Avengers: Endgame is an epic finale, flawed but lovingly made for fans
The end has come for the original Avengers, and it brings all the closure possible to a dedicated audience – even if Endgame isn’t a perfect film.
Epic action. Laughter. Tears. More tears. Closure. Yes, believe the hype: Avengers: Endgame is the inevitable finale we’ve all been waiting for. And by Odin’s beard, the directing Russo brothers actually pulled the whole darn thing off.
But is the last chapter of the original Avengers story fully deserving of every gushing superlative and hyperbole used in almost every movie review out there?
If you’re one of the gerzillion devout Marvel fans, then 100 per cent yes. Because the brothers Russo made this film for you. Yes, you.
Endgame, cinematically, is everything you wanted it to be – and then some. This is the kind of closure that fanboys and girls have spent the last 11 years dreaming about. This is Marvel rewarding their fans for their dedication, and paving the way for a new and very different future in the next chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Twenty-two films (including Endgame) over 11 years is one heck of a canon. And whether you are a comic book fan or not, it's surprising how attached we've all become to some of these Spandex-clad heroes over the years.
And the Russo brothers know that – they’ve delivered a love-letter conclusion that is a series of payoffs made up of winks, nods, references, reminders, explanations and reminiscences from all the previous films. Indeed, watching (or re-watching) all the other 21 films prior would be the best way to enjoy Endgame and fully receive your ultimate return of investment.
The catharsis for us the audience (as well as the on-screen characters we've invested in) is immensely satisfying. Especially when it’s served up with story-telling depth, emotion interspersed with action, mammoth battle scenes, pockets of genuine pathos and defining stolen conversations.
What could have been a self-indulgent rabbit hole – considering the many plotlines and characters, not to mention rabid expectations – is a surprisingly well-planned out film. The Russo brothers hold back just enough to give their household name A-list actors room to reiterate the franchise’s running theme: The cost of heroism, the great personal sacrifices and the hidden sociological and cultural implications of being superheroes or villains.
WARNING: MILD SPOILERS AHEAD
But it must be said that Endgame is far from a perfect film and – in my books – a shade less great than Infinity War. Simply because to undo the dusty damage caused by Thanos and the heart-stopping Infinity War ending, the filmmakers had to resort to the most frustrating and frankly desperate of narrative and cinematic cheats: Time travel.
Yes, we knew it was coming. But it doesn’t make it any less exasperating, cinematically.
Unfortunately, no meaningful analysis of the film can be made without getting deep into spoiler territory. And Thanos demands our silence.
That said, it’s still mind-blowing how far the MCU has come. And how sad but necessary this chapter is now closed.
The Marvel movies (whether they were brilliant like Iron Man, Winter Solider and Civil War or terrible like Thor 2 or Iron Man 3) always had the uncanny ability to make visceral ideas allegorical, cerebral ideas visceral – and then have them collide spectacularly on screen.
Visually flashy and emotionally relevant, Endgame is a befitting end for the OG six – nuanced, balanced and meaningful. As the superhero world ought to be.