Fantastic fanfare and a fitting end to the Avengers series.
Avengers: Endgame picks up after Thanos eliminated half of the universe's population. Dealing with the loss of their comrades, the remaining superheroes move on, as best as they can, in their lives. Until an Avenger, long thought dead, returns and has with a crazy idea that might salvage this mess.
And no, it does not involve Ant-Man going up Thanos' butt and exploding him from within by enlarging himself.
Here be spoilers… actually, just for this post, we're going spoiler-free. Enjoy.
What we like
What a long strange trip this was. Eleven years, 22 movies, all leading up to this. It feels like the end but it's not—Spider-Man: Far From Home is coming out this year; James Gunn has been reinstated for the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie. This is far from the demise of the house that is Marvel (especially with the Mouse's backing) but it is the end of the Avengers as we know it.
But it is a fitting end. Look. The fates of certain characters will not sit well with some people but I can't think of a better send-off. In fact, this is a ballsy move for Marvel when it comes to their own property. But ultimately, this movie is a love letter to the fans so expect fan service in Endgame. (There is one moment that's a callback to Avengers: Age of Ultron that actually made me yelp with joy.)
It's thrilling. There were moments in the film that drew out a collective gasp from the audience. Yes, there is a huge battle scene but unlike the last movie, Endgame is a more contemplative affair. Imagine this: your hero, the person that you look up to, fails to meet your expectations. This is what Endgame is about—the Avengers failed to stop Thanos and now have to deal with the aftermath.
Endgame might be a crossover of the Marvel movieverse but Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans dominate the film by plumbing the emotional depths of their characters. Iron Man aka Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr) is badly affected by the demise of Peter Parker, who followed him into a mission like some starry-eyed ingenue. Stark takes out his anger on those closest around him, specifically at Captain America aka Steve Rogers (Chris Evans).
Rogers, on the other hand, is familiar with loss when he was frozen in ice for 70 years only to wake to find everybody he knew old or dead. He relives it all over again with the 'snap'. Both men deal with their griefs in different ways: one moves on, while the other remains hopeful in bringing everybody back.
It's a long shot, really. After all, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) did mention that of out of all the possible outcomes he'd seen, there's only one out of 14 million that is successful. But it is fun to see them try.
What we didn't like
Given how massive this movie is, certain characters are not given their time to shine. Especially for one key character, which is a shame as this person was heavily hyped up. In fact, due to the lack of screen time, one even wonders if this character was even needed in the film.
Don't think too hard about the science of the film. I tried and it still doesn't make sense. A healthy suspension of disbelief is needed for this. Certain things that were set up in the last film, didn't pan out in this one. It feels like they could be elaborated upon but given the already bloated running time, if I had my way, the film would run for another 45 minutes. Also, if you haven't watched previous Marvel movies, some aspects of the film might go over your head.
The CGI is… terrible. I mean, it's fine when it comes to the epic fight scenes but, for example, when it came to de-ageing a certain someone, it comes across as fake. Perhaps even, uncanny valley-ish.
What to look out for
Since this is a Russo Brothers project, there are cameos made by two people (at least by my count) from the sitcom, Community, which the siblings directed a few episodes of. There's also a final Stan Lee cameo.
Avengers: Endgame is out now.