. Having the other 22 films to build-up to this film is probably the film’s biggest advantage in terms of the lengths the film can go. But it is also somewhat of a limitation for general audiences who haven’t seen all of the other films. There are so many Easter eggs and references to the other films that they may be lost on casual viewers.
The plot however is a basic time travel story with very heavy stakes. The Avengers must travel through time to prevent Thanos from fulfilling his goal of balancing the universe as he did in the previous film, and resurrect all of the deceased Avengers and their loved ones. Time travel is a very difficult plot device in films. Filmmakers either manage to make time travel work in a logical way that makes it very confusing, or in a very easy to understand way that makes it nonsensical. The way the Russo Brothers (the directors) use it in this film is a bit of a mix of the two platforms.
But the film focuses less on the time travel plot and more on the characters’ journeys. Each character (minus Captain Marvel) has a character arc and learns how much the cost of life is really worth, and how much sacrifice it takes to bring back the past. It is probably the most poetic movie in the MCU and definitely has the most emotional resonance with the audience.
Another aspect this film shares with “Infinity War” are the wall-to-wall adventures the characters each take separately. Every character has his or her own individual journey that it manages to make the film feel like three movies combined. The film is weaved in such a way that makes it feel like an entire trilogy in just one movie.
The beginning is essentially a slow-paced drama about the grief and shame all of the Avengers are feeling after the last film. We see how much Thanos has changed their lives for the worse with the annihilation of half the universe. The middle segment is the science fiction time travel segment with hilarious plot developments with the Avengers meeting previous of themselves. And the end segment features the final battle with Thanos and the Infinity Stones getting used for the last time.
“Endgame” is the most diverse, exciting, passionate, and spontaneous film that has come out in the last 10 years. It rewards long-standing viewers who have been with these characters since the very first couple of movies and will be remembered as the film that completed the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the best possible way.