Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Director: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo | Runtime: 3h 1min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
After Thanos’ finger snap wipes out half of the universe, the world is left to grieve for those that vanished. 5 years down the line, The Avengers find one last opportunity and save everyone who died, and stop Thanos all together.
Whether you love, or hate, the fluctuation of superhero movies over the past ten years there is no doubt the best of the bunch have come from Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. They have taken the time and patience to build characters and use their crossover films to provide some of the most exciting action from the past 10 years, some better than others mind you. Last year they broke new boundaries with Infinity War by meshing all their familiar heroes into one epic, and in the process giving us one of the best films they’ve ever made. With their biggest film yet, Marvel have unsurprisingly provided us with yet another quintessential superhero film that matches anything they’ve made before, and possibly even beats them.
The three hour epic is essentially broken down into three parts, the first is a ‘where are they now’ trope that does really well to build this new world that Thanos devastatingly created, but also allows for fresh introductions to feel authentic (something the Russo’s have done brilliantly in their past MCU films). While this part of the film is relatively actionless, it’s still essential for the audience to understand where the world stands in this time of mourning. The second part of the film is probably where the biggest logistical problems for the film come in, but it’s actually the most fun. Once the team is set, and the science-jargon of Stark and Banner is in full flow, we get the MCU’s equivalent of their heist movie.
Marvel has made it very clear that, if you aren’t with them by now, you never will be. But for those people who religiously follow (or just follow) the MCU, this is the part of the film you’ll appreciate the most. It really rewards fans by flying back to some of the very best moments of the past 10 years, and while the same thing can be achieved in a sitcom flashback episode, Marvel use this action wisely and for good reason. Some scenes are full of emotion, some are a reflection on how much the characters have changed (Cap vs. Cap is a personal favourite) and if it’s neither of the two, it very importantly pushes the story to the finale in concise fashion. Although cinema history has never really nailed time-travel entertainment as well as Back to the Future (1985), or strived for accuracy as much as Primer (2004), the logistical standpoint of Endgame is far less important than the entertaining impact it will have on you as a viewer.
Then the film finds it’s finale, a battle that has a lot to live up to if you consider the fact that it’s predecessor has not one but two pretty great battle sequences of it’s own. But while Infinity War was much more about the galactic range of all it’s heroes, the finale of this film finds much more focus, and in doing so really hits home it’s title as the ‘endgame’. But once all that is over and done with and Endgame has paid it’s dues as an action film, it finds time to really clear up any lose ends and be about the characters that started the journey 10 years ago, and in doing so levels out the rest of the film and justifiably adds to the emotionality of the epic.
It may not be perfect, but the truth is that it’s very easy to get caught up in the logistics of the film, and most of the criticism the film will receive will indeed be about logistical problems that only the most cynical of people care about. But in retrospect, whether or not you like Marvel, what the Russo’s have done is combine the magnitude of an epic-scale with the liveliness of popcorn entertainment, and once again harnessed the power of the blockbuster to genuinely make a great film, one that, given time, should be seen as the pinnacle of 21st Century blockbusters.