Avengers: Endgame Review (Spoiler Free To Start, But Then I Spoil It Like Cheese From 2013)
I took in Avengers: Endgame at 7AM on Friday Morning. I think it just might be the closest that I’ve come to seeing a movie on opening night in a long time. While there’s going to be spoilers later on in this review, I’m going to start off spoiler-free, then there’ll be spoilers a plenty, if you’ve seen the film or want to go that far.
As I expected, it’s a very good film. It’s also a great ending to the first ten years of Marvel movies. This film is very centered on Tony Stark and Captain America, as it probably should be. Those two are the heart and soul of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I should also point out that this is only the second Marvel movie that’s made me cry. It’s done what a really good movie should do and that’s take me on an emotional roller coaster.
A few spoilers slipped through to me, and true to form, they were wrong in a lot of places, which helped me enjoy the film. The CGI work was a lot better than in past films, which can mean a lot with something this grand in scale. The Russos do a great job of keeping my mood similar to these characters, but not dwelling too long on it. They also don’t go overboard with the misery, giving us some moments where there is a light of hope, joy and some levity. There’s also some dread where the heroes’ plan is going a little bit sideways, but that tends to be the norm for Marvel movies at least at some scale.
Again, it’s very good. Do I like it better than my favorite two Marvel films? By the way, that’s Captain America: Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. I’m taking my wife to see it on Monday, so I’ll decide then, but it just might, although those films tend to have more of a direct relationship to a lead character, despite the grand stakes at the climax of the film. I loved the film and would give it 9 stars out of 10.
Now, let’s talk with spoilers.
I don’t think that’s enough warning.
Hmmm, I think I need more.
This movie has a lot of call backs to earlier films. The climatic moment of victory goes back to the very first Marvel film. Of course, with time travel involved, there’s the obvious references to the films these scenes are taken from. There are callbacks to almost every Marvel film in the franchise. The only one that might not get a call-back is Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, but Stan Lee’s cameo does bear some resemblance to the opening of that film. One of the big weepers had me get a special lunch in tribute to Tony Stark, Burger King cheeseburgers.
There are cameos a plenty with almost every hero getting a chance to get some screen time. Even some supporting characters get a moment. Driving away from the theater, I realized that even the kid from Iron Man 3 showed up. My favorite returning characters had to be Rumlow, Jasper Sitwell and the other covertly Hydra SHIELD agents. This moment even gave us a take on the comics’ iconic moment of Steve Rogers saying “Hail Hydra” without betraying everything about the character.
Wong brings an army of sorcerers to aid in the final battle against Thanos. Black Panther even gives us the Wakandan army once again. Only three heroes don’t return, Quicksilver, Vision and Gamora. However, Gamora from the past has a pivotal role in the final battle. There’s even hope that she might be out there in the universe somewhere.
There are moments that are there for the fans. All of the female heroes, except one, gather in one big push, gathering in a scene that just screams for the trolls to lambaste it. However, female fans of these films need to know that these characters reflect them, too. The days when super-heroes were solely white male power fantasies are over, and they’re never coming back. Captain Marvel is a little unlikable at first, but given the way the other characters relate to her, it’s an intentional choice. When she comes in for the save during the final battle, she’s obviously grown a little from her experiences, especially the failure to bring everyone back at the beginning of the film.
That battle is in stark contrast to the climatic one. It’s one thing to go for revenge. It’s another to fight to save the lives of everyone you love, and of course, the planet. There are reveals in there that of course, make perfect sense. One calls back to Age of Ultron. The other big one brings the franchise full circle. I do like that using the Infinity Gauntlet takes a toll on the wearer, which makes the big reveal that ends the battle mean so much more.
The deaths hit me hard, but the big one really made me cry. Just when I thought I was done, Jon Favreau and a little girl choke me up again. Of course, the other big farewell isn’t a death but a passing of the torch. It made perfect sense, even as it was being explained. A lot of people expected the roles of these two characters to be reversed, but this works so much better.
Seriously, I love Avengers: Endgame.