‘Avengers: Endgame’ wraps up an 11-year journey in the best way possible
How do you end this era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)? Beginning with Iron Man in 2008, the MCU launched a new kind of superhero movie. No longer did we have to see movies only featuring the top named superheroes—Spider-Man, X-men, Superman, Batman, and the Fantastic Four all had several movies before Robert Downey Jr. was given the chance to play the troubled playboy billionaire. Iron Man may be one of the most recognizable heroes today, but when he got his first shot in a big-screen starring role, he wasn’t a household name. Planning an entire universe with highly interconnected movies made the MCU something truly special that cannot be replicated. But, with everything in life, there is an end. The appropriately titled “Avengers: Endgame” brings the 22-movie experience to a close. While it is not the perfect movie, it is the the best way Marvel could end this piece of cinematic history.
This is a spoiler-free review.
The movie doesn’t hit you like a normal superhero movie. Usually the second or third act is awkwardly paced or falls flatter than the rest of the movie, but Endgame does something I wasn’t expecting. The movie deliberately makes the first act the slowest and builds until it hits its climax in the last 20 minutes. Everything in the movie is building towards a specific goal, and you are always reminded both of the plan and what the stakes are. The story doesn’t stray from the point, making you feel almost as if you’re on the mission as well. The slow burn of the first act really captures the story and makes you feel for the characters. Superhero movies have a tendency to be too simplistic, and the nature of a superhero movie leads to the plot being easy to understand by the largest possible audience. “Endgame” isn’t the most complex movie, but it doesn’t spoon-feed the audience like other movies do. At times, it becomes a movie with superheroes rather than a superhero movie. Don’t expect “Infinity War Part 2.”
You can also enjoy this movie no matter your level of involvement in the MCU. For casual viewers with minimal knowledge of the previous 21 movies, it’ll be a cultural moment and a good movie to watch. For light to heavy fans, the more you watch, the more you’ll enjoy. The people who will enjoy this the most are the super fans. This movie is filled to the brim with visual and vocal callbacks. There were points where I cried because of a singular phrase or background piece. There is something important in almost every scene in behind the action. This is definitely a movie you want to watch multiple times.
There is so much I can say about this movie, but I don’t want to spoil it in any way. This is a beautiful film that every Marvel and superhero fan should see. “Avengers: Endgame” was a massive undertaking by thousands of people, as noted by the credits. You may dislike superhero movies and think they’re childish, but, for so many, these movies have been a source of comfort, inspiration and resilience in a world that rarely makes sense or works. I am incredibly sad that this was the end for this era of films, but I am beyond excited for what comes next.
Face forward, true believers.