This is the end. Well, sort of. Following a successful first installment, Marvel’s Avengers return to finish the job. When we last saw them Thanos kicked their butt. He swiped the Infinity Gauntlet and combined all six stones, wiping out half of the universe’s population. At the end of Infinity War Dr. Stephen Strange told Tony Stark they held a fraction of a chance to defeat Thanos. So, of course this new film is the story of that one sliver of hope. And honestly, despite its clear pandering to hype fans, Endgame delivers a somewhat unpredictable product. Within the first half-hour we witness a jarring event. I don’t know about y’all but I did not expect decapitation in this film. I guess Disney isn’t all lollipops and ice cream after all. During my late-night sit-down of this three-hour conclusion, I found myself a lot less bored than usual.
Here the camerawork features much more polish in comparison to the previous film. The frame holds for emotional impact instead of constantly cutting away to different characters. I can’t tell you how annoying watching Infinity War was for me. It felt like they couldn’t wait to get all this over with. Even though there is less of that feeling in Endgame, this wasn’t much of a storybook ending. It was for Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Evans. But not for every other character. I still believe that this should have been a trilogy. After eleven straight years of hype I expected them to milk this for as much cash as possible. Once again they proved me wrong. And I’m okay with that. Still, though, this movie does not warrant a 186-minute runtime. The last movie was two-and-a-half hours also. Why not break it up into three parts?
Perhaps the scheduling was too much for the cast. Yet to my eyes they have enough footage for three logically-sized films. I guess the main point I’m trying to make here is this. In spite of my enjoyment of this movie, it never felt like the epic finale we all deserved. It felt like just another movie in the machine — other than the length. I did enjoy the alternate perspectives of past Avengers movies. And the diner scene was awkwardly cute. But ultimately Endgame is simply another agenda-pushing Easter egg hunt. Plot holes and dry banter continue to run rampant. Ant-Man’s character as a whole was especially trite. I wish Paul Rudd didn’t have to play this part because I love him as an actor. But here he was written as nothing but a migraine… A migraine who survives missile explosions to the face, to be exact. Gimme a break.
Don’t get me wrong. This film will be incredibly entertaining to those Marvel super fans out there. This is by no means a complete waste of time. However, I could argue it is a waste of 14 dollars. If you’re paying single digits for this movie consider that a win. Fat Thor, Beta Hulk, and the return of Spider-Man and Scarlet Witch were worth it for me. While the time travel cliche does little to make this story compelling, it did make it feasible to some degree. This is a fanciful tale, so I don’t mind that the only way to stop the most unstoppable force in the universe is time travel. I mean, one of the stones is the Time Stone. Of course they’re going to mess with time. There is literally no other manner to keep a guy like Thanos from spreading tyranny.
I do have one question, though. How in the hell did Tony Stark build something to sustain the power of all six Infinity Stones without any knowledge or data on how to handle them? I get that he’s a super genius and all that. I actually loved how he solved the time-travel conundrum on his own. Nevertheless, I wasn’t a fan of this shaky logic being the climactic reveal. Although there is plenty to like here, Endgame has a tendency to fall short in its biggest emotional moments. In my opinion, consistent character chemistry and tier-one special effects carry this film. Those deep pockets at Disney truly spared no expense bringing this story world to life. Their insane profit margins speak for themselves. I am glad they understood to dish their dollars into the series’ bread-and-butter.
Furthermore, this effects team matched Bruce Banner with Mark Ruffalo perfectly. Though the CGI wasn’t flawless for the film’s entirety, the kinks were minor at most. Thanos, Hulk, and magic powers never missed a beat. Additionally, the action choreography remained solid throughout. There might be one or two eye rolls I’m forgetting. But overall none of the fighting was horribly cheesy. Both Iron Man and Captain America receive a proper goodbye, as Downey and Evans are officially done as these characters. They will be sorely missed. Honestly, there may never be a more destined superhero actor than RDJ. It looks as though Spider-Man will now be Marvel’s biggest star. Sounds good to me… Looking back, it’s been a great 11 years with these heroes. And despite some glaring oh-brother junctures Endgame mostly ties this thing up in a tight little bow.