- Damien Francis
Directed: Joe and Anthony Russo
Avengers: Endgame is the biggest film of all time. As the ultimate finale to 11 years’ worth of film storytelling and the culmination of 22 movies, there is so much for it to live up to.
Ultimately what follows is probably the best Marvel film I have seen.
(This is the part where I admit my bias. I am a huge Marvel fan, having read so many comic books, been following the MCU since I was fourteen and having only recently completed a massive marathon just before watching the movie. Regardless of my bias, I encourage you to still see the movie and come to your own opinion on the quality of the film.)
In reviewing this movie, one cannot view it like any other movie. In fact, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is so vast and complex and long that it becomes harder and harder to watch each movie as a ‘separate’ film. Instead, the MCU is a television show at this point. We are in the final moments of the 3rd season, delivering an end to one of the most incredible cliff-hangers in Avengers: Infinity War.
It still stands on its own as a film with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd act, but its storytelling is different because of how much has come before it.
After the events of Avengers: Infinity War, the remaining heroes must work together to figure out how to reverse Thanos wiping out half of life across the entire universe. The story is mapped out over three hours as the Avengers must complete a ‘time-heist’ to successfully re-create the Infinity Gauntlet to snap everyone back into existence.
Unusually, for a finale film of such magnitude, most of the movie is a slow boil, instead of immediately throwing us into the fray with intense action and over the top moments, it uses the best thing Marvel has always had, their characters. The first 2 hours of the film is a character film, focussing on smaller groups and their separate missions.
There are so many characters and arcs in this movie that it might take me nearly 3 hours to address each one. Instead I will touch on a few, namely the six original Avengers and then some of the other characters. As always, the actors absolutely nail it again, delivering possibly some of their most powerful performances to date as these characters. (I firmly believe Robert Downey Jnr should be awarded all the awards for his performance).
Iron Man is the best character, by far in this movie. As the MCU started with him, its only fitting that it ends with him too. He is the backbone of these movies, with such a complex, truly human character with flaws, imperfections, strengths and weaknesses that he no longer feels like a character in a movie and instead he feels like a real friend.
If Iron Man is the backbone of the MCU, then Captain America is the heart. Captain America is the most indominable man in the entire universe and once again his character is absolutely amazing here, standing against evil in such extraordinary ways. His ending feels earned to his character and it only heightens the already tense emotions.
Thor is the funny bone of the Avengers. His character in this movie is taken in such a radical, but true direction that it only feels natural. His arc since Ragnarok is showcased here as the man in the deepest mindset of guilt, emptiness and loss. But, once more he discovers redemption and changes again, showing us a new side to a very new fan favourite.
Hulk is also at the end of a very interesting arc played out over Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War. Here we come across a new version of the Hulk who has seemingly accepted both sides of his persona. It is a fitting end to his character, but it does leave us with more questions moving forward.
Black Widow is definitely one of the standouts here. Her character is given a very strong and emotionally impactful finale. There is a mild frustration that there isn’t more time dedicated to her. Her ending is so tragic that when the epic finale starts, you can’t help but miss her character.
Finally, Hawkeye gets more time to shine here and proves that he is the most underrated hero of the original six. His character journey is a reminder that he is still a good man and he hasn’t gone too far down the rabbit hole that he can’t be brought back.
Special shout-out to Paul Rudd as Ant-Man who plays his character with far greater depth than ever before. Karen Gillan as Nebula also grows in such a large way that she has climbed to the top of one the best developed characters since her introduction. Rocket Raccoon also shines as he too continues to become more complex.
One of the best parts of this film that might have been forgotten in the grand spectacle of everything is the score. The Avengers theme has now become cemented as one of the greatest themes ever and its mere introduction is enough to send any fan wild with excitement.
Once again, the humour and action in this movie is on par, showcasing some of the best jokes Marvel has had to offer, continuing long running gags of the series and even adding new ones for the audience to enjoy. The action is absolutely insane, throwing everything at the wall in such a way that it blows every other ‘enormous fight scene’ out of the water.
Something that Endgame provides, which few other Marvel movies have done, is deliver such an emotionally charged film that it reduced me to tears, 8 times. There is such heartbreak, loss and earned happiness in this movie to celebrate and mourn for these characters we have come to love for so many years.
(If you are reading this and you want to know the specifics of when I cried, send me a message and I’ll tell you. Or if you think that’s weird, that’s fine too.)
In terms of ending the first three phases of the MCU, now known as the Infinity Saga, this movie delivers such a satisfying conclusion.
There is nothing quite like Avengers: Endgame. There was so much that could have gone wrong to ruin a near perfect run of storytelling spectacle.
But Avengers: Endgame pulled off the impossible and delivered a film that will be remember for countless years to come.
This is the perfect Marvel film and has joined the list of my all time favourite movies.
10 stars out of 10.