Review of Avengers: Endgame

I went and saw Avengers: Endgame today, and I was not disappointed. I will keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, so feel free to enjoy.

I was somewhat on the fence about Endgame. I enjoyed Captain Marvel, but I was worried about some of the choreography (I felt Captain Marvel suffered from over-long fights) and the impact of a new character introduced so recently in the MCU on a story which is predominantly about the characters we’ve been following for years now.

My fears were unfounded. Avengers: Endgame really delivered on what I was hoping to see: great superhero action, superb acting and writing, and a fulfilling conclusion to the Avengers saga.

This isn’t to say that Marvel’s sworn off doing further films–I actually want to see them take some of the characters further–but rather that there’s great closure to the series in Endgame which makes it clear that it’s not just a cash grab (i.e. they didn’t do the same thing in Infinity War where they were like “Now wait for a bit and we’ll give you the rest!”).

If you’ve liked the MCU to this point, Endgame will almost certainly scratch that itch. It hits on all the high points that Marvel’s been delivering on so well.

I’ve seen reviews of Endgame that mention that the action doesn’t really start until the last third of the film. I don’t necessarily agree with that totally, but the stakes definitely are low at the beginning.

It’s surprisingly deep character development and exploration, delving into the Avengers’ choices following the events of Infinity War.

If you want high-octane for the first two hours, you won’t get it. If you want an interesting story, it’s definitely there.

If you’re a newcomer to Marvel, you’re definitely not going to have as good a time as people who really like Marvel; there are constant references to older films but it doesn’t feel like it’s just riffing on its previous films. It actually develops them, letting us see deeper into the characters and showing us a side of the universe that we never got to see before.

And characters from pretty much every film return (though not necessarily every character from every film), lending a lot of weight to the stakes. Endgame feels like a movie that took over a decade to make.

I’ve seen about 70-80% of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies (all of the Avengers series, and most of the character origins barring Hulk, Spider Man, and Ant Man; some of the individual character sequels I’ve missed), so there were a few characters that I wasn’t super familiar with, but we get to see a bunch of characters who were absent in Infinity Wars or whose fate we didn’t know (or, if like me you aren’t the most attentive, whose fate you weren’t paying attention to).

A lot of places reprise their roles as well, though not quite as many as the characters (after all, there are only a few places that the characters are going to have a motivation to go to), and we get to have a pretty broad range of pretty visuals.

The visuals are fantastic. There is a lot of CGI, but it’s all done well in the typical Marvel fashion. Barring the exceptionally outlandish feats of some of the characters, everything looks believable. Yes, it’s pretty much all special effects in some scenes, but the people over at Marvel know how to use color and lighting to full effect. It doesn’t feel over-busy, though it does feel fantastical.

The soundtrack is okay. It’s more of the usual Avengers fare, and we’ve been spoiled by that. It generally gets out of the way when it’s time to get out of the way, and gets lost in the more dramatic moments where it plays a great supporting role but doesn’t come to the forefront.

The story took turns that I was not expecting to have it take, and it was really well-written overall. In addition to the countless scenes where people were cheering or applauding because they were just plain awesome, there were also a lot of scenes that were emotionally powerful. I think I broke into tears three times during the film, which probably reveals that I’m over-emotional but also is a testament to its power.

I don’t know how much more I can say without risking spoilers. The film starts right where Infinity War leaves off, with a couple prologue scenes before the real action begins, and it starts into things that one might conservatively consider spoilers very quickly.

However, I will say this: Endgame is a good conclusion to the Avengers trilogy. It’s a fantastic spectacle built upon a solid story.

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