Avengers: Endgame (4/5)
Everything has led to this. Like Game Of Thrones, Marvel’s first generation has reached the Endgame. Years and months of speculation, fan theories and disgruntled gripes are over because the latest (and last, at least of this current team) Avengers movie is out. Does it live up to 2018’s Infinity War? Does it end things with a bang or a whimper?
First off, the film is over three hours long (twenty minutes longer than Infinity War) and that might incite a groan, but the pacing is very good, starting off slow and quiet and then building to an arresting finale. Though the plot deals with the aftermath of the devastation wrought by Thanos’ snap in the first part, the tone is still well balanced with some humour to temper the darker moments. Newer characters such as Captain Marvel are wisely limited in screen time and the focus is kept on the original bunch: Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Thor and the Hulk.
Reuniting with a plan to travel back in time and find the infinity stones before Thanos (the means to do this are oddly easy but the difficulty is what happens once in the past) our heroes must battle their own feelings of failure before they can hope to emerge victorious.
Time travel is always a risk as plot holes can easily develop. Fans are already picking it apart in online forums. But to the casual viewer everything seems to make sense and is presented somewhat uniquely (time travel creates splinters of alternate timelines) while poking fun at films like Back To The Future and Timecop. It certainly makes for entertaining viewing as characters end up back in the middle of action from previous films, leading to amusing moments such as Loki grabbing the tesseract and chubby Thor sneaking about Asgard.
The two big players here are Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), who centre the film and greatly affect the ending. The two actors are old pros at their roles but, despite how long they’ve inhabited these characters, they never seem disinterested or tired. Karen Gillan as Nebula is also very good.
Avengers Endgame is well worth the watch. Perhaps Marvel fans will get more out of it than a regular audience member, but the same can be said of any franchise instalment. There are moments where things seem slightly glossed over, but with its long running time it is understandable to cut corners where necessary.
The action, emotion and resolution all pack a punch, and the characters and their individual dilemmas form the heart of the story. The ending is so fitting that it is almost sad to think it is only the closing of one book to open another. Don’t miss it.