Review (Spoiler-free): Avengers: Endgame is a Fast-Paced, Stunning Conclusion


Donovan Nichols, Staff Writer

Avengers: Endgame, released April 26, is one of the most anticipated movies in recent history. The 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe had a lot riding on its shoulders after the cultural and box office juggernaut that was its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War, steamrolled into theaters one year ago. Where Infinity War left audiences with one of the most shocking cliffhangers in film history, Endgame faced the challenge of wrapping up 11 years worth of loose ends and bringing a satisfying conclusion to this chapter of the MCU. With so much riding on a film, it would be easy for it to stumble.

But Endgame does not stumble. This fourth MCU film directed by Anthony and Joe Russo comes far from it. It soars above all the small things that could bring it down to deliver an absolutely exhilarating (and exhausting) conclusion. Never before has a superhero movie felt so much like a comic book come to life.

Endgame starts off where Infinity War ended, showing the crushing effects of Thanos’ snap, called “The Decimation,” that wiped out half of all life forms. From there, it’s up to the remaining original six Avengers, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) to figure out just how exactly to recover from such a devastating loss. In their troubles navigating a post-snap world, the original six are joined by longtime heroes like War Machine (Don Cheadle), and newcomers like Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Nebula (Karen Gillan),and Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper).

Despite being cut in half from Infinity War, there still is a tremendous challenge to balance so many characters. For the most part, the Russo brothers excel with making sure every character has their own important moments. While the trinity of Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor get the most attention, almost everyone’s story arc is furthered and changed, sometimes in very surprising ways.

Endgame is also surprisingly heartfelt. It is dark and sad at moments, showing the devastation inflicted on the world, but it is also surprisingly funny. The cast really puts their heart and soul into their portrayals of their characters, for some of them, their last appearances, and it shows. There are moments when it is hard not to want to fist pump in elation.

Despite Endgame’s three hour run time, it stays incredibly fast-paced, keeping the stakes high. It drags a little in the middle, but makes up for the slightly slower pace with a relentless onslaught of humor and quips that surprisingly all land.

Action sequences are much more spaced out and less frequent than in Infinity War. The film spends much of its time covering the emotional side of its characters, showing the audience what they and the world have lost. While the action set pieces are fewer, however, when they occur, they really deliver. The final battle in particular is without a doubt the one of the craziest action sequences put together in the MCU, but it pays off. It would be hard to overstate its incredibly stunning scope; it truly feels like the battle to end all battles.

Endgame luckily has enough legs to stand well on its own for more casual followers of the MCU, making sure not to alienate the many fans it picked up after Infinity War fever spread like wildfire through word of mouth last year. At its core, however it is a love letter dedicated to the fans who have been with the franchise since the beginning. Countless past movies and moments are built upon and paid homage to, but it never feels overly forced or self-centered.

Overall, despite its long length and occasional pacing issue, Endgame is phenomenal. It’s not just a great superhero movie, but a great movie in general. It is the satisfying conclusion so many fans have been waiting to see. The MCU has grown to be a cultural juggernaut in the 11 years since it all started with Iron Man, and with so much attention and talent it’s exciting to see where it goes next. But for perhaps the first time in its history, Marvel Studios is content to let the future remain a mystery. Endgame is the first MCU film without any post-credits scenes, instead just a mid-credits tribute to the original six Avengers. It knows the role it plays: to deliver some closure to these 22 films. While this is far from the end of the MCU, the predominant feeling after watching Endgame is finality. In that regard, to serve as the end of an era for these heroes, it delivers without fault.


Verdict: 10/10