11 years. 11 franchises. 21 films. It has all been building up to this, and in Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios not only delivers one of its best films but the first true comic book epic ever to be put to screen.
Endgame picks up in the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War, where the Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) used the power of the Infinity Stones to wipe half the universe out of existence. As Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) struggle to stay alive in space, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) and the other remaining Avengers hatch a plot to confront Thanos-when that fails, the surprise re-emergence of Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) leads to a desperate gambit to undo the Decimation.
Anthony and Joe Russo, who helmed Infinity War (as well as the Captain America sequels Winter Soldier and Civil War) return to the directors’ chair here and they are at the top of their game. The Russos are often known for their high octane action sequences, but in Endgame they put character first and foremost, as each of the Avengers is tested emotionally. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) grieves the loss of the only family she’s ever known; Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) lashes out at a world that took everything from him; Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) finally finds a measure of peace, and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) struggles to find a new purpose.
Yet the true stars of this ensemble are Downey Jr and Evans, as they dig deep into their characters and manage to find a measure of closure in the process. Tony finds a new purpose in the aftermath of the Decimation, and upon hearing that it can be reversed finds himself conflicted about whether or helping is the best option for him; Steve is pushed to his breaking point as he races to win the biggest battle of his life. It’s heavy, emotional stuff, and both men give performances that will leave you in tears.
Thanks to the Russos’ masterful direction, and a sprawling screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, Endgame not only manages to be an amazing film in its own right, but a tribute to the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Several characters make a surprising return, there are callbacks to Infinity War and other films, and the end credits sequence reminds you just how many people have committed to this modern mythology. It is a film made by comic book fans, for comic book fans.
Avengers: Endgame is the perfect capstone to the Infinity Saga, and in my humble opinion one of the best comic book movies ever made. I definitely recommend it!
FINAL VERDICT: 5 out of 5 Infinity Gauntlets.
Editors Note: *taps mic* Yeah, Sceritz here. I knew CJ would be the best individual to give us a nearly spoiler-free recount of what is likely the most incredible super hero movie of this decade, if not lifetime. But I could not let this moment pass without dropping a few short words.
Endgame is not just a movie. New fans have been able to grow for 10 years with these characters, and others have been reading comics for just as long or several times that, dreaming of a spectacle of this magnitude. This movie is awesome in itself, yes, but what is more awesome was the idea of bringing 21 films together into a most masterful of culminating events.
The world was able to see what comic fans have known for years, some even their whole lives- the power of a vast and expansive universe and the effect that great characters with great abilities fighting for great causes, coming from all different walks of life, can have when they fight together. That’s what this movie brings us. The comic formula at it’s pinnacle. The epitome of why we love the Marvel Universe. As the late great Stan would say: