Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studios
Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Produced by Kevin Feige
Screenplay by Christopher Markus/Stephen McFeely
Based on “The Avengers” by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography by Trent Opaloch
Edited by Jeffrey Ford. Matthew Schmidt
There are a few spoilers in this here review but I try to hold them down a minimum. Still, it might be best if you haven’t yet seen AVENGERS: ENDGAME to skip this until you do. Thanks for being understanding.
Upon returning home after seeing AVENGERS: ENDGAME Patricia looked at me and simply said; “You loved it.” It must have been that apparent on my face because I indeed loved AVENGERS: ENDGAME from start to finish. But I’ve loved all of the MCU movies from start to finish. Oh, there are different degrees to which I love them as I’ll put the “Thor” movies and “Black Panther” above any other with the exception of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” which is in so many ways the best of the MCU movies.
I’ve been reading Marvel comics books longer than a lot of you reading this have been alive. Many of the Marvel superheroes and the men and women who created them have been inspirations for my life, my imagination and my creativity. And it broke my heart when I stopped reading Marvel Comics somewhere around the late 1990s because I didn’t recognize these characters anymore. They weren’t the characters I believed in. Which is why I suppose I embraced the movies so wholeheartedly because while there were changes to the characters due to society as a whole having changed, the characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies were the characters I grew up reading, love and was delighted to recognize. I welcomed having them back in my imaginative life because these were characters who I could once again believe in and believe in what they stood for. And that’s why I walked out of AVENGERS: ENDGAME heartbroken but uplifted. Heartbroken because of the deaths of two characters who died heroically and in the service of others. That’s the way they wanted to go out and that’s the way they should go out. Didn’t make the deaths any less painful. But uplifted because AVENGERS: ENDGAME among the many other themes it deals with is one that always pumps my heart a little faster: the noblest thing anybody can do is doing the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do.
It’s been five years since The Big Snap. The galaxy is in chaos. The Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff is overseeing operations on Earth in The Avengers Compound with War Machine/James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and Okoye of Wakanda (Danai Gurira) and in space with Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers (Brie Larsen) to maintain some kind of semblance of order. The Big Three have all gone wildly separate ways. Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is running grief support groups. Thor Odinson (Chris Hemsworth) has given up being God of Thunder and descended into alcohol fueled depression. Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) seems to have found the best way of all. He’s married Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and they have a delightfully goofy five-year-old, Morgan (Lexi Rabe). Even Bruce Banner and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) have found peace and now co-exist with Banner’s intellect in control of The Hulk’s body.
And then Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) shows up at The Avengers Compound and tells Natasha and Steve that he has a way to bring everybody back and defeat Thanos once and for all, thanks to the technology and discoveries of Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Because Hank Pym discovered Pym Particles and thanks to the Pym Particles, The Avengers can all shrink down to sub-atomic size, access the Quantum Realm and travel through time. Because while five years passed on Earth, only five hours passed for Scott while he was trapped in The Quantum Realm (see “Ant-Man & The Wasp” for more details on that). And this also leads into one of the best scenes of the movie where The Avengers argue the rules of time travel, citing various movies and TV shows such as “Star Trek” “Back To The Future” “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” “Timecop”, etc. Which is one of the things I love about AVENGERS: ENDGAME is that just as it’s not afraid to go for a Muhammad Ali-size emotional gutpunch, it’s also not afraid to be as goofy as it wants to be, especially when it comes to The Hulk and Thor, who surprisingly enough are the comedy reliefs here.
And so, The Avengers embark on what will be in one way or another their final mission: go back in time to find The Infinity Stones themselves, construct their own Infinity Gauntlet and have their own Big Snap. One that will restore their loved ones and set all of reality right again.
But Tony Stark, as usual, says it best: “You mess with Time Travel…Time Travel messes with you.”
First off, let me say that I wasn’t surprised that Time Travel has to be used to defeat Thanos, especially after Dr. Strange (Bernard Cumberbatch) gave it up to Thanos (Josh Brolin) so easily in “Infinity War”. What I was surprised at how Time Travel was used to take us to so many key points and events in the previous MCU movies to essentially give us as the fans an opportunity to go through a sort of “Greatest Hits” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
And I have to mention this simply because I think this was one of the coolest things EVER to happen: when the scene of Star-Lord dancing and singing to Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” from the first “Guardians of The Galaxy” played on the screen, just about 75% of the audience I was watching the movie with started singing it as well.
The thing that I came away with from AVENGERS: ENDGAME was the emotion. And make no mistake: this is an emotional movie. These are characters we have become invested with over ten years and 22 movies. These aren’t just “superheroes.” At least they aren’t for me. I have come to care about them and I’ve become invested in their fates. And I can say that for The Big Three, they each have had extraordinary character arcs that by the end of this movie leaves them in places that I could not have said I saw coming when I saw “Iron Man” “Thor” or “Captain America: The First Avenger” all those years ago.
But at the same time this is a Blockbuster Epic and those capital letters are no accident. There are at least half a dozen Stand-Up and Cheer Moments easily in just the last hour as this is a Superhero Battle For The Ages. In fact, given what happens afterwards as we see the fate of The Big Three and the other Avengers, in a very real sense this is indeed Ragnarok. A Twilight of Some Very Human Gods.
Is that why, instead of a post-credits teaser we get the sound of hammering as we eagerly stare at the black screen, hoping for a promise of something new? Maybe this is a new MCU being hammered out on an unseen forge?
It is the only movie you should be going to see now.
And if I haven’t convinced you, here are links to reviews from some other folks I highly love, revere and respect that you might. Enjoy!