[Disney has done an excellent job of keeping this movie’s plot a secret in the marketing, so I’ll adhere to that same level of secrecy in this review. Absolutely no spoilers here.]
I’m not going to bury the lede: I am absolutely, positively gobsmacked by Avengers: Endgame.
Look, I get it. Marvel movies aren’t for everybody. As fun as they can be, they aren’t the beacon of cinema by any standards. But I literally dare anybody who truly understands and appreciates the process of filmmaking to not be awestruck about what a technical achievement this movie is. And if you’re a person who truly understands and appreciates MCU lore? Avengers: Endgame is designed to make you pass out.
This is an immensely satisfying event-film of the likes that we have never seen. Not only does it definitively close out the narrative of Avengers: Infinity War, but it also closes out the entire MCU up to this point in rousing fashion. Endgame is a loving homage to the movies that have come before it, as we retroactively gain more perspective about some of these movies and their biggest moments. This is all fun fan-service, but it also serves a narrative purpose and allows for emotional closure as certain relationships come full-circle.
As for how the film complements and compares to Infinity War, I can’t really say without getting into spoilers. What I will say is that Endgame is undoubtedly a Part 2, but it feels like an entirely different movie from its predecessor, mostly due to the fact that it doesn’t have as furious of a pace. The beginning of this movie really takes its time and lets the drama marinate, and is it slow? Absolutely. Necessary? 100%. These patient moments really let the dust settle as the snap’s impact set in, and we ultimately get more attached to the characters before the inevitable action occurs. I don’t fault for Infinity War for having to set the table with (literally) twice the number of characters, but I ultimately prefer Endgame much more due to the breathing room it provides. Regarding how the stakes from Infinity War do or don’t matter, all I’ll say that I was satisfied with how Endgame handled Infinity War’s impact.
And do you like emotions? I sure hope so, because Endgame is going to elicit nearly every single one your body has. It’s such a testament to the Russo brothers and Christopher Markus/Steven McFeely that this movie balances so many tones as well it does. The Avengers spend a large portion of the movie grieving and having existential crises, yet it might also be one of the funniest MCU movies? It’s kinda nuts that it all works.
Then, of course, there are the last 45 minutes of this movie. I — and I say this with no hyperbole — was giggling hysterically almost throughout the entirety of the film’s third act. There were moments set to Alan Silvestri’s amazing score that quite literally had me wanting to stand up and applaud. It often had me staring in disbelief at the sheer scale of what I was watching. It’s thrilling, emotional, and incredible, and probably one of, if not the, most epic things ever put on a movie screen.
There is unfortunately a large portion of this review missing due to what I can’t talk about. I can’t talk about the moments where I lost my mind or my predictions as to where the MCU goes from here, but I also can’t talk about some of the movie’s flaws. I also really want to defend Thor and Hulk’s treatment in this movie against the onslaught of angry people on Reddit, but perhaps that’s a separate article. But regarding my qualms with the movie: there are several, but none of them are major, especially within the context of a three hour runtime. The sheer number of amazing moments in Endgame more than outweighs anything slightly disappointing.
All you need to know is that Avengers: Endgame is the perfect conclusion to not just one movie, but 21 movies. Marvel’s first time giving true closure is a masterful balance of emotions, characters, and plotlines that have been years in the making, all culminating to truly create a once-in-a-lifetime theater experience. Any movie of this hype would surely crumble underneath the weight of its lofty expectations, but the Russo brothers have pulled off the impossible: Endgame exceeds its expectations. This movie on its own, as well as paired with Infinity War, is a feat that is truly epic every in sense of the word. It has every reason to be a complete mess, yet it sticks the landing in the most dramatic fashion possible. I’m legitimately dumbfounded by how brilliantly structured it is to ensure that everything works.
When I was 12 years old and following along live with Kevin Feige’s announcement of Infinity War films back in 2014, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what I was in store for.
“Avengers: Endgame” is Ben Watches Things Approved