This review is spoiler free
Being in a cinema on an opening night is the most wonderful experience, especially for a film with such anticipation as the Avengers Endgame. While not yelling, bawling or applauding (Please, we’re British), I certainly heard a good amount of nuanced sniffling and chuckling from this crowd for this was a big deal. Twenty Two films and many characters would see everything culminate in this three hour film.
Now, I’m not a marvel nerd. But my brother and sister most certainly are, so while I will primarily comment as someone with little interest in Marvel, however I will also include feedback I have received.
Half The World’s Away
After the events of Avengers Infinity War, our remaining heroes are coming to terms with Thanos killing the people they cared about. Arguably, this is where the film is at its strongest during the first hour as these previously invincible heroes all deal with defeat and grief in their own seperate ways. There are some brilliant performances here (Especially from Jeremy Renner and Robert Downey Jr.) as it allows some characters to develop.
This story itself is easier to keep up with as we only have half of the avengers alongside three new additions. For the first half, most of the characters are together allowing something to build. Jeremy Renner returns brilliantly as Hawkeye. Meanwhile, Mike from Friends appears as Ant-Man, delivering the usual dull Marvel humour and Brie Larson as Captain Marvel shows the power of hair cuts and convenient plot moments (She is significantly stronger than all of the others).
While there are a few moments which could be emotional throughout, some fall flat as they are very quickly offset by talking to a CGI raccoon or some out of place joke straight out of Alan Sugar’s little awkward joke book. But, if you’re a marvel fan you’ll probably find them funny. However, as the film gets towards the end, that’s where we see most of the emotion dealt with more sensetively as the Russo brothers attempt to end an era with care. The film does, to its credit, get plenty of these moments right.
To Infinity Stones, And Beyond
As we go into the rest of the film, it is a tribute to all of the movies before hand, wrapped in a flimsy plot. Your favourite character who hasn’t been in the last ten films will likely make an appearance as every deep-seated issue any character has ever had is confronted rather shallowly. Some of these are well written, but others feel like lazy jokes or are just swept under the rug. There were too many stories needing to be cleaned up and for so many characters to be dealt with in such little time, one felt that not enough justice was done for some.
The film particularly focuses on the original Avengers, doing enough to satisfy the crowd who have been marvelling (sorry) at these heroes for over a decade.
The fan service does feel like a detriment at the end. The last hour shows little plot development and serves little more function than being a curtain call for your favourite hero and CGI effects. The flashy scenes and A-list actors, while an impressive culmination in some eyes, are a self pat on the back. However, while I felt the movie could’ve ended at three or four different points, the end of the movie was wrapped up well.
Assembling the Formula
And herein lies the big issue. It’s a compilation film with lots of characters not having enough time to develop or a coherent story as the writers want to make a full tribute to all of these characters. However, it is undeniably going to please any marvel fan. Even though it’s not my cup of tea, the film was clearly made with care and affection. It was a proper ending to this narrative. Strong stories and characters are not what this series has been about. All of the CGI overload, plot conveniences, lame humour and generic fight scenes are common place and not innovative in the grand scheme of things. Yet, these key elements that Marvel stick do are elements they have done well before and done well again and I’m happy for my brother and sister and every other marvel fan out there that they were/will be able to get the ending they want and the ending that reflects what the series has been building.
While the plot is whimsy and we don’t really escape from the usual marvellisms, this role-call for all of the heroes of the past decade will certainly leave any Marvel fan very happy as it has been made with a lot of love and care.