If You’ve Been Holding Out For A Hero, Then Avengers: Endgame Delivers
Spoilers for the ending of “Avengers: Infinity War” follow but absolutely no spoilers for “Avengers: Endgame” are contained within this review.
On paper, “Avengers: Endgame” is a proposition that really should be laughable rather than something you can pull off. Continuing off the cliffhanger ending of “Avengers: Infinity War”, a fun movie that did have a bad habit of throwing away characterization at the expense of spectacle, that saw so many beloved superheroes perish after Thanos (Josh Brolin) used the “Infinity Gauntlet” to snap half of the universe out of existence, “Avengers: Endgame” decides to expand its scope even wider than “Infinity War’s” already expansive storytelling canvas. This should result in excess to the nth degree, but instead, “Avengers: Endgame” winds up as something extraordinary, a blockbuster movie that can touch your heart so profoundly and also make you giggle with giddy glee at what fun is transpiring on-screen. As someone who frequently enjoys these Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, this fan-service heavy entry is aimed squarely at me, and there’s plenty of moments in the film that made the nerdy side of me break out into convulsions of joy for sure.
However, “Avengers: Endgame” is honestly such a well-made and enjoyable movie that its qualities can’t merely stem from this film shoving familiar callbacks or personal fan-favorite characters onto the screen. Much of the joy comes from Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, under the direction of Anthony & Joe Russo delivering a screenplay that takes plenty of time for little character beats that have always been my favorite part of these Marvel movies. As for exactly what happens in the plot, I’ll not offer a plot summary of what transpires in the screenplay.
I will say, though, that the film’s story makes great use of the characters’ interactions being impacted by the events of “Avengers: Infinity War” or “Captain America: Civil War”. Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, have all grappled with the loss of loved ones at the hand of Thanos in varying ways and the surprisingly thoughtful way in which “Endgame” approaches these individual grieving processes captures the recognizable humanity that’s always made these Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes so interesting.
“Avengers: Endgames” actually comes off as a more light-hearted Avengers movie compared to “Infinity War”. Somehow “Avengers: Endgame” is able to transition from poignant depictions of grief to wacky antics involving Paul Rudd or Mark Ruffalo without undercutting either element. Like the best magic trick, the tonal balancing act of “Avengers: Endgame” constantly keeps you dazzled while making you wonder “How are they pulling this off?”
Also dazzling in “Avengers: Endgame” is the assorted performances from the massive collection of actors assembled for this production. MCU MVP’s Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans impress the most.
Just like Downey Jr. and Evans, “Avengers: Endgame” directors Anthony & Joe Russo are returning after numerous Marvel Cinematic Universe efforts to deliver some of their best work yet. The Russo Brothers have gotten only more ambitious as filmmakers over the course of their four MCU motion pictures and the script for “Endgame” offers them plenty of chances to further expand their filmmaking horizons.
The Russo Brothers also maintain in “Endgame” one of the most wonderful visual traits of their prior Marvel Cinematic Universe directorial efforts: memorable grand entrances for superhero characters. Theatricality is an element to be embraced, not avoided, in “Avengers: Endgame” and reveling in the bombastic leads to a barrage of wonderfully realized crowdpleaser moments throughout the whole movie that had me constantly cheering. Even as someone whose predominately enjoyed the various Marvel Cinematic Universe adventures over the last eleven years, “Avengers: Endgame” comes off as something immensely special. It’s a feature that’s intimately moving and also something utterly sweeping in its ambitions, with both elements being so well-realized that they’ll doubtlessly wring some tears out of viewers. Maybe it shouldn’t work conceptually, but in execution, “Avengers: Endgame” doesn’t just stick the landing, it sticks the landing and then proceeds to do an hour or two of impressive cartwheels.
Douglas Laman is a film critic, who, when not watching movies, attends Collin College, hangs out with friends… watches movies. For more of his work and ramblings, visit his website at www.landofthenerds.blogspot.com.