Avengers: Endgame manages the impossible task of being a satisfying, emotional, and funny ending to a decade of storytelling.
Directors: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Summary: After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos' actions and restore order to the universe.
THIS REVIEW WILL BE SPOILER FREE
Endings are not easy. This is just a fact of storytelling because they are so easy to mess up and even more so when they are an ending with more to come. This year we are getting two endings like that; Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker in December and Avenger: Endgame this weekend. Both of these movies are franchises looking to end but also keep the door open for more storytelling in the future. They are movies years or decades in the making, how is it possible to end them in a way that feels that satisfying? We are months away from knowing whether or not Star Wars can pull it off but we are happy to report that Marvel did.
However, this is also a movie that is difficult to review because the marketing has given away virtually nothing and the best parts of the movie are the ones you aren't expecting. The thing that has always made a team-up movie fun, the dynamic between the multiple characters, works perfectly here. There are several standouts with Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton aka Hawkeye finally coming into his own, Paul Rudd's Scott Lang aka Ant-Man is there to add some much-needed levity to very dour circumstances, and it's fantastic to see Karen Gillan as Nebula finally take center stage and show off how dynamic that character can be. Everyone else is still fantastic but to say anything else would be teetering on the edge of spoilers.
What we will say is that writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely might be the real heroes of this entire franchise. While credit must be given to directors Anthony and Joe Russo it is McFeely and Markus who have taken on the impossible task of giving this series an ending and managed to pull it off. They are often overlooked when it comes to this series and while we can't get into plot details without ruining things for anyone we will give those two the props they deserve.
People have been talking about the three-hour runtime since it was confirmed but this is a movie where a lot happens. That is long no matter how you swing it, but there aren't any moments that feel like they could have been cut. The big action beats are too much fun and the slower character moments have to stay because that's why we're here; we love these characters. This is a movie that doesn't pull any punches from the first minute so don't be late when getting to the theater. It's a great movie from the minute go.
Avengers: Endgame is a difficult movie to review because the marketing has given away virtually nothing about the story. If possible you should absolutely see this movie knowing as little about it as possible. It's also a movie that shouldn't be spoiled so be nice out there. While this might be an ending it also feels like a new beginning and it's going to be a lot of fun to see where Marvel Studios goes next.
Endings are never easy and the fact that Avengers: Endgame works as well as it does might be a minor miracle. Absolutely worth your time.