Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Brie Larson
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Studio: Marvel Studios
There are absolutely no spoilers in this review. Because of the film’s scope, anything outside of broad generalities will give away too much.
“10 years, 22 films” has become a mantra over the last year. Marvel Studios meticulously navigated shifts in priority, the needs of the market, combating “Comic Book Movie Fatigue” all while building towards the conclusion of what has been titled The Infinity Saga. Avengers: Endgame (2019) is the culmination of all things MCU and a love letter to film and comic fans alike. The crown jewel of the biggest film franchise in history.
In 2013, Marvel Studios switched gears creatively by beginning to create films that weren’t just spectacle, but more personal stories. That’s not to say that they weren’t doing this before. However, it seemed more apparent starting with Iron Man 3 and the Russos‘ first MCU film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The MCU is made up of several smaller character arcs which create bigger ones spanning the decade. All of that hard work is why audiences have grown attached to these characters.
The events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War has left our heroes emotionally and physically scarred. Marvel Studios are experts at crafting trailers, because you don’t truly realize how low they are until you’re watching the film. Each character is coping with it in their own unique way. You immediately feel the gravity of the devastation left in Thanos’s wake.
Unfortunately, you can’t talk too much about standout performances without possibly spoiling the film, but the entire cast delivers.
The performances are complemented by a strong screenplay from Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. There are tons of character moments to fill the roughly three-hour show time. Endgame also has a welcome return from Alan Silvestri, who hasn’t composed a Marvel film since The Avengers. It’s only right that he closes out the story. Silvestri does an excellent job of building tension and excitement when appropriate. I recommend watching in an RPX or 4D theater to get the best sound available.
Endgame has excellent pacing. There is no fluff and every scene means something. It’s edited in a way that audiences won’t be filled with dread for too long. The movie speeds things up in the right moments. It assumes that you’re aware of certain relationships, places, and events; as you should be at this point. The film is good enough that it can be enjoyed by someone who is brand new to the franchise. But it can’t truly be appreciated by the uninitiated. Endgame also takes the time to drop hints about the future of the MCU. It will be interesting to see how content will be rolling out since Feige has stated that there will be a true merging of the film and television properties after the launch of Disney+.
Avengers: Endgame is the most stressful and rewarding film in the MCU. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that will leave you feeling exhausted. Another thing to keep in mind is that Endgame does not close out this phase of the MCU. Per Kevin Feige, Spider-Man: Far From Home is closing out Phase 3.
There are no post-credit scenes so feel free to beat the crowd to the restroom.