"Every journey has an end" - after eleven years, the Infinity saga builds to a grandiose conclusion. Unless you've been living under a rock or hidden away in Wakanda - Avengers: Infinity War pitted earth's mightiest heroes against the mad titan Thanos, but the big twist? they lost and as a result half of the universe dusted away following Thanos's deadly 'Snap'. Now the remaining Avengers, beaten down by their failure, must fight the battle of their lives and do whatever it takes to retrieve the infinity stones and rescue humanity.
With apparently 14,000,650 possible outcomes - Avengers: Endgame is not the singular conclusion that Doctor Strange had us hoping for. Returning directors the Russo Brothers kept everything safely under wraps, letting ambiguity and anticipation build right up until the film's release. However Marvel have seemingly met their greatest dilemma: all of the fan theories that have circulated the internet over the past few years have turned out to be more complex and interesting than the film itself. Whereas Infinity War brilliantly pulled together multiple disparate elements from across the galaxy, Endgame fails to live up to its title, leaving numerous plot holes and unanswered questions.
Clocking in at three hours and one minute, the Russos crumble under the pressure of delivering the superhero epic we had expected. The studio slips into old habits with juvenile humour that completely undercuts the more serious aspects of the narrative, consequently one particular character is made a mockery of for the sake of an ongoing gag that really isn't that funny anyway. Endgame devotes more air time to certain characters over others, emphasising the heavy burden of responsibility. The first and second act put the Avengers in a state of grief and remorse - with the Russos' exploring life on earth after The Snap, spotlighting those who have adjusted and those who simply can't move on. Endgame highlights the idea of duty and the acceptance of failure. As touching as the initial half of the film is, once the team find a way of retrieving the Infinity stones, Endgame gently spirals into mediocre storytelling.
Considering what's at stake the plot feels overly simplistic yet confusing at the same time; it becomes blatantly clear that Endgame is fan service plain and simple, but with that the storyline lacks a sense of urgency. This is a time travel movie but the logic is somewhat skew-whiff. The Quantum Realm plays an integral role in the Avenger's plan, but the Russos neglect the visual complexity and sensitivity of this imaginary science, conveniently leaving it unexplored.
But with twenty two films to their name however, Marvel do have something special and decidedly epic up their sleeve. Following two disappointing hours, Endgame culminates in the greatest, most comic book accurate and visually mind boggling finale in the studios history. At the centre are a handful of extraordinary, pivotal characters. Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans, look past the events of Civil War and put aside their differences for the greater good. Paul Rudd is fantastic as the pint sized hero who holds his own, along with the triumphant Hulk who finally feels understood. However, Endgame owes itself to Scarlet Johansson as Black Widow. Natasha, who has spent decades trying to escape her past, recognises her duty and makes one of the most selfless decisions we've seen a female superhero make.
I saw Iron Man when I was six years old, and seen every MCU movie in cinemas since then. These are more than just films, they are significant parts of people's lives and childhoods. For me, Endgame is not the satisfying finale I was hoping for, thwarted by simplistic story telling, lacking tension and having tediously predictable outcomes. There are amazing moments peppered throughout and the Russos have brilliantly the captured the significance of certain characters, whilst others such as Thanos and Captain Marvel are somewhat sidelined. All that being said, if you're willing to forgive the wobbly logic, plot holes and aggravating creative choices then Endgame might just satisfy your expectations.
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.