In 2008, Iron Man came to theatres around the world and launched us into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the last 11 years, 22 films in the MCU have been released, introducing us to a vast range of characters, worlds, and stories. On Wednesday, April 24th, we were finally given a thrilling conclusion to the Infinity Saga – Avengers: Endgame.
Before we get into the review, I’ll take it back a little to refresh your memory. Infinity War ended with Thanos taking all the Infinity Stones and snapping his fingers, wiping half of the universe into non-existence. Ant-Man and the Wasp’s post credit scene leaves Scott Lang (AKA Ant-Man) stuck floating in the quantum realm after Thanos’ snap. Captain Marvel’s post credit scene shows Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel herself) showing up at Avengers HQ ready to find Nick Fury and kick some arse. The trailer shows Tony Stark floating in space preparing a good-bye message, followed by a montage of the (surviving) Avengers trying to sort the world out or move on.
Now you’re all caught up, let’s get into the review. The first half will not contain spoilers. Don’t worry, we will warn you.
There’s no denying that this is a long film – three hours, in fact! The first act drags on a little slowly but is definitely necessary to the story and characters. Once this section is finished though, the rest of the movie just flies by (and doesn’t feel like a three-hour film).
This is a film for the fans, filled with constant Easter eggs, nods to deleted scenes, and references to the comics. Obviously you can enjoy it without being an MCU stan, but you’ll appreciate it way more if you’re up-to-date and in-the-loop.
The story is fun, different, and mostly unexpected. The action scenes are extremely well-done and coherent, and the plot is mostly easy to follow (though you need to have at least a vague understanding of the MCU). Every scene is jam-packed with engaging visuals, fantastic characters, or important information, meaning that you really need to focus while watching. Thankfully, it’s super engaging so you don’t really need to worry about losing interest.
Avengers: Endgame may not be as visually stunning as The Grand Budapest Hotel or as influential as Donnie Darko or Pulp Fiction, but it’s fantastic nonetheless. The visual effects, acting, soundtrack, and camera shots were all amazing, though are nothing life-changing or revolutionary. What this film really excels at is telling engaging stories while simultaneously referencing the previous 21 films and comics, giving characters appropriate time and motivations, and giving a satisfying climax to the Infinity Saga.
This part contains major spoilers! If you haven’t seen Avengers: Endgame, then probably stop reading.
The surviving Avengers come together and find Thanos and the Infinity Stones to bring everyone back. However, Thanos is now half-dead revealing he has destroyed the Infinity Stones and almost killed himself in the process. Thor then “goes for the head,” chopping Thanos’s head off in a fantastic moment of revenge and anger. This moment gave me goosebumps and made the entire theatre gasp. Everything that we had been waiting for since Infinity War was seemingly over in the first thirty minutes.
The movie skips forward five years. FIVE. YEARS. All the heroes are doing their own thing, trying their best to help the surviving population. The city shots show us a run-down, post-apocalyptic world. Too often in action or fantasy films, the thing that ultimately goes wrong ends up with little to no consequence to the overall series. Thankfully, there were significant (and consistent) consequences to the actions that took place in Infinity War.
To save the world, they must go back in time through the quantum realm and retrieve the Infinity Stones before Thanos. Every scene which involved time travel reminded me of Back to the Future 1 and 2 (obviously), and I found myself questioning their actions due to my preconceived rules of time travel which I’ve gained from said movies. This film was self-aware though, making sure to reference Back to the Future and basically say that they don’t really know the rules of time travel either. It made my confusion feel more warranted when characters were saying what I was thinking.
When they finally got their hands on the Infinity Stones, Hulk used the glove to bring everyone back. In that moment, we are shown the effect the stones have on someone as strong as Hulk – crippling and extremely painful. Not only did this help me see Thanos’ strength in Infinity War, but looking back it helped me understand the unbelievable pain Tony Stark must’ve gone through in the ending. Those are the only three people who wore the glove and used the stones, and I loved the comparison of strength between them all.
Ant-Man’s appearance is welcomed and is a necessary change of pace. Where the rest of the crew are somewhat used to each other and the constant threats, Ant-Man handles it like a normal human – confused, hesitant, and intrigued. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice any references to the Ant-Man expanding in the Thanos meme. Minus one point, Marvel.
Throughout this film, Thor goes through a huge change. He is riddled with guilt for not killing Thanos in Infinity War, and half of the population died. In reaction, Thor is dealing with this trauma in an unhealthy way – gaining weight, drinking profusely, and abandoning his duties. Some audience members said that this was how Thor was before he became an Avenger, and he’s merely reverted to his old ways. Others say that by showing these issues in a comical way, this film is mocking real reactions to trauma. Just something to think about.
Captain America and Iron Man step up in this movie – their final movie – to save the world one last time. When Cap used the Mjolnir, myself and the movie theatre all gasped and I heard various “oh my God”’s all around me. I got goosebumps and very nearly cried. When Tony ripped the infinity stones from Thanos and used them himself, the reaction was the same. They had both done their time saving the world and were due to retire (or die), so Endgame was a nice farewell.
The actors and characters are all fantastic with logical character progressions and sub-plots. There were some cringey moments (cough, cough, Hulk dabbing), some slow moments, and some possibly problematic jokes; but overall, this was a really great film.
What did you think of Avengers: Endgame? Tell us in the comments below!