Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Genre: Superhero Running Time: 3 hrs. 1 min.

Release Date: April 26th, 2019 MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd, Karen Gillan, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Brie Larson, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Olsen, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chadwick Boseman

 


 

A

fter the “mad titan” Thanos (Josh Brolin) succeeds in his genocidal plot to bisect the cosmos, the fragmented Avengers struggle with countless crumbling worlds. While Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) aids other planets, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans) and War Machine (Don Cheadle) attempt to preserve a semblance of order on Earth. When a superhero long thought dead returns with an idea on restoring the galaxy to its previous state, the Avengers must assemble once again to wage an epic battle for all life in the universe.

“You gotta move on.” Half of all living organisms – and half of the Avengers – have been obliterated. So when this final chapter of the seemingly never-ending superhero saga begins, it’s not too shocking to learn a few more details about who has and hasn’t perished. Yet from the gasps in the audience, the realization that mere background roles didn’t survive might make one assume that fans have just spent hours learning the intricate histories of these walk-on personas. Clearly, there are plenty of clamoring devotees who will deeply mourn the losses of every minuscule part.

“Let’s go get this son-of-a-b…” “Avengers: Endgame” is so shrouded in secrecy that it’s difficult even to provide a synopsis. Indeed, 90% of the film contains spoilers in varying degrees. But it’s not particularly sensational to note that the Avengers have lost the war against Thanos … if only for a few hours. “Infinity War” spent a colossal amount of time designing a gargantuan predicament, only to have “Endgame” utilize three hours to undo it all. Fortunately, it isn’t quite that simple; just the act of getting the remaining gang back together presents some pitfalls. Surprises abound at every turn; locating the primary antagonist, contending with new sources of villainy, and even the lineup of heroes are all components that contain opportunities for unexpected events. Nevertheless, there’s a pervading sense that insurmountable hurdles are devised only for a solution to be furnished just minutes later; each fresh dilemma can’t match up with the overarching notion of combating Thanos, so it must be resolved swiftly to move ahead to the inevitable, unalterable confrontation.

The staples of the series are still here, which will be welcomed by Marvel enthusiasts and spurned by critics. Chiefly, comic relief permeates the special-effects-laden catastrophes, often interrupting serious moments of heavier drama; it’s as if the filmmakers wish to alleviate the stresses of tragedies – no matter how fleeting – with one-liners, slapstick, or laughable exchanges. Occasionally, this mishandles the mood, but more frequently it reminds of the better sequences from the superior franchises, such as the light-hearted space-opera silliness of “Guardians of the Galaxy.” And the fight scenes, while chaotic and intermittently exhilarating, are unable to avoid repetition; such is the nature of invincible entities dueling other invincible entities.

Due to the length of this concluding piece, a considerable section of the picture is reserved for quieter, contemplative scenarios; it’s not the non-stop, high-octane, slam-bang closer many might expect. Still, the inclusion of so many subplots and so many A-list stars builds to a herculean climax – one in which every major character gets a few minutes in the spotlight to strike poses, land punches, unleash snappy epithets, or wield unlikely weapons. It’s very much the ending that fans have long awaited – and it not only cleans up all the loose ends, but it also brings closure to the 20-some movies that have, bit by bit, led up to this whopping showdown. It may be only half a movie (with the length of two, at least), which makes judging the project’s storytelling prowess, character development, and narrative structuring largely preposterous (could anyone recommend the film to someone who hasn’t seen any of the ones before it?), but the sheer scope, logistics, and ambitions pursued – and realized – are difficult to dismiss. It’s ludicrously grandiose – to the point that even when it deadens the momentum achieved at the finale for the sake of a “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” type of multiple-coda close, there’s a certain satisfaction in finally finishing this decade-long undertaking.

– The Massie Twins

  • 7/10