Review: Avengers: Endgame

Tony Stark riding through Afghanistan in a caravan of humvees was the start of a 22 film saga over the next 11 years.  It all comes to an end in Avengers: Endgame, the sequel to 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. Endgame isn’t just the end of a long story, but possibly the last time fans would see the original Avengers together – Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth).

Endgame picks up 22 days after Thanos (Josh Brolin) gave the universe a 50% discount. The surviving Avengers are grappling with massive loss/missing people and are trying to figure out what to do next. With the arrival of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), the team decides to take one more shot at Thanos. Things don’t go as planned and the they’re left in disarray as they struggle to find another solution.

Five years later, the Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) arrives at Avengers HQ with a crazy plan on how they could eventually beat Thanos and get their friends back.

Honestly, that’s as much of plot available to give without drifting into spoiler territory. .

What’s beautiful about the Avengers journey in Endgame is how much the film is focused on the original group. It’s a film about them and a film for fans of the franchise that have watched the group save the world numerous times. There’s a lot happening, especially during the third act, and the plot, script, and emotional moments stay focused on the core Avengers. Each one of them has a moment to shine during the film.

The story is surprisingly emotional. The stakes are high and the first act showcases how much stress and pressure the group is under. The team is broken and completely lost when the journey begins. The script takes that pain and uses it to write a beautiful love letter to the characters and their fans. The script is a delicate balance of paying homage to the past 22 films and telling a new story.

It wouldn’t be an Avengers movie if it wasn’t funny. Despite the high stakes, the film isn’t short on laughter or fun. The script leans on its humor to help cut the weight and emotion that lingers over the heroes. Everyone knows  well placed jokes and witty one-liners are perfect when you’re trying to distract someone from the end of the world.

As easily accessible as these films are, Endgame is for people who love these films and the characters. There are so many callbacks and references to other films MCU. The callbacks aren’t easter eggs so fans can recognize a person or a thing. Some are more subtle than others, but they’re brilliantly placed throughout the film to help move the plot forward or give a larger context to what’s happening.

A lot of our heroes have an interesting arc or an awesome moment in this film. The Avenger with the best moments is Captain America. He shines in every scene and has some of the best fight sequences. Cap has some of the best callbacks and he’s even has some of the best moments to be funny.

The final showdown is one of the best action sequences and finales in the MCU. There are some jaw-dropping moments. There are moments of laughter. And there are some heartfelt moments. It delivers everything fans want from an action movie. As predictable as these scenes can be, the Russo brothers do a good of keeping the ending up in the air until the final moments.

Endgame is the perfect send off. It’s a walk-off homerun in the bottom of the ninth. It’s the end of an era and one of the best comic book movies to date. Endgame packs an emotional punch and delivers on 11 years of film making. The film exceeds expectations by giving fans something they didn’t know they needed. Ending a story can be difficult and the Russo brothers found a way to end the saga, remain true to the characters, and gives fans something they’ll enjoy watching.

Grade: A+