There’s anticipation and there’s the boundless anticipation of a climatic showdown. Avengers: Endgame is here. Galaxies, worlds and characters galore. It all comes to a head with this film. Just over a decade ago, we were introduced to Iron Man and 22 films later, billions of dollars in worldwide box office, Avengers: Endgame raises the stakes, and brings all the Marvel elements to together for a spectacular final payoff.
Beyond the verdict of fans and critics, this is the film that kicks off the summer box-office and it’s already set to roar, as cinemas open virtually around the clock to meet demands, and the inevitable eBay opportunists scalp tickets to opening weekend seats for thousands of dollars. It’s a dizzying phenomenon.
As it must, Endgame picks us up where Infinity War left us hanging. Half of the Avengers and half of mankind wiped out by Thanos. The baddie triumphed in that film exactly a year ago, and the opening of Endgame deals with loss. The remaining Avengers have lost their friends, their family and this will be a potent theme to explored – dealing with grief and the guilt of survival. All I’ll say of the plot is what you already expect: the Avengers are destined to avenge. The rest is left to you for to discover. Avoid spoilers at all costs. Go into Endgame blind and enjoy the thrilling ride. Let the twists and turns stun you as they’re meant to do because the element of surprise really pays off in spades. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s screenplay seeks to weave its intricacies into serious issues of how our survivors cope, and they’ve succeeded beyond our wildest expectations.
If you’ve been following along faithfully for the past decade, by now these survivors are like our family and directors Anthony and Joe Russo understand this emotional connection. Endgame is a jaw-dropping gift for the most loyal fans, the ones who have been there for this ride. It’s a tribute to their devotion. Not only are the visual boundaries of this film pushed to astonishing limits, the characters, the heroes are all seamlessly are woven into developing arcs and it comes together in a seamlessly satisfying culmination – filled with a perfect balance of heart, emotion, comedy and drama.
If you hope to see different sides of our lead heroes – Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor – you won’t be disappointed, and the secondary characters get plenty of screentime too. But the Most Valuable Players, Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr., get the meatiest sequences to indulge their formidable talents. Both are indeed outstanding. Their performances and resolutions of their stories arcs nothing short of brilliant. Downey Jr brings all his cards to the table and lays them out like a seasoned pro, reminding me of some of his best roles – in Chaplin and Zodiac. As good as those were, this will perhaps go down as Downey Jr’s best!
Naturally, the action is on an epic scale. The CGI is grandly eye-popping, as we watch iconic set pieces become instant classics. So many peaks of awe and moments of nostalgia that I wish I could gush about in more detail, scenes that made my heart melt over and over, but that would spoil the pleasure that you deserve to experience firsthand.
The 3-hour runtime doesn’t seem that long at all. While some films that pass the 150-minute mark have parts they could do without, Avengers: Endgame is not one of them. In fact, I wanted to see more of some characters who shall not be named for fear of spoiling.
Avengers: Endgame is indeed everything that hardcore fans could hope for. Its scope is enormous, its action is sensational, its drama is heart-wrenching, its emotion is intense. And of course, it’s filled with humor. The Russo Brothers love pop culture and make their abundant allusions are added value to the fun, especially in the time travel moments that make for some genuine belly laughs. Crafted with obvious passion, Endgame is truly a spectacular conclusion to Marvel’s epic saga.
Avengers: Endgame assembles all the extraordinary heroes and heroines we have grown to love in a way that ensures that our emotional investment is rewarded. I fully understood why the person behind me broke down sobbing at one point. These guys feel as close to us as family. We have all made this incredible journey together. It’s a mix of exuberant victory and bittersweet torment to realize we’ve reached our ultimate destination.
Bravo to Joe and Anthony Russo. Bravo to the writers. Bravo to the production designers, the costume designers, the visual effects team. It takes a village. Sit through the credits and appreciate how many immensely creative people it took to bring this grand franchise to such a gratifying climax, and ponder how beneath all the ass-kicking superhero exploits, there was always a deeply meaningful humanity to these beloved characters. Excelsior shines down on this brilliant endgame!
Avengers: Endgame opens April 26