Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
If you thought Avengers: Infinity War was a big deal, you haven’t seen anything like Avengers: Endgame. This new installment of the MCU takes the franchise to new heights and delivers a movie that far exceeds any expectations and easily establishes itself as one of the best superhero movies ever made. Very rarely do I see a movie that transcends the screen and sets itself apart as an experience, but Avengers: Endgame does just that and became a film that you had to see in theaters. A perfect combination of dramatic elements from more emotional films, pacing for a film this long, and a rewarding conclusion to characters we’ve seen grow over the past 11 years, Avengers: Endgame is a very strong contender for the best movie of 2019 and one that will stick with audiences for years to come.
Following the events of Avengers: Infinity War, the remaining Avengers deal with the grief of losing their friends following Thanos’s (Josh Brolin) successful attempt to wipe out 50% of all life in the universe. Not satisfied with sitting back and doing nothing about their situation, the Avengers team up once again to undo Thanos’s damage and defeat him once and for all. One of the main improvements in Endgame over Infinity War is that characters are all more developed and we learn more about the emotional elements of these characters than we ever have before. The three standout performances come from Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Evans as Captain America, and Hemsworth as Thor. All of these characters deal with loss in their own way and each of these avenues is explored in depth. Whether it is guilt, sadness, or gluttony, all of these emotions are on display for the audience and makes the film feel that much more real. Downey Jr. in particular cements what may be his best performance and absolutely completes the greatest comeback in the history of Hollywood. The first lead actor of the MCU carries this movie in every scene he’s in and without his performance, I’m not sure if the other actors would’ve done as well as they did in this movie. From the supporting cast, I was very impressed with the performances of Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Paul Rudd as Ant-Man. After sitting out of Infinity War, we were fortunate enough to see much more of Hawkeye this time around and it made up for his lack of presence in the previous movie. Hawkeye displays more of an angry response to the losses he suffered and takes it out on anyone he feels deserves it. It was great seeing more depth to a character that usually takes a backseat to some of the more main characters of the MCU and his storyline was one of the surprising highlights of the movie. Ant-Man on the other hand serves as the main source of comic relief in this movie. While Thor provides his fair share of comedy, Ant-Man routinely provides a sense of snark, sarcasm, and the funniest lines of the film while also being essential to the plot. One of my main concerns going into this movie is that with a 181 minute runtime, it would be too bloated and weighed down with unnecessary scenes to wrap up an incredibly complex story. Fortunately, at no point did the movie feel rushed nor did I ever feel bored or that nothing important was going on. A movie of comparable pacing would be Spartacus, where both feel grand enough and on a scale that warranted such long runtime. To get the most satisfying conclusion to a movie that summarizes 11 years of content, the Russo brothers needed every minute of the 181 that they used and all of them are used effectively and keep the audience engaged. Speaking of the ending, this is another area I was concerned wouldn’t live up to the hype, especially since the Battle of Wakanda was one of the highlights of Infinity War, but Endgame once again outmatched the standard set by the previous film. The action sequences were much more fluid even with all of the events going on in each scene, the final battle was equally as impressive as the Battle of Wakanda, and the conclusion was just as if not more emotional. Avengers: Endgame truly was everything that a Marvel fan could ask for and a fitting end to the 11 years of work by thousands of people throughout the film industry.
Overall, I honestly don’t believe Marvel will ever be able to top this. You can’t underestimate the impact Avengers: Endgame will have on society for at least the next few years and how this decade will be remembered for creating one of the greatest franchises in film history. There’s no understating just how rare it is to see a film like this come out and being able to see it live was truly a once in a lifetime experience. To those who missed it in theaters, it still serves as the apex of superhero movies and the gold standard that all future blockbusters need to follow for years to come.
Overall Score: 10/10