A spoiler-free review of “Avengers: Endgame”


Photo courtesy of imdb.com

The long-awaited fourth avengers movie is a cinematic triumph. “Endgame” perfectly concludes the beloved saga, satisfying hardcore and casual fans alike. A nice bonus is the film’s record-breaking box office debut of $1.2 billion.

What makes this movie so special is its ability to do so many things at the same time: from being a fitting transition from the original six avengers to the newer characters, to working in its own right; from containing an emotional depth rarely found in superhero films, to being just plain fun.

“Avengers: Endgame” focuses on the original six avengers, picking up almost immediately after the conclusion to the previous film, “Avengers: Infinity War.” It follows the journeys of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).

Perhaps the best thing about “Avengers: Endgame” is how it managed to be a blockbuster superhero movie with deep and difficult themes. Throughout “Endgame,” grief is a major part of the plot. Last year, in “Avengers: Infinity War,” Marvel surprised us with the superhero movie we least expected: one where the good guys lost, and the villain Thanos won. There was no happy ending, just despair at the unimaginable, and audiences were left to grapple with that. “Endgame” carries on with those themes of grief, letting the superheros wallow in their grief and total failure for the first part of the movie. It was a break from superhero tradition, to see the mighty become powerless and face their own inability to save their loved ones, and a disaster-stricken world that lacked hope. This gives an extra layer of sincerity to when the heroes rise back up.

Grief is also more personal than mourning for half the universe. Throughout the course of “Endgame,” almost all of the original team grapples with personal pain and losses, whether far in the past or just recently. In this, audiences get to see the sincere, raw yearning for someone you loved and lost. Yet, the film is far from gloomy. It mixes comedy with the fun that the avengers have as a “family.” Fans will appreciate the care taken in crafting each character, and the sly references to past Marvel movies.

However, “Avengers: Endgame” is not a perfect film. The downside to the plot’s complexity is that it becomes increasingly confusing as the film goes on. Some action sequences move too fast for even this die-hard Marvel fan to follow. The film’s directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, seek to give each original avenger a satisfying send off, and while mostly succeeding, not all the stories are successful. One avenger’s life after “Endgame,” while both crowd-pleasing and very fitting, creates a Thanos-sized plot hole. Another avenger is simply shortchanged by the screenwriter’s search for cheap laughs.

Yet the good far outweighs the bad. While meeting fan expectations for quality, “Endgame” doesn’t necessarily follow expected theories about its plot. The directors work in several jaw-dropping plot twists, the most stunning of which occurs within the first 15 minutes.

“Endgame” also has exceptionally high-quality cinematography. Even to an untrained eye, the film was beautifully shot. The most memorable parts are the quietest moments of the film, where one could hear a pin drop in the theatre.

This blockbuster more than deserves its hype. Five gold stars to “Avengers: Endgame.”