Dan's Review: Heartfelt, Emotional Closure in "Avengers: End Game"
Apr 23, 2019 10:35PM
By Dan Metcalf
Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame - © 2019 Marvel Studios.
Avengers: End Game (Marvel Studios)
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and some language.
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Jon Favreau, Bradley Cooper (voice), Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Brolin, Frank Grillo, Tessa Thompson, Winston Duke, Robert Redford, Rene Russo, Tilda Swinton, Alexander Pierce, Hiroyuki Sanada, Katherine Langford, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Tom Hiddleston, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Letitia Wright, Evangeline Lilly, Linda Cardellini, Vin Diesel (voice) .
Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, based on "The Avengers" comic books by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo.
OK, here we are. The end of the road for The Avengers “Cinematic Universe” that began in 2008 arrives this week in the form of Avengers: End Game, the follow-up to 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. Usually, I dispense with a quick recap of a film’s main plot points in my reviews, but I fear that covering anything beyond the known setup left over from Infinity War will spoil numerous surprises.
I’ll sum it up with the obvious. We begin with the remaining superheroes at rock bottom, following Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) “finger snap” that wiped out half of all living beings in the universe. The Avenger team survivors include Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Natasha Romanov/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle), David Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and Rocket (a raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper). Other folks previously unknown or thought missing eventually join up with the survivors, including Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). Other superheroes and Avengers associates join the team in their efforts to track down and make Thanos pay for his crimes, along with a desire to fix what he did.
There’s not much more I can reveal without spoiling things, but if you’re a fan of the MCU, you can probably figure out that the film deals with a lot of magical powers and pseudoscience, not to mention a litany of improbable scenarios rendered by “Infinity Stones” possessing powers to alter reality, time, space, matter, and intelligence, along with destructive qualities. These are the things of comic books, a medium that depends on improbability. Appealing to those who “marvel” at the idea of living beings with extraordinary powers. In shorter order, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that such trinkets might yet offer some hope to make things right. It also doesn’t take much to figure out that there are a LOT of MCU films already finished or in the works that feature characters wiped out by Thanos. Even so, if you assume that everything can be made right by another snap of the fingers, you may be assuming too much – or maybe not.
That’s all I have to say about that. I’ll allow those readers who made it this far into my review to sit back and enjoy the details themselves when seeing the movie.
Avengers: End Game would be tough to grade as a standalone film experience. My critique comes with a lot of baggage from the other 21 films in the franchise, so if you aren't caught up with the series, you may be a little lost.
Suffice to say I loved Avengers: End Game – not so much as a singular film, but as a proper, heartfelt and beautiful conclusion to a saga that began when Tony Stark first hammered out his metal suit in 2008’s Iron Man. End Game closes the book for several characters, most notably the “Original Six” Avengers (Stark, Rogers, Romanov, Barton, Banner, and Thor). Don’t panic. “Closure” does not necessarily mean “death,” but can mean many things for characters we’ve grown to love over the past 11 years. I have a lot more to say regarding the surprises, emotional scenes and humor in Avengers: End Game, but I’ll save it for later discussions. I would add that there are a few powerful performances in the movie that allow actors to stretch themselves a little deeper into their characters, especially Downey and Johansson.
So, if you’re fully invested in the MCU and love the characters as much as I do, be sure to see Avengers: End Game as soon as possible, if only to avoid spoilers you may stumble upon or overhear in the break room.
One bit of advice: Do not drink a lot of fluids before you see the movie and be sure to get comfortable for three hours and one minute.
"Avengers: End Game" Trailer