Possible spoilers ahead!!
Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Endgame” picks up just a few weeks after the events of “Avengers: Infinity War.” The final battle with Thanos (Josh Brolin) saw the Titan using all of the Infinity Stones to snap away half of all life in the universe. In the aftermath of Infinity War, humanity is holding on by a thread, as the task of counting the missing continues around the world.
Earth’s mightiest heroes suffered loses during Thano’s attack as well. The only remaining Avengers are Iron Man (Robert Downey JR.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and War Machine (Don Cheadle). But for Endgame they’re joined by new allies Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson).
As time goes by, all of the survivors are forced to deal with the fallout from Thanos’ victory in his or her own way. But moving on is easier said than done for some, so when an opportunity presents itself to potentially bring back the vanished, the heroes all come together and set out on their most daunting missions ever.
It is nearly impossible to write an “Avengers: Endgame” without spoiling one of its many twists and turns. So in an attempt to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, I’m going to try to keep it as vague as possible. What I can say without spoiling anything, is that “Avengers: Endgame” is a massive game changer. Not just for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but for comics book movies in general. Just in terms of ambition, Endgame tops them all and will be very hard to top.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo deliver a film that is the perfect mix between high drama and cathartic comedy. Endgame features some of the darkest and most emotionally honest scenes in the history of comic book movies. But the somber sections play well alongside some of the most unexpected comedy of any of the 22 MCU entries. I honestly did not expect this movie to be as funny as it was at times. If you’ve seen the movie, I think you’ll know what I mean.
Not surprisingly, the original six Avengers get more focus than some of the others. To their credit though, all of the actors give some of their best performances yet, especially the original six: Downey, Evans, Hemsworth, Ruffalo, Johansson, and Renner. Endgame is their best MCU work yet, and that’s saying something. I think they all knew how important Endgame was, and they poured their heart and souls into their roles.
Because of what occurred in Infinity War, “Avengers: Endgame” has a more focused story. This allowed for the core characters to truly shine. That’s not to say the script is perfect. There are moments when the story gets a little all over the place, or certain things are never explained.
I was also surprised at how little some of the characters had to do. But none of that takes away from the heart of the story. If anything, the script goes out of its way to make sure each of the characters gets a story arc. That’s not easy to pull off with a movie with so many characters, but “Avengers: Endgame” pulls it off nicely.
In addition to the excellent character drama, “Avengers: Endgame” delivers all the superhero spectacle you can handle. The movie has plenty of action through its three-hour runtime, but it’s the third act which tops anything seen before in a comic book movie. Through it all, I kept thinking “This is a comic book come to life.” It’s everything I could have hoped for an more and it sent chills down my spine.
“Avengers: Endgame” has plenty of moments comics fans will love and moments general audiences will enjoy. One of my favorite moments was between Black Widow and Hawkeye. In any other movie, the two characters would have kissed. But the MCU did the right thing by letting them say what they needed to and then just putting their heads together. That told you all you needed to know about how they felt about each other.
When all is said and done, “Avengers: Endgame” is one of the most satisfying movies that I’ve ever seen. The film made me laugh and cry, more than once, and I’m not ashamed to say it. After thirty years of reading comic books, I never dreamt I’d see a movie like Endgame. This film didn’t just exceed any expectations I may have had, it crushed them.
“Avengers: Endgame” score: A