Avengers: Endgame (2019): Film Review [Spoiler-Filled]
Updated: Jul 23, 2020
Major spoilers ahead for Marvel's Avengers: Endgame. Proceed with caution.
Please note: this review is of the version released on April 26, 2019. It does not cover any additional content included in the re-release, released on June 28, 2019.
Last year, the ending of Marvel Studios' Infinity War caused mass hysteria across the globe, as millions of people witnessed "the dusting" of many of their most beloved superhero characters from the eleven year built cinematic universe. Although these character deaths caused mass panic and sadness in many around the world, the sorrow was remedied by a simple fact: these superheroes weren't going to be dead forever. Due to announced films and general logic, people quickly deduced that their heroes would be risen soon enough. So now, after witnessing the twenty two movies that have encapsulated the universe, it feels weird knowing that the events I just witnessed, that I just experienced, will be permanent. There's not much to look forward too in the MCU's future as of right now, as the only announced date for a film is the new Spider-Man movie in July, so there's really nothing left to do but sit back and take it all in.
Avengers: Endgame picks up right where Infinity War left off, kicking off the 182 minute film with the dusting of Clint Barton's (Hawkeye) family, quickly setting the tone of the somber, dark film that Endgame is. After that, and a jump to five years later, a pure hour of expositional buildup ensues, basically showing the audience the "time heist plan", an idea to use the Quantum Realm as a time-gate to get to times where the stones had not been retrieved by Thanos. Once the plan is executed, we witness one of the oddest plot devices seen yet in Marvel history - a glorified creeping behind the scenes plot, where the surviving Avengers travel back into their previous movies to collect the Infinity Stones. Once Thanos gets a hold of their plan, he travels to 2023 Earth to end this madness once and for all, leading to a thrilling climatic conclusion unlike anything ever seen before in studio, and film, history
Never before I have I heard a theatre cheer so loud, or so many times, that's all I can truly say. Every time a major event would occur, shouts, claps, or cries would immediately follow, prompting a collective laugh from most of the movie-goers. Now, usually I would be angry about situations like this, as it is obnoxious in most cases, but for Endgame, it just felt right. The movie was emotion filled at it's core, and had almost too many moments that made you want to stand up and cheer. The film is a perfect climatic conclusion to so many aspects of Marvel Studios - the "Infinity Saga", phase three, the other twenty-one films, plus the Marvel careers of both Downey Jr. and Evans. The goodbyes are hard to say, but they are done in well respected ways - each taking a different emotional path than the other. Personally, although I found Captain America's "death" heartfelt, it felt a tad rushed to me, but nothing was as rushed as the death of "Black Widow" which just seemed to come and go for most of the cast members. It felt almost as if it happened, was talked about for ten seconds, and then immediately forgotten about for the majority of the rest of the movie. The final battle feels a tad rushed, and I would have liked to see a little more action in such a monumental series of moments, although my dissatisfaction with the final battle may be due to the fact that Infinity War had a tremendously long final battle. But besides the "rushed" finale, slow pace at the very start, and general points of plot incohesiveness, it can't be disputed: Endgame is a triumph. It will satisfy all aspects of the studio's existence, making all the time spent watching the other film worth it while structurally laying down the foundation for the future of Marvel Studios. From here, it feels hard to know where to go now, but one thing is for sure: I am more than excited to see what path the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes in the future, in both the short-term and the long-term.