Thursday, May 16, 2019

Movie Review: "Avengers: Endgame" (2019)

Director: Joe and Anthony Russo
Year: 2019
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 3 hours, 1 minute

After Thanos successfully wiped out half of all life on earth, the Avengers are left mourning the loss of their teammates that were snapped out of existence. As some of the remaining Avengers search for a way to move on with their lives, others seek a solution to bring all of those who vanished back into the universe.

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man in Marvel's Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man in Marvel's "Avengers: Endgame." (Image Source)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe started with "Iron Man" (2008). Thanos (Josh Brolin) made his first appearance in the mid-credits of "Avengers" (2012), and now, after years of waiting, after watching nearly two dozen movies, and after the addition of countless characters that we know and love, this story arc is finally coming to a close with "Avengers: Endgame" (2019). This 22nd installment in the MCU is once again directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, who have directed other Marvel films such as "Captain America: Winter Soldier" (2014), "Captain America: Civil War" (2016), and "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018). The screenplay is written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who worked with the Russo brothers on all of the previously mentioned Marvel movies. This film begins right where "Infinity War" ended with half the universe wiped out of existence by Thanos. Those who survived the snap are left mourning the destruction of their friends. Some struggle to come to terms with the loss by searching for a way to bring them back if that's even possible. Others try to move on with their lives and accept their new reality. When all hope seems lost, help arrives from a very unexpected place, but the Avengers will need everyone who is left on board to make the plan work.
Brie Larson as Captain Marvel and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel's Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Brie Larson as Captin Marvel and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel's "Avengers: Endgame." (Image Source)
Who would have thought that 11 years ago, "Iron Man" (2008) would go on to create one of the vastest production feats in all of cinematic history? The MCU contains 22 films with an interconnected narrative thread, but each entry manages to be its own separate entity, and every movie led to this same conclusion: "Endgame" (2019). The assumption some may have had while going into this film was that, given the impossible nature of this task, there was no way Russo brothers could tie it all up into a satisfying conclusion. Television writers and producers have struggled to give long-running series gratifying endings for decades. Somehow, despite the odds, Marvel managed to do it pretty damn seamlessly.

After "Infinity War," theories emerged about how some thought the story was going to end. Many claimed that "Endgame" would basically retcon the events of "Infinity War," making the entire film a pointless cash-grab to a much larger finale. We are happy to report that those naysayers were wrong. Writers Markus and McFeely and Joe and Anthony Russo manage to do what needed to be done without removing the happenings and emotional impact of the previous installment. The stakes are legitimate, and the sacrifices are real, as is the pain and suffering those sacrifices left behind. People expecting "Endgame" to be a non-stop action-packed blowout may walk away from the feature a little disappointed considering the first half of the film is very character-driven as each Avenger must deal with the emotional fallout and search for answers to past events. Despite all the sadness that surrounds the people who are left on earth, there are still bouts of humor and fun, two qualities which have become synonymous with the MCU and have helped make it the juggernaut that it is today. As scenes are replayed from different perspectives, wrongs, blunders, and continuity errors are undone in a way that makes total sense within the larger picture. It really is rather genius how it's all handled. Though the first portion is not nearly as action heavy, it is exceedingly well paced, and even with a three-hour runtime, we never felt bored, and the movie still flies by its runtime. For those who yearn for a lot of excitement, explosions, and battles, all will be delivered in the third act, which is loaded with action, heart, emotion, and catharsis. There are so many moments during the final showdown that made our audience clap and cheer and hoot and holler.
Bradley Cooper as Rocket Racoon and Don Cheadle as War Machine in Marvel's "Avengers: Endgame"
Bradley Cooper as Rocket Racoon and Don Cheadle as War Machine in Marvel's "Avengers: Endgame." (Image Source)
Though "Avengers: Endgame" is not the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is both the conclusion of an era and the beginning of something new. It made us laugh, it made us cry, it made us squeal with emotion and happiness and sadness. It is a near-perfect completion to this ten-year experiment that we think paid off handsomely. Word to the wise, in case it's not painfully clear already, don't go into "Endgame" without at least some surface knowledge of the MCU because you will be lost. Besides, we don't start books with the last chapter, and we don't start watching television shows with the final episode, so don't let this be your starting point. This film, and we realize how misused this phrase has been warped throughout the years but stick with us because it's true, is for the fans who have stuck by Marvel for the last decade through thick and thin. A massive thanks to everyone who has ever been involved with these pictures in front of and behind the camera. You're the real MVPs. We loved this movie, stop reading this review, and go see it again!

My Rating: 9.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 9.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~8.8/10
RT Rating: ~94%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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