We’re in the Endgame now (Spoiler-Free Review)


photo by Marvel Studios

Avengers: Endgame premiered in American cinemas on April 26, 2019. It earned $1.2 billion worldwide in its opening weekend, breaking the record for the worldwide highest-grossing opening weekend of all time.

Critics have tried for years to review Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in a vacuum. They always ask “How does this film stand on its own?” Even Infinity War, one of the most continuity-laced films of this franchise, could still be judged on its own merits due to the story focusing on Thanos (Josh Brolin). Avengers: Endgame, directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and the 22nd movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, finally breaks that trend.

If viewed on its own merits, the film can drag in certain points can be messy and disjointed, having to jump back and forth between so many characters at once. Yet, that kind of review doesn’t do this film justice, because it was never supposed to be judged on its own. The only way to review this film is to view it as a culmination; the climax and conclusion of a story that began nearly 11 years ago in 2008’s Iron Man. To not do that would be a disservice to the film, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.

With that said, Avengers: Endgame did what it set out to do. It gave viewers a fist-pumping, tear-jerking yet satisfying conclusion to the story of the original Avengers: Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johanson), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner). Further, the film still retains the trademark Marvel sense of humor where it needs to.

Every actor gives a praise-worthy performance, though Downey Jr., Evans, Hemsworth, and Karen Gillian, who played Nebula, Daughter of Thanos and Gamora’s (Zoe Saldana) sister, do stand out as their characters get put into situations that show off their acting prowess.

The screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley has to be commended as well for managing to organically work in nearly every single character ever shown (and is still alive) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While certain parts of the film do feel like they drag on for a bit too long, the film still tells an engaging and emotionally packed story, even with so many characters needing screen-time.

The action set pieces were actually used sparingly in this installment. However, that could be because the movie was saving everything for a final battle, which raises the standards for all superhero battles to follow.

This is all backed up by a versatile score by Alan Silvestri, who also scored Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, and Avengers: Infinity War. Marvel films have practiced restraint when it comes to music, and they do the same here, though there is a valid reason. However, once there is a need for a score, it serves as a perfect complement for the action on-screen. In addition, The Avengers Theme cements itself as one of the most iconic themes in film, right with Star Wars, Superman, Back to the Future and Harry Potter.

Avengers: Endgame is, at its core, a movie-going experience that happens once in a generation. If Infinity War was Empire Strikes Back, this would be Return of the Jedi. It takes viewers on one last ride with the original Avengers, filled with emotion, excellent performances, and edge-of-your-seat moments to the brim. All of this was made possible because viewers never really knew what was coming. So, after watching the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, go see Endgame as quickly as possible, and #DontSpoilTheEndgame.