Back in 2012, when The Avengers came out, I was surprised and annoyed. To me, it was nothing more than a cash-grab. To me, it was a studio trying to get asses in seats with a team-up. It hadn’t been done on this scale before. Crossovers didn’t have a reputation for being successful. To me, they were relying on the acclaim their Iron Man character had received. I was more looking forward to the Dark Knight finale that was going to arrive sometime that July. To pass the summer, I finished the solo Marvel movies (now known as Phase 1) and went to watch this ambitious experiment. Seven years later, I don’t even think about Batman.
Not to take anything away from the Nolan trilogy, but Feige’s long game paid off. He made a cinematic universe blueprint that other studios still can’t replicate successfully. A storytelling saga eleven years in the making comes to a satisfying conclusion with Avengers: Endgame – a three-hour behemoth that’s breaking records left and right. It’s well-deserved, but not without a few problems.
The script delves into possible scenarios in which our champions get to undo the snap levied by the menacing Thanos. The return of Ant-Man to the fold gives the team a possible way out – time travel via the Quantum Realm, Marvel’s microscopic world that inexplicably has a lot more to offer than the larvae you can’t see. You begin to see the direction this movie’s going to take, and you won’t like it. Aside from the fact that time-travel movies are controversial and disbelievable enough, the ground rules are never really explained. The script penned by Markus and McFeely takes you on a journey you never knew you wanted to experience. The majority of the three-hour runtime is an ode to the previous movies, a sort of Greatest Hits of the franchise. The fan service is through to the roof, so you’re assured of a good time. But it would have been nice to get some understandable writing in there. Fortunately, none of that matters as you applaud and cheer through the last hour. It ends leaving you satisfied and emotionally exhausted.
The ambitious script tries to have it all without focusing much on some of the characters. Josh Brolin’s Thanos has been reduced to a cruel warlord on a mission, a stark contrast to the previous instalment’s nuanced brute. The focus on the protagonists means he’s just another mega-villain to defeat. Chris Hemsworth’s Thor has a surprising arc that may or may not agree with you (I am still undecided). The writing tries to make an impact on Scarlett Johansson’s Romanoff but takes too long to get there. Renner’s Hawkeye is back with a tragic backstory. It adds depth but doesn’t fill it with anything meaningful. The most impactful are the main three – Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans and especially Robert Downey Jr. Surprise salutations to Karen Gillian, Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper for standing out.
It’s not a particularly tough decision – you need to watch this more than once. Blockbusters that earn their way through time and patience are rare and few. Avengers: Endgame is not without its flaws. But it doesn’t even matter.
Rating – 3.75/5