“We’re in the endgame now”
For audiences around the world, Doctor Stephen Strange’s telling words from last year’s ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ are now truer than ever as we witness the culmination of the Infinity Stone Saga with ‘Avengers: Endgame’. Returning to direct are MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) alumni, Anthony and Joe Russo. Since part one of their epic Infinity Stones swansong and after what feels like only a snap of the fingers we’re a year on and two more movies (Ant-Man and the Wasp/Captain Marvel) deep into the MCU. With the remaining Avengers left to attempt to reverse the devastating loses caused by Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet will the Russo Brothers be able to deliver a story worthy of the most anticipated superhero film of all time?
With the huge implications of ‘Infinity War’ still so fresh in the minds of the audiences ‘Endgame’ starts in a comparatively softer way, showcasing the reality of Thanos’ actions for the surviving characters. With this slower paced opening the film powerfully establishes its overwhelming atmosphere of emotion that is a constant feature throughout its glorious three hour running time. The length of the film is no issue at all with ‘Endgame’ having a remarkable ability to make time seemingly stand still, we suspect the Russo Brothers have wielded the power of the time stone, allowing audiences to truly become immersed within its special narrative with no awareness of time past or yet to come. The film’s second act is a little more troublesome as it has a lot to juggle. The Russo Brothers manage this admirably but it does feel slightly disjointed compared to the film’s strong bookends. Nonetheless, the fan service and direction the story goes in during this section may as well be a Marvel nerd’s wet dream and this is without a doubt the section where ‘Endgame’ and audiences will have the most fun with its plot. However, it’s the film’s final act which will have fans collecting their jaws off the floor. It’s this wonderful sequence that will reduce grown adults to tears, have theatres erupting with applause and fulfill over a decades worth of film-making in utterly unforgettable fashion.
Marvel are renowned for telling well balanced stories that feature a wealth of characters but never have as many simultaneously shared the screen than as here in ‘Endgame’. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely do an excellent job of dividing up the screen time for the gigantic cast of fan favourites. Those disappointed with the lack of Ant-Man and Hawkeye in ‘Infinity War’ are rewarded here for their patience and everyone in Captain Marvel’s corner haven’t had to wait too long to see her back in action after her MCU debut, albeit in a somewhat smaller role than maybe expected. The quality of the character writing does vary between our heroes with a couple of gags overshadowing the deeper emotional turmoil clearly being experienced by some. However other than these niggles the writing and the humour are executed well and those characters at the focus of this story have fulfilling and satisfying arcs almost too perfect to describe. The screenplay gives our characters so many memorable moments that will be celebrated by audiences for years to come and when viewing the MCU retrospectively. These are brought to life by the outstanding cast who are a constant reminder of just how well cast this universe is and how spoiled we are to have them portraying our such loved heroes.
Never before has a blockbuster carried with it such well earned, all encompassing emotion running through its very celluloid composition. ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is a shocking, joyful and heartbreaking triumph that will forever be a milestone of crossover and superhero cinema. The undeniable support and development of the twenty one films before it give it so much more depth and meaning but it’s the careful and creative cinematic craftsmanship combined with the thoughtful writing and the talents of our cherished performers here that ensure ‘Endgame’ is the damn near perfect conclusion to one of cinemas most astounding achievements of all time.
Written by Hamish Calvert
Rating – 9/10
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