Avengers: Endgame is officially here, and we have a spoiler free review.
It’s been a very long road to this point, but Avengers: Endgame officially hit theaters this weekend and is already breaking box office records. The three hour and one-minute long epic is–no pun intended–a cinematic marvel. It’s a complete culmination of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe that has been pulled together over the course of the past 11 years and 22 films. The film is the definitive closing of the first main chapter for the MCU, aka The Infinity Saga, but leaves plenty of doors open for what’s to come.
It’s hard to even grasp the scope of this film because it literally finds a way to wrap up an entire 22 film franchise. If Marvel never made another film after Endgame or if they rebooted everything from this point, it would be alright. Every main character that we’ve followed through this Cinematic Universe from Phase One gets an end to their story. There are deaths, and there are happy endings for some. Somehow, the film is able to balance things between all of the six main Avengers and give them each a fitting end to the story thus far, without sacrificing anything.
The balance of the film may be its greatest selling point. This is a film that is packed from start to finish. It may be three hours long, but from the moment the film begins to roll, it moves full force until the credits roll, without a single lull. Despite the horrific events at the end of Infinity War and the enormous task laid out for the Avengers at the start of the film, it’s still full of moments where you will laugh out loud and cheer happily throughout. But there are plenty of times where the film will rip your heart out and tear it to shreds if you care about these characters.
The film does an amazing job at paying off fans for everything they’ve been through over the past eleven years. There are moments that fans have theorized that do in fact happen, and there are moments that were simply wish fulfillment and thought impossible–but still happen. That being said, there are still plenty of surprises, and the way in which things unfold is completely unexpected. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely find a way to truly give this film everything that you could ever possibly want from it. It is fan service, it is the end of an era, it is the ultimate Comic Book Movie–and somehow it all works.
The most satisfying aspect about the film, aside from some of the fan service moments, is how well it wraps of the arcs for the six main Avengers. Anything that they’ve been through before now is referenced or resolved through this. Every hurdle they’ve climbed in this enormous franchise gives them strength here. There isn’t a single thing that’s ever truly left on the table for them, and the film adds more to every part of this franchise in the way it delivers this final entry.
It really is hard to think of how monumental this film is and what to compare it to or how things will move on past it. There has never been anything like this. The Marvel Cinematic Universe was the biggest gamble anyone in Hollywood has ever truly made. Not only has it paid off for Hollywood/Marvel and Disney, this gamble paid off for fans. Marvel has delivered a 22-film saga that shows us everything that comic books films and superhero films can be. These films can be weird, they can be straight forward action pieces, they can focus on survivors of trauma, they can be war films or political thrillers. Marvel has helped not only themselves in creating this universe, but they have definitively defined what a comic book or superhero film can be. It can be anything and everything, as long as you stay true to the characters involved.
Avengers: Endgame is an amazing film that deserves your time and attention. It’s a film that will take you on an action-packed emotional roller coaster. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will make you reflect on everything from the past ten years or so. It’s impossible to believe that there will ever be a film that rises to the level of Endgame. Even if Marvel does the same thing over the next ten to twenty years that they did here with the Infinity Saga, it’s impossible to imagine it reaching this level.
Film fans often talk about the gold standards for cinematic landmarks. Certain movies that are released and their release alone makes an enormous impact on the entire culture of film and fans. Jaws established the idea of Blockbuster Films. Star Wars changed nearly everything about technology and the way stories could be told on screen. We think about moments that we’d love to go back to and sit in an audience and watch the film with those people seeing it for the first time. To see how they react, and how they freak out after leaving the theater. We wonder what it would be like to be in a world that just saw Star Wars for the first time. Today, we get that experience. This is our Star Wars, this is our Jaws, and the landscape of cinema will change forever from here.
The greatest element of Avengers: Endgame isn’t just what it does on screen, but what it has the potential to do in the years and decades to come. This is a once in a lifetime experience, and it is a joy to behold.