Avengers: Endgame Review – The End of an Era

One massive film. Two reviews. Marvel fans, assemble!

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Avengers: Endgame Review – The End of an Era

Matthew Deckers & Zachary Gordon, Entertainment Analyst & Staff Writer

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Matt Deckers:

Like millions of other people, I first started watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe with it’s first title: 2008’s Iron Man. Ever since that monumental film, we’ve seen an ever-growing superhero craze all throughout the world. Not only has Marvel continued to release multiple films each year, all with unique characters and storylines that connect to a larger plot, but different studios have tried to throw their hats into the ring by making their own cinematic universes. However, I would argue that Marvel is the only one of those to produce films that are consistently fun and entertaining. I’m not saying that every movie they’ve ever made is perfect, or even good for that matter, but most of the time I tend to enjoy their gigantic library of superhero stories.

After almost eleven years, Marvel has put out Avengers Endgame, a film that had the task of creating a satisfying payoff to what has been dubbed the Infinity Saga (referring to the twenty-two entries in the MCU up to this point in time). There has been an unprecedented amount of excitement surrounding this movie, and now that it’s been out for almost three weeks it has already made $2 billion in record time. I went into Endgame cautiously optimistic; I was excited to see it, but was worried that it would possibly ruin the setup from Avengers Infinity War (which is likely my favorite Marvel movie to date). Without spoiling anything, I thought that the movie was a fantastic conclusion to the Infinity Saga, especially if you have dedicated much of your time to seeing these films.

To put it as simply as possible, Endgame’s the last remaining Avengers movie after Thanos eliminated half of the universe’s population with the Infinity Stones. To undue his actions, they must band together and find a way to bring the fight back to him. Obviously the story is much more than these two sentences, but if I go any farther into it, I could potentially ruin someone’s experience. That’s why this portion of the review is just my overall impressions. After watching Endgame for the first time, I thought that it was very good but it had some serious problems. I posted my initial review to my Instagram page and felt satisfied with what I had written (despite the numerous people who disagreed with me). It wasn’t until my second viewing that I liked the movie even more. Many of the problems I originally had bothered me less on rewatch, and I even appreciated specific aspects in entirely new ways. The performances from the main actors and actresses, especially Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Chris Evens as Steve Rogers, were excellent as expected. The cast really gave it their all in this film, which was bittersweet since most of their contracts have ended. The story itself takes a lot of twists and turns that will make long-time Marvel fans giddy with excitement, but it also has its serious moments that were pretty effective. The visual effects and cinematography are gorgeous, especially if you don’t sit on the far-right side of the theater like I did initially.

Avengers Endgame went from being a movie that I enjoyed a fair amount to one of my favorite Marvel movies. Though I don’t believe that it’s better than Infinity War, I still had a blast watching it and was satisfied with the conclusion.

I would rate it an 7/10.

Warning: There are mild spoilers for Endgame in the rest of this article. It is impossible to fully discuss this film without divulging some discussion of the story and characters. That said, the ending of the film will not be stated here.

Zachary Gordon:

AvengersEndgame was my most anticipated movie ever. As a fan of the MCU since its beginnings, this film had quite literally 10 years of build-up to deliver and honor. While this huge expectation initially made me nervous for the film’s success, I can report that Endgame delivered in every way. In fact, it went beyond my expectations and served as a perfect ending to Marvel’s 20+ film saga.

The story of AvengersEndgame picks up literally right after the snap of Infinity War. After Capitan Marvel rescues Tony Stark and Nebula from floating in space, the team traces Thanos to another planet and goes to retrieve the Infinity Stones and to reverse the snap. Thanos then reveals that he’d destroyed the stones to prevent future usage, and Thor kills him in rage. 5 years later, Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, is miraculously pulled from the quantum realm where he had been trapped since the end of AntMan and the Wasp. Scott reveals to Cap and the team that his five years in the quantum realm had only felt like five hours, and this gives the team hope that time travel can reverse Thanos’s actions. From here, the remaining Avengers reassemble and go back in time to different points in Marvel history in order to retrieve the Infinity Stones of the past and bring everyone back.

While a time travel storyline may seem like a cheap and easy-to-see-coming resolution to Infinity War’s cliffhanger, it works in Endgame for multiple reasons. Firstly, Endgame had to live up to 21 movies of build-up, and revisiting well-known Marvel moments with new stories and team members proved to be a great way to further explore Endgame’s characters while still honoring the past. Secondly, this plot line is especially powerful because the Avengers finally have something real to avenge. The team lost for the first time in Infinity War, and Endgame is all about coming to terms with and reversing their defeat.

Like I said before, Avengers: Endgame constantly calls back to and pays respects to previous MCU films. Even beyond the time travel, it seems like every line of dialogue and every set piece was carefully crafted to be a reference to the last 10 years of Marvel history. I was constantly surprised and delighted when characters would say a line that fans would recognize from even as far back as the original phase 1 Marvel films. As the film progressed, it became almost like a game to guess what moment Endgame would call back to next, and this proved to be one of the movie’s greatest strengths.

Even besides this, my absolute favorite part of Avengers: Endgame is the way that it expertly brings to a close character arcs that have been developing since the original Iron Man in 2008. All of the original six Avengers finish their personal storyline and resolve the struggles that have been building since their introduction to the MCU. The two highlights are obviously Captain America and Iron Man, but I’ll let viewers discover those endings for themselves.

Endgame was not just for the big six heroes. The movie catered to fans of each hero, and it was even a large enough event to bring back side characters that I thought had finished their time in the MCU. Just like Red Skull’s surprise appearance in Infinity War, Endgame is riddled with further development for characters not seen in years. A highlight for me was the role of a returning member from the original Thor cast (another surprise I want people to experience for themselves).

As one can probably guess, I loved Avengers: Endgame, and there were only a few small problems I had with this film. I do wish that more of the movie’s cast were more fully integrated earlier into the movie. While the original six Avengers get a full, in-depth, and satisfying film, it can sometimes feel that many of the other heroes are somewhat sidelined in comparison. I understand why the imbalance exists (Endgame is the end of the era of the original six), but I think Infinity War did a better job balancing the screen time of its massive cast. While I think Endgame nailed it in terms of character development, I also wish there had been more action scenes in the film. To preface, the final battle is indeed one of the greatest cinematic events I have ever witnessed. Other than that, however, there are generally fewer of the team-up action scenes that the Avengers are known for. That being said, I think that Infinity War and Endgame go well together. Besides having connected stories, the two films seem to make up for each others’ slight weaknesses. Together, Infinity War and Endgame make a complete saga with an incredible cast, rich characters, and an interesting plot.

Avengers: Endgame is an amazing cinematic event. Successfully closing a 22-film, ten-year saga is an incredible challenge. With this film, Marvel and the Russo brothers have proven that they know how to combine great action and deep characters into a fantastic superhero movie. I am highly impressed by what Marvel has done in the last ten years, and Endgame is an incredible ending to their saga. I don’t know where the MCU will go next, but AvengersEndgame makes me beyond excited for its future.

On its own, I would rate AvengersEndgame as a 9/10. Together with Infinity War, the two films get a perfect 10/10.