wed 24/07/2019

Avengers: Endgame review - Marvel save the biggest and best for last | reviews, news & interviews

Avengers: Endgame review - Marvel save the biggest and best for last

Avengers: Endgame review - Marvel save the biggest and best for last

Iron Man and co. round off with a crowd-pleasing extravaganza

Getting the gang back together: the original Avengers assemble for possibly one last outing

The Earth’s mightiest defenders are back in a triumphant climax, 11 years in the making. Despite a three hour runtime and an overstuffed preceding chapter, the Russo Brothers pull off the near-impossible by creating a wholly satisfying final chapter, and possibly the best film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

When we last saw The Avengers, all hope was lost. Half of all life in the universe was turned to dust. Tony Stark and Nebula were adrift on a distant planet. Earth’s remaining survivors were left to contemplate their failures. 

How they each deal with this speaks volumes about their characters. Captain America tries his best to support those around him, while Black Widow hunkers down. Stark chucks the blame around (he predicted this back in Age of Ultron, after all) and Thor is all too willing to take it. It takes the arrival of the MCU’s newer additions to kick our heroes back into action. Like Iron Man said way back in 2012: “If we can’t protect the Earth, then you can be damn sure we’ll avenge it.”Chris Evans as Captain America in Avengers: EndgameThe trailers do a good job at concealing the plot, and there won’t be any spoilers here. Suffice to say, it is one of the biggest, funniest and most genuinely heartfelt superhero films ever made. Most struggle to balance the humanity with the threat - how many Earth-destroying sky beams have we seen? Here, Endgame benefits from 21 films as backstory, so every look, every line, every loss, carries so much more weight. Such long-form storytelling is usually found in TV, and only Marvel have managed to translate that to the big screen.

Avengers: Infinity War was a juggling act, constantly jumping between quests across the universe. Blink and you missed the next MacGuffin. Though 3 hours seems like a marathon, Endgame is surprisingly well-paced. Sure, it’s still bombastic, self-important and convoluted, but the characters are given time to breathe, and consequences time to be felt. Even though the highest stakes are already lost, everything here feels like it matters more.

With the newer heroes gone with the dusting, we’re left with the Avengers that started it all. Pulling the focus back on the original team is a clever move, becoming a celebration of the characters and the journeys they’ve been on. If the MCU is moving on after Endgame, it’s only right the pioneers get one last hurrah.Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner in Avengers: EndgameThis mindset is definitely present in the cast. There may be aliens and magic and gods, but it’s all grounded by some finest-hour performances. Scarlett Johansson is magnificent as Black Widow (how long a wait for her solo movie?), and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye finally gets a deserved spotlight. But it’s the original leading stars, Downey Jr., Evans and Hemsworth, that pay Marvel back for their risky casting all those years ago. They embody these roles; here’s hoping there’s no reboots on the horizon.

Avengers: Endgame is a once in a lifetime achievement: a culmination of 22 films sharing the same narrative, setting and cast. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed cinema forever: every studio is desperate for a franchise like it; Disney has become an all-consuming megapower; and the age of the superhero has reigned for a decade. Some will see the long-term effects as a capitalistic disaster for original filmmaking - and they may be right. All that doesn’t change the fact that Endgame is a totally unique, brilliant cinematic experience.

If the MCU is moving on after Endgame, it’s only right the pioneers get one last hurrah

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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