Avengers: Endgame Review
After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos' actions and restore order to the universe.
Directors: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Brie Larson, Paul Rudd, Don Cheadle, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow
So here we are, one year later, with Avengers: Endgame. The 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a project the likes of which we have never seen before, primarily due to it not only having to deal with the events of Infinity War but also wrapping up the “Infinity Saga” that has taken place over the past 11 years. So this kind of serves as the world’s most expensive and long season finale.
This film has been surrounded in such a shroud of secrecy, that even the slightest hint at the actual plot of the film could be regarded by some as a spoiler. The safest plot synopsis I can give for Endgame is that it sees the remaining Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy coping with the fallout of Infinity War and seeking to reverse the actions of Thanos. Any more than that and I fear that I may be tarred and feathered or subjected to some other form of punishment that is far more likely.
I have to tip my metaphorical hat to Marvel’s marketing team for showing an incredible amount of restraint and allowing us to be surprised. They have used a fraction of the footage available in trailers and TV spots, although at least a few of those shots seem to have been omitted from the film. They even cut around a couple of characters to keep a couple of secrets. Disney has realised between these last few Avengers films and the Star Wars films, that they can keep their cards close to their chest and that the audience will not only still go and see their films but appreciate their restraint.
Somehow Joe and Anthony Russo have managed to craft a film that is not only exciting and fun its own right but makes you feel rewarded for investing your time in this franchise. My audience cheered several times for moments that called back to the previous films. Even if you don’t enjoy the film, you have to respect the achievement that it is. But, this is definitely not an entry point for new fans and you may still struggle to keep up with all the elements if you haven’t seen some of the previous 21 films recently, even ones that people will tell you to skip.
Acting wise, Robert Downey Jr gives one of the strongest performances of his long tenure as Iron Man as do Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. Jeremy Renner makes his best appearance in the franchise to date and Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and Paul Rudd do a fantastic job at keeping the mood upbeat with each providing their own unique brand of humour. Karen Gillan’s performance as Nebula hopefully won’t go underrated as she plays a big part and continues her strong character development from her previous appearances. Josh Brolin returns as Thanos and while he does have some great moments and is still a massive threat, it is a bit of a step down from Infinity War. Of the group of survivors only really Rhodey (Don Cheadle) is given little to do, with the Russo Brothers again showcasing their ability to juggle a large ensemble cast.
The film is definitely not without fault. The film follows the pattern of the previous Avenger films and becomes very CGI heavy (which doesn’t look great) and there are a number of plot holes or ends that don’t tie up neatly. There is also one character who takes a serious backseat in this film which, although making story sense, will surely irritate fans who were hoping to see more of them. But those things are easy to forgive because this film takes you on a journey that will make you feel every emotion in the book and then leave you with an ending that could be the true end if Disney decided they didn’t feel like making money anymore. For any lows in the film, there are highs that far outweigh them and, damn, those highs are incredibly high.
Avengers: Endgame is truly something special and a mind-boggling achievement. If nothing else, it will make you feel like the hours spent watching these films were time well spent. With moments that are sure to surprise, break and delight fans, the Russo Brothers have pulled off the herculean task of providing a fitting end to this era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While we don’t know what the future holds for certain actors in this franchise, if this is the end then it is one hell of a way to go out.