It’s that day we’ve all been waiting for since those last tear-jerking 15 minutes of silence in April 2018, Avengers: Endgame. Going back and re-watching all the films that lead up to this was trip in its own right, but now that the journey has lead to this definitive moment there’s so much to talk about without treading on sacred ground. This will give away important plot points to Infinity War so if you haven’t seen that yet, this is your only warning to go watch the prequel before this spoiler-free review of the eleven year pay-off.
Thanos (Josh Brolin) has wiped out half the universe with his infinity gauntlet, including some of the best heroes on Earth and in space. Things aren’t the same anymore, but where do the survivors go from here?
And that’s the best way to sum up the plot without giving away the tiniest detail. Every story element and character has a point, even during the slower paced scenes. And to give those small moments away would still be blasphemy as this constantly subverts expectations while delivering a new path to walk down. What it does have is a focus that’s opposite to Infinity War. It’s the heroes’ time in the spotlight while the villain is retiring in the shadows. Is Thanos still the most menacing threat? Yes he is, and that’s all to say about him. There’s two things about Avengers movies, minus Age of Ultron, that make them stand out from the other MCU entries. One, they signify a drastic change in the universe which doesn’t break tradition here following a third act that might as well take away your, lungs, spine, heart and whatever’s left of the human anatomy by the end. Two, the different team ups. Since the battle of New York, the different combinations of heroes made for the best laughs and quips that can rival some of the most memorable quotes in film history. It’s like going to Baskin Robbins and getting a different double scoop order: no two flavors are the same. This already had a lot of character to juggle in the first half of this two-part epic, but everything’s kept in balance for three hours doing justice to both movie goers and those who know the outcome in the comics.
Speaking of the third act, the fighting sequences have the most ambitious choreography and scale combining the best of piratical costumes and computer graphics. When both clash against an unpredictable future it’s like watching an explosion on a planet from space: the whole galaxy has a front row seat. Having the same budget as its predecessor no expense is spared when push comes while paired with Alan Silvestri’s foreboding score. Hopefully this year it will take home the visual effects Oscar over the next generic space movie of 2019. Sometimes stylization can have more benefits than photo-realism.
Avengers: Endgame is the Return of the King to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It took all expectations from that first Avengers experience back in 2012, when crossovers were just a pipe-dream, and ramped it up to maximum overdrive in characters, effects, action, story and stakes. I’ll see it again soon to compare both opinions. One with all the crowd cheers and terrified gasps, the other with time to think back on the story. But one thing’s for sure, come home release, I’m immediately buying it on Blu-Ray to complete the other half of this five hour yin-yang epic that’s a once in a life time experience for this generation.