Remember when people were talking about how Avengers: Infinity War was the most hyped-up and anticipated movie ever? Well, it’s now a year later, and one can comfortably say that Avengers: Endgame has overshadowed its predecessor.
The massive success of Infinity War, coupled with its shocking and abrupt ending, has led fans to obsessively speculate over Endgame for the entirety of the past year. Seriously, look at some of the communities and threads dedicated to discussing Endgame—no theory is too out there or extreme when it comes to predicting what will happen in the last film of this era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Normally, one would expect a movie to crumble under the weight of these massive expectations or to at least not fulfill all of them. But come on, this is Marvel.
No one really thought that Endgame would be a bad film—the main concerns centered more on how the movie would deal with wrapping up and concluding over 22 films containing some of the most beloved characters known in cinema. Those skeptics should rest easy. Endgame is not only an absolutely fantastic movie in its own right, but it also stands as a graceful and powerful conclusion to the original Avengers saga that is packed with enough lovingly crafted homages to the previous films to make even the most jaded fan shed a tear (or at least come close to it).
The movie takes place shortly after our purple friend Thanos snapped his fingers, wiping out half of living life in the universe, a move which was based on some rather flawed philosophical principles he holds. The remaining Avengers who have not been blown away into dust are feverishly trying to locate where Thanos and the infinity stones are, in order to reverse what happened and bring back their loved ones and companions.
The film wisely launches the audience directly into the action, a welcome sign for fans anxiously awaiting the conclusion of the story after Infinity War. It’s also beneficial for Endgame to not dally around much with recaps or inconsequential scenes, given that it stands with an epic three hour and one minute runtime. That’s a very long film, but it’s remarkable that even with this length, nothing feels bloated. The pacing remains snappy, and no scene or event feels inconsequential or pointless. In fact (and this speaks to how much stuff they had to cram into this one feature), a possible criticism is that it didn’t give enough time to exposition. Very early on into the movie, a major plot device is introduced which turns the whole series on its head, and it seems like all the characters just accept it a little too quickly and move on. It’s not a huge issue, but it interrupts the pacing of the film.
If Infinity War was the feature film that everyone had to see, regardless of their involvement in the MCU, then Endgame is an absolute love letter to fans. Credit must be given to the Russo brothers, the directors, for packing together so many heartfelt reunions and moving moments in ways that don’t feel forced or artificial. There’s an air of extreme care hovering over all the most touching interactions. Instead of the film feeling like it’s checking off a laundry list of characters and scenes that fans have clamored for, all the clips are well integrated, both in the MCU as a whole and within Endgame individually.
Since the franchise has essentially been building up to this film for the last 11 years, this appropriate delicacy makes everything that much more significant. Now, of course this means that this film will be infinitely more meaningful for viewers who have seen past MCU movies (with the amount of “holy crap” moments rising exponentially based on how many of the films they have watched), but this is not something that can be held as a negative toward the movie.
It almost doesn’t need to be said at this point, but the special effects for the movie were incredible. The film doesn’t shy away from some of the largest and most impressive CGI spectacles imaginable. The acting was excellent as well, with the well known all-star cast delivering heartfelt and charismatic performances all around.
If you’re a Marvel fan, you will or already have seen Endgame. If you’re not a Marvel fan, you’re likely going to get dragged to the theater by a friend to go watch Endgame. The movie is already on track to post the biggest opening weekend ever for a film (which, unsurprisingly, was set by Infinity War last year), and it’s going to be essentially impossible to escape the reach of this movie around social media for at least the next few weeks.
This is all a good thing, though, as Endgame deserves every bit of hype it gets, and then some. Some small pacing issues mar its overall appeal slightly, but any other criticisms likely lie among those who have very specific views for how the fates of these character’s should have turned out. To the vast majority, Endgame is moving, an energetic spectacle, and a film that is a worthy send off to the first era of one of the most iconic movie franchises of our time.
Featured Image by Marvel Studios