RATED PG-13 | 4-stars
After over ten years in the making, Avengers: Endgame ties up phase two of a storyline that has spanned galaxies, mythologies, and countless characters. Only twenty years ago MARVEL was on the cusp of bankruptcy, but you wouldn’t know that today. The MARVEL cinematic universe has done things never before done on the big screen while continuing to feed a fire of excitement in movie goers and comic fans alike.
Each viewer of Avengers: Endgame will likely have a different opinion on plotlines, character turns, and story decisions. After all, MARVEL has become a bedrock of modern popular culture, and the reasons for fans connecting to a certain character, theme, or sub-storyline are as countless as the fans themselves. Each review and opinion may differ wildly from each other; this review is only one of many.
In a nutshell: Avengers: Endgame was everything and more that most fans were waiting for. It could’ve been a trainwreck of a story with so, so many threads left hanging from Avengers: Infinity War, but what made it work was its validation of little moments and its deep reverent respect for loss and grief.
One of my main concerns in Avengers: Infinity War was its non-committal opinion on life’s value. While there had been quite a bit of focus on “saving the world,” the focus felt more on Saving Quantity Because That’s Good versus analyzing the nitty-gritty of how widespread such loss would affect the world.
Without giving away anything, I do believe Endgame answered the question of “Is life important?” posed in Infinity War with a bold “YES.” But not loudly; instead it answered in the little ways each person’s life had been affected—seemingly forever. The world hadn’t just lost a war; the world had gone quiet.
MARVEL made a very brave move by showing the broken humanity behind the heroes they had spent so much time building up to nearly god-like power. MARVEL’s superheroes have always been, first and foremost, people—and that is what has made MARVEL such a strong storyteller in the cinematic world. Watching some superpowered person save the world again and again gets old—unless you care about the people. Unless you care that they are fighting to save something they love. And you care because they’re kind or lonely or generous or smart. You care because you want them to succeed.
Endgame gave room for grief to breathe.
It didn’t stop there. It spoke of how grief is but a pause, not an ending.
Personally, there were aspects of the story I didn’t like. I found some of the plot elements to be cheap and lazy, but even those were small enough to ignore. Given the vastness of the story arc, I don’t think Endgame could possibly fulfill every promise it made with some of its build-up. I also feel some of the characters fell out of their role, as there were more crude moments than I remember being in previous movies. Still light for a PG-13 but present. Its violence was a bit higher than Infinity War, but not as intense as the first Iron Man.
My takeaway from Endgame was that it was written as a thank you. The writers and filmmakers allowed so many characters to absolutely shine who hadn’t had that opportunity in the past. They took the time to give moments of grace and gentleness and kindness—amidst so much loss and pain. They clarified a line between good and evil, between life and death.
Avengers: Endgame won’t resonate with each person the same way, and if your favorite character isn’t one of the core Avengers, you may be disappointed in how much screentime they don’t get. But I’d suggest going into it with an open mind. Don’t look for criticism of story, but look behind the plotline and the screen to the heart of the characters, the heart of the writers, and the resounding and humble whisper of, “Thank you, Marvel Fans. Thank you.”
September is an aspiring novelist, book
hoarder collector and movie watcher. She has a black feline floof named Faust, an assortment of plants that seek global domination, and a distinct lack of awareness for where she is at any given moment.