There’s about a 90% chance that if you’re reading this you’ve either already seen the film or plan to in the near future. Already smashing box office records, Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of 10+ years of Marvel films and the direct follow up to Avengers: Infinity War. This is very much a love letter to everyone who has stuck with the MCU since the beginning. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Endgame is how much of it was left unspoiled via the official trailers, images, etc.
A lot of Endgame has remained hidden from those diligent enough to avoid jerks on the internet ruining the film. Because of this, it’s almost impossible to truly review Avengers: Endgame without diving into critical plot details that spoil some of the movie’s best moments. There is a lot to unpack here and making vague, unfocused statements about the movie’s quality won’t help anyone.
For those wanting to go in without any knowledge of the movie, know that Avengers: Endgame is simply superb. It’s a fantastic send-off for the original cast of Marvel films, delivers a great story, and lands every emotional gut punch. Even with a few minor issues, Endgame is a great movie that is expertly elevated for those who have been fans of Marvel’s franchises. Endgame is absolutely worth your time.
Seriously, leave now if you don’t want anything else spoiled.
Still with us? Avengers: Endgame is set directly after the events of the Infinity War. With half of all life wiped from existence, the remaining survivors attempt to pick up the pieces and figure out how to save everyone. Yet, in a surprising twist, the Avengers catch up with Thanos early on and learn that he destroyed the stones making the effects permanent.
Jump to five years later and Ant-Man is finally freed from the Quantum Realm. After regrouping, he explains how time works differently in this alternate dimension and suggests that the Avengers go back in time, get all the Infinity Stones before Thanos, return to their reality, and bring everyone back. It’s exactly as silly as it sounds, but damn if it doesn’t work.
Effectively this allows directors Anthony and Joe Russo to take a trip down memory lane, showing off a variety of different films but from different perspectives. We get to see Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) at the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy dancing around like an idiot with no music and witness what happens after Loki is beaten in New York City. It’s all very entertaining and witnessing events from another character’s perspective is certainly fun.
Where the time travel slips up is with the rules. Endgame makes a point to explain that our perception of time travel from pop culture is all a lie, which proves to be a bit confusing. You can tell the Russo brothers didn’t want to spend a ton of time working out the details but instead accepted the weirdness of the plot. This does benefit Endgame in the long run, but certain parts may have you scratching your head in confusion.
Thankfully, you’ll probably be having too much of a good time to even care that all the pieces don’t exactly line up. Despite being three hours long, Endgame is well paced, spending an equal amount of time on both the action and drama. Make no mistake, there are some heart-wrenching moments that will certainly make audiences tear up. Even though the majority of the film focuses on Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), the Russos finally gives Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) some long needed love.
Renner is fantastic here, delivering a harrow performance of a man who has lost everything. It’s captivating, haunting, and make me wish that the MCU focused more on this character in the past. His relationship with Black Widow is well developed, with the duo boasting some of the best on-screen chemistry in the film.
Tony Stark serves as the majority of the movie’s emotional backbone, as his loss to Thanos has left him wounded and afraid. Robert Downey Jr. sells the hell out of Stark’s inner turmoil, giving his best performance in the entire MCU. Captain America also has some terrific moments, especially in regards to Peggy (Hayley Atwell). Finally, Thor’s journey is enjoyable, but it does feel a bit weird at times and gets the strong, emotional payoff it deserves.
Thanos (Josh Brolin) is also in this film – mainly as a slightly younger version of the Mad Titan. His screentime is surprisingly limited, but with so many balls in the air, giving Thanos less time does make sense. He already had an entire film dedicated to him, so regulating him to just being a big bad guy works. Sadly, the Children of Thanos get even less of a role than they had in Infinity War. Even during the absolutely bonkers third act, these evil henchmen don’t even get a moment to shine.
Yet, when it all comes down to it, these are minor complaints. Endgame is a film less concerned with explaining the intricacies of its plot. Instead, the Russo brothers deliver an emotional, thrilling adventure that stands as a testament to why the Marvel Cinematic Universe is so damn good. If you’re even a casual fan of Marvel’s slate of films then you should have a great time with Endgame. Just make sure to bring a box of tissues to the theater!