Article by: J.C. De Leon
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been one of the most epic film franchises ever. 11 years, 22 movies. To put that into perspective, the James Bond franchise is still one of the largest movies franchises in terms of number of entries at 25, but it’s taken 53 years for them to get there. The MCU has its 23rd movie scheduled to come out later this year with the next Spider-Man film, in addition to the inevitable sequels for Doctor Strange as well as Black Panther. This massive undertaking in film culminated in the highly anticipated finale in Avengers: Endgame. It is an immensely epic film, filled with so many characters. Even with a three hour long runtime how could it possibly deliver on such huge promise? It does. It does in every way imaginable.
Endgame picks up 23 days after ‘the decimation’ where Thanos snapped away half of all existence. The Avengers are reeling back on Earth and in Space, Iron Man and Nebula are making a futile attempt to get back to Earth from Titan after battling, and losing to Thanos. Captain Marvel happens upon the ship and she carries it back to Earth where Tony Stark realizes the full scale of their massive loss. From there, a plan is devised to ultimately try and bring back all of ‘the vanished’.
There’s obviously much more the simple plot of this one entry into the MCU, but to discuss more would be doing a disservice to the mastery in which this one entry expertly ties up all 21 of the previous films. That’s what this film is more than anything else. This is a conclusion to an entire decade of epic films. It’s as complex as life itself is. It’s extremely dark at times, very funny at others. It’s got the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. It even ties up all the loose ends very nicely.
Like Infinity War and Civil War before it, Endgame is directed by Russo brothers, Joe and Anthony and written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. That core crafted an ambitious story that’s more intricate than its predecessors. Endgame tells a story that becomes more and more complex as the movie goes along. There isn’t a moment where it’s obvious how things are going to work out, or even if they will, because everything just keeps getting harder and harder for the characters, ratcheting up the tension and intrigue. It makes the three hour runtime understandable as there a lot of loose ends being tied up and the ultimate payoff ends up being worth the time spent with every character that they did.
What stands out most about Endgame is how remarkably dramatic the film is. While one can legitimately argue that these are technically ‘kids movies’, there is a lot to chew on here in the first two acts that someone with a shorter attention span, or someone who hasn’t seen all of the previous (and I do sincerely mean ALL) 21 films. There are moments that are brought back here that you might not have ever expected to see referenced again. Characters from previous films you wouldn’t have expected to see are here. This ties in everything, and of course nothing will be spoiled here.
Reviewing Avengers: Endgame is an interesting task. If you haven’t been a fan of these movies, there isn’t much here that’s going to reel you in. Because this movie isn’t for you. This movie is for the people who’ve been with this epic franchise since 2007 when Robert Downey Jr first donned that iron suit. This is for the people who could watch these movies all day, much like Steve Rogers could keep up the fight all day. This is for the kid from Brooklyn, this is for Wakanda, and Asgard, so many others, but of course, this is for the true believers. This is the ultimate gift for Marvel fans. It’s a shame that the man behind it all, Stan Lee isn’t around to see it. This movie would have made him proud, and if you’re a fan of these films, it’ll make you proud, too.