Search only in certain items:

Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
2019 | Sci-Fi, Thriller
It has "all the feels"
***There will be NO SPOILERS in this review***

AVENGERS: ENDGAME is an emotionally and artistically satisfying conclusion to 11 years and 22 films of the MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE.

Closing out "Phase III" in the MCU, the concluding chapter for most of the "original" MCU characters/actors, ENDGAME picks up the Avengers story right after the conclusion of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR - a film which saw our heroes lose the battle to Thanos, who snapped his fingers and half the living beings in the Universe vanished.

Instead of downplaying the grief that a survivor would feel, Directors Joe and Anthony Russo (veterans of many MCU films) wisely decide to "lean into" this grief which gives this film something that is surprising for a SuperHero film - emotional resonance. You grieve with these characters that you have come to know - and love - and share their pain and sorrow.

It's a wise choice for it adds a layer to this film that many Superhero films fail to achieve. Along with action, fun characters that you want to root for, interesting visuals and (are you listening DC?) - HUMOR, this film has "all the feels" (to steal a phrase) and will leave the MCU fan (both hardcore and casual) satisfied with the experience.

Also...interestingly enough...this film stands on it's own quite well. The guy next to me in the theater was a "newbie" to the MCU, dragged to the theater with his friends to be "part of the crowd" in this experience. Over the first 5 minutes he was asking his buddy a million questions about who is who and what is what...but after that he just settled into his chair and enjoyed the ride for what it is - even jumping up and cheering at a spot late in the film where EVERYONE in the sold out IMAX showing I was in was tempted to jump out of their chair and cheer (yes - there is THAT kind of moment in this film).

There is also I said..."all the feels". I don't usually tear up at movies, but I felt some glistening in the corners of my eyes and a lump in my throat on more than 1 occasion - sometimes with sadness, but, sometimes, with joy and exuberance. Yes! I had tears of JOY jumping out of my eyes at a few moments in this film.

But, if it is Special Effects spectacle you are looking for - no worries. There are PLENTY including a finale that is worthy of being the Final Battle in the Final Film for this Phase of the series.

And...the humor...this film has a surprisingly large amount of light, happy moments as well. I give the Russo Brothers - and the MCU - credit for realizing that humor is a good counterbalance to sorrow, action and suspense. I also give them credit for what character they decided to use as the "comic relief" in this film. It's a good choice - and the performer tapped to play the humor is equal to the task.

But, of course, none of this matters if the characters aren't interesting enough to root for - and this film has it in spades. We've watched these characters grow, develop, bond and tear apart over the course of these past 11 years, so there is quite a bit of emotional investment in the characters - and this investment pays of handsomely (again...if you are a "casual" fan or a "newbie", you'll be fine). But...if you are like me and are "into" the MCU then there is payoff after payoff in this film that is extremely satisfying.

The actors in ENDGAME are, of course, at the top of their game. They know they are capping a special moment in their careers and they "bring it". Starting, of course, with Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man. His character goes through a wide variety of emotions through the course of this film and - if this is his last MCU film - he's going out in style. As is Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America. These two are at the heart of this film - and at the heart of the MCU - and they take center stage with aplomb, tweaking their characters while respecting all that came before. To be honest, I never really bought into the Iron Man vs. Captain America "Civil War" storyline, but they tie that up nicely.

Of course the other 4 "Original 6 Avengers" - Chris Hemsworth's THOR, Scarlett Johansson's BLACK WIDOW, Mark Ruffalo's BRUCE BANNER and Jeremy Renner's CLINT/HAWKEYE/RONIN - are on hand and they all have their moments and take their bows as appropriate throughout. I also have to give some "props" to Don Cheadle's James "Rhodey" Rhodes/WAR MACHINE - kind of an unsung performer in these films and is a welcome sight who would have been missed had he not been there.

The other "survivors of the snap" - Bradley Cooper's ROCKET RACOON, Karen Gillan's NEBULA and Paul Rudd's SCOTT LANG/ANT MAN - fit in with the "original" Avengers quite well. This group of 10 is fun to watch. Add to them Brie Larson's CAPTAIN MARVEL to mix the drink and the concoction was intoxicating to me. A small "quibble" and I do mean a "quibble" - Danai Gurira and her character OKOYE is underutlized/underused for my tastes, but...that is just a "quibble".

Oh...and James Brolin is back as "big bad" Thanos - a worthy adversary, both emotionally, intellectually and physically for this group of SuperHero's to outwit/outlast/outplay.

Finally...without giving away any plot points...this story figured out a way to reflect on/pay homage to previous films in this Universe. It was a clever way to bring back stories/characters/moments from the past and to give some of these performers and moments a nice "cameo" curtain call.

I better stop now before I give away plot points - needless to say I LOVED THIS FILM - it was a very satisfying way to say "thank you and goodbye" to 11 years (and 22 films) of marvelous film making.

I'm looking forward to what the next 11 years in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to offer - the bar has been set at the highest level.

Letter Grade: A+

10 stars (out of 10) and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)