Following on soon after the Snap from Infinity War, the remaining Avengers, all suffering in different ways, want to desperately try and undo the devastation cause by Thanos.
Trying to outdo your previous film which included the most powerful characters who spanned across a multi film universe is tricky to say the least. However producer Kevin Feige, directors Joe and Anthony Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have crafted an astounding narrative which sees as a fitting conclusion to this story.
Thanks to last year’s marketing campaign for Infinity War which included shots that were created just for the trailer, it was difficult to trust the promotional footage which was released for Endgame. There were reports floating around that what we were seeing was from the first 15 minutes of the film and this turns out to be true, with the rest shrouded in mystery as you’d expect. It takes guts to wipe out a large number of your characters especially when many of them are fairly new to the fold. Giving themselves fewer options with their heroes, the film focuses on people who survived and what they are doing to move on.
Taking place a few weeks after Thanos clicked his fingers, the remaining Avengers, as well as the rest of the world, are suffering the tremendous loss they have each endured. Dealing with their burdens in different ways, they are frustrated, they want to move on, they have lost a part of themselves and there are those who have become deeply depressed. The extreme grief everyone is going through hits an emotional note like no other, with Thor who has reached the limits of his bravado blames himself as Chris Hemsworth giving his best and most nuanced performance as the God of Thunder. Captain America and Black Widow are both unable to give up and Tony leaves a goodbye message for Pepper as he floats in space with Nebula, or as he calls her the Blue Meanie. Then there’s Hawkeye, whose absence from Infinity War is explained with his house arrest ankle monitor, as we’ve never seen him before. Jeremy Renner is outstanding in this film thanks to the Markus and McFeely script which allows him to explore the depths of Clint Barton. This is something that can be said of all six original Avengers who have been in it together for quite some time now, so it’s a perfect opportunity to delve deeper in the characters we love.
Endgame is split into a three act structure and, whilst the first hour focuses on loss and grief, the remaining almost two hours are something completely different to what we’ve seen in the MCU to date. The initial character driven narrative is a surprising way to begin such a massive blockbuster as you’d expect it to be a fairly action centric throughout. However the writers and directors haven taken this approach to give each actor the freedom to dig deeper than they have before which makes our heroes more human; broken, downbeat, portraying a realistic view on how to deal with this situation. To detail the other two acts would be pretty spoiler heavy however rest assured that they have truly upped the stakes in what is said to be some of the stars’ final Marvel movie.
If you’re concerned that this is going to be a bleak meditation into loss then you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s got the typical MCU humour which never feels unnecessary or forced. You could almost say that it’s perfectly balanced. Lines such as “I get emails from a raccoon, so nothing seems crazy to me” and “You look like melted ice cream” said by Natasha and Rocket respectively just goes to show how sharp they can still be.
The finale is a spectacle like no other, combining the emotion from the MCU’s past with the moments we’ve always wanted to see on screen. Whilst they have fought together before, never has it felt more like a team of friends fighting for what is right. There is an effort to make it a collaboration, making sure they each key member gets a few moments. Endgame will make you laugh, cry and cheer for your heroes and with outstanding performances, dialogue, humour, pathos and action, it is now up there with the best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is not only a celebration of the MCU and all that it has achieved in its 11 year history, but also a look of what’s to come from Earth’s mightiest heroes.
5 out of 5.
Keep. It. Reel.