“Avengers: Endgame”- Movie Review

I don’t know what’s crazier- the sheer scope of how far the Marvel Cinematic Universe has come in the past decade, or the fact that a simple 2008 action movie kick started the golden age of the superhero genre and pioneered the most successful franchises in film history. Either way, it’s an impressive feat. And for those of us who have been following the MCU since day one, seeing ten years worth of storytelling and world-building come to a head is both exciting and bittersweet.

Avengers: Endgame picks up right where Infinity War left off. Half of all life in the universe has been snapped out of existence by Thanos (Josh Brolin), and the Avengers are reeling from the aftermath. Although it seems like what’s been done cannot be undone, our heroes are determined to find a way. Their desperation takes them on a wild, emotional, and time-bending quest to avenge those who were lost and make things right.

To say anything more about the plot would be to drift too far into spoiler territory, and the last thing I want to do is rob you of the joy that spawns from going into this movie completely blind. If you expect to see great action sequences, an unpredictable plot and performances that are the strongest they’ve ever been, then Endgame is everything you’ve hoped for. It’s funny, it’s emotional, it’s thrilling, and it’s a satisfying close to the first saga of the MCU.

The film is a modern epic in every sense of the word. The Russo brothers do a hell of a job with the direction. They once again showcase their ability to juggle multiple characters and storylines and execute them in a smooth, focused way. They had the daunting task of wrapping up 22-films worth of narratives into a neat bow while also making sure the final chapter connects to everything that came before, and they manage to pull if off.

The chemistry among the actors remains to be the heart of the franchise. The acting- especially from Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Scarlett Johansson- is particularly strong. Each character has their time to shine in both the action scenes and the more dramatic moments. It’s easy to connect with them on an emotional level because we’ve known them for so long. Seeing them interact with one another- some for the last time-  is an experience in and of itself.

Despite the amount praise this movie deserves, it’s not a perfect film. The pacing can be a little inconsistent at times. The film clocks in at a whopping three hours, and you can feel it sometimes. The first two acts, while immensely entertaining, are noticeably slower than the third. The film also plays with the notion of time-travel, the rules of which don’t always make sense. Thankfully, it’s not too complicated. But once in a while I did find myself focused too much on the conceptual holes rather than on the story itself. If you’re a stickler for time-travel, it might be a big hindrance for you. If you buy into the rules and don’t think too much into it, then I doubt it’ll distract you.

All is forgiven once it reaches the third act. That is when the film earns it’s epic tone, bursting at the seams with geektastic awesomeness. And after it’s over, you’re left satisfied yet wanting more. Endgame lives up to what the MCU has been promising since the end of the first Avengers movie. It marks the end of an era, a closing chapter of what is to be remembered as a cultural phenomenon. Walking out of the theater is similar to walking out of your high school graduation- you’re sad that the journey is over, but you’re also eager to see what the future holds.

Cosmic Grade- 4.7/5 Stars

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