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Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame Review

Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame serves as the grand conclusion of the Infinity Saga, which spans across 22 movies over the course of 11 years and has earned over 19 billion dollars in box office sales to date. It is the only cinematic universe of this scale to reach such critical and financial success, so it’s only fitting that the final installment would redefine the summer blockbuster as we know it. Endgame follows the original Avengers, as well as a few fellow survivors, as the world is still coming to grips with the Mad Titan’s decimation of half of all life in the universe at the snap of his fingers with the Infinity Gauntlet. When Scott Lang miraculously emerges from the Quantum Realm after years of being trapped, the Avengers must once again assemble and do whatever it takes to reverse the horrors that concluded Infinity War.

The movie opens with a much different vibe and tempo than all past entries in the series, and takes a more serious and ominous tone rather than the CGI packed action sequences that typically open their films. This becomes the theme of the first act of the movie and its plot revolves around the humanity of our heroes behind their masks. We see the most stoic members of the team broken down to tears and become shells of their former selves, which is a unique experience for a comic book movie. Although this may be fun for hardcore fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe who are familiar with the heroes and what they bring to the table other than suits of armor and magical hammers, this may be boring for casual fans who watch for the actions and fight scenes alone. As a more active fan of the MCU who likes to delve into the stories and character development of each hero, you’ll get more mileage out of what this movie is trying to accomplish in its first act. The Avengers, as individuals, change drastically between the five years from Thanos’ snap until the beginning of Endgame, such as Thor’s beer belly and Tony’s secluded life in a cabin with Pepper and his daughter, Morgan. Some may be irritated by the loss of story and development because we pass right through significant moments, one of which is Bruce Banner’s transition into Professor Hulk— a massive event in the comics happens off screen, but instead they chose to keep a ten minute scene of Lang wandering through San Francisco before reuniting with his daughter, Cassie. However, Cap and Natasha’s unwavering persistence to somehow bring the vanished back to life helps the movie find necessary momentum to pick up the pace and inject some sense of optimism into the movie. The moment Tony agrees to help them travel back in time to retrieve the stones is a massive turning point, leading right into the second act.

Courtesy: Film School Rejects

One thing about this portion of the film that seems to confuse all who’ve seen this it is their new perspective of time travel. Unfortunately, time travel in the MCU was poorly explained. They decide to directly disprove the established rules of time travel from beloved films, like Back to the Future, in order to make their own story work; this doesn’t make much sense at first glance and leads to plenty of head-scratching moments later on in the movie. The strength of these scenes, however, are the countless callbacks and references to huge moments over the course of the MCU. These bits of the movie look back on iconic moments with a fun and creative spin that can only be described as time travel hijinx. There are also a variety of heartwarming moments, like when Tony runs into his father again or Cap seeing Peggy Carter in her SHIELD office. Seeing such emotions and being reminded of what goes on in these characters’ personal lives ties back to the biggest part of the movie, which is giving the people themselves more attention than who they become once they don their colorful outfits. The constant barrage of laughs and fan service are an excellent touch for a franchise brimming with rich lore and overlapping storylines, but it wasn’t enough to distract from the glaring issues that arise when they decided to center their plan around time travel. Luckily, what comes immediately afterward is truly the finest hour of any superhero flick and easily erases any doubt about this movie being the perfect send-off for an amazing cast of characters.

The final hour is easily the finest of the MCU, and it kicks off with an absolute surprise when the Mad Titan reduces the iconic Avengers facility to rubble. This brings our heroes from a state of euphoric accomplishment and happiness that life as they knew it had finally returned, to a moment of utter shock and terror. The attacks that scattered and wounded the Avengers is felt personally too, as the sold out crowd collectively gasps in astonishment of what just happened. This level of fear and anxiety carries well into the final battle, as Thanos and his massive brigade of the Chitauri and Outrider foot soldiers surround the base in search of the newly recovered infinity stones. Part of this is felt because nobody outside of the Russo Brothers knew who was going to die in the final film, so not a single member of the audience knew what moment circulating around their favorite hero would be their last. It appeared as though the battle was all but lost as Captain America was the one and only Avenger with the might and willpower to stand against the most sinister force the universe had ever seen. The audience is given hope once more as Cap becomes worthy with Mjolnir, Strange opens portals to reveal the rest of the heroes we thought we lost in Infinity War, and the two words we’ve all been waiting for, “Avengers, assemble!”. It seems only fitting that the man who started it all, ends it. With a snap of his fingers, and a wonderful line, Tony defeats Thanos and saves everyone. The MCU comes full circle as Tony takes his last breath. Heartbreaking, frustrating, not a single dry eye in the theatre. Although it’s still shocking to think we lost two of our favorite heroes, we know this is only the end of the beginning.

Courtesy: KRMG

Aley Blanchard

Columbia Chicago '21

Just a Michigan girl in an Illinois world. Currently a student at Columbia College Chicago, majoring in interior architecture. Go Blue!
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