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MOVIE REVIEW: Avengers: Endgame

April 25th, 2019 by Andrew McCarroll Comments

Avengers: Endgame (12a)
Running time: 3hrs
Cast: Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans. Mark Ruffalo. Chris Hemsworth. Scarlett Johansson. Jeremy Renner. Don Cheadle. Paul Rudd, Brie Larson
Directed By: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo  

He who has put a good finish to his undertaking is said to have placed a golden crown to the whole – Eustathius, Commentary on the Iliad

Every journey is composed of a series of parts, each ingredient revealing its own piece of the story. Some are distinguished by their origins, others are remarkable for their sheer size and scope. Ultimately though, all are defined by one thing: destination.

Endgame is, as Tony Stark put it, the end of the path he himself started us on almost 11 years ago with Iron Man.

If the anticipation surrounding this film feels like nothing you have seen before, that’s because to put it simply… there has never been anything like this before. 

It has the atmosphere of anticipation we usually reserve for a big fight rather than a Hollywood blockbuster. The collective goodwill of every Marvel fan is invested in this, hoping for Endgame to deliver the knockout blow to end the Infinity Saga on the high note it rightly deserves.

We’ve gotten to know countless characters. It’s been 21 films, 11 years and 6 Infinity Stones. 

And just one snap. All roads lead here.

The ‘Snappening’ at the conclusion of Infinity War saw what was left of the MCU defeated, desolate and desperate. Endgame offers little in terms of a reprieve to our heroes and instead piles on the remaining crew, leaving them dealing with more human than superhero problems. Here, directors Anthony and Joe Russo beautifully mix the sombre with the sublime (“I get e-mails from a racoon”).

The most noticeable of the Russos’ achievements which other franchises have yet to grasp is “character over spectacle”. 

This ethos results in far greater audience investment. 

The reason this film has record numbers skipping gleefully to a three-hour epic is that we care about each and every one of these personalities over their powers.; to paraphrase the Mad Titan had Marvel’s heads anything to teach their aspiring competition, they’d probably say something akin to: “You should have gone for the heart”.

But it’s not perfect. 

The main plot MacGuffin requires a tonne of exposition and even then leaves you with logic gaps you could fit Giant-Man into. It lacks the zip of Infinity War’s streamlined heist format and one character’s coping mechanism to the snap feels like a one note joke that instead runs the full three hours.

The last hour however… is stunning. 

A (literally) non-stop emotional tsunami with action, excitement and heartbreak beyond compare; I had tears in my eyes and a simultaneous smile on my face.

Is it fan service? Of course it bloody is. 

We have sat through 21 movies to get to this point. Giving us what we want and more is hardly a bad thing. With at least 10 other Marvel movies in various stages of development this feels like closure rather than a conclusion.

Almost 11 years to the day when I left the cinema with Nick Fury’s words “Avengers initiative” ringing in my ears, my excitement was tempered by reality. 

Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Captain America in one movie? It seemed impossible.

Marvel instead went even further. Creating a universe of pure imagination and finishing it with something even more impossible. A perfect ending.

4 out of 5 Nerds

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Andrew McCarroll never quite built on the dizzying career heights that he hit at 6 years old, when as a member of the “Ghostbusters” he would charge his neighbours to remove any unwanted spectres. Now retired from slaying spooks, he spends his time obsessing over superheroes (especially Batman) and devouring shows like Dexter, Game of Thrones and Archer in a manner that would make Galactus proud. You can follow his rants on twitter @andymc1983