How do you end a 22-movie franchise? How do you satisfy millions of fans, critics and audiences with a single movie? If you fail, you fail incredibly, irreversibly badly. If Endgame, the last film of the ‘Infinity Saga’ were to be a failure, god forbid an average or even a bad film, that would certainly be the end of directors Anthony and Joe Russo. Endgame was always set to make a stupid amount of money, but how do you craft a truly great, culturally relevant film?
I don’t have the answer to that, but the Russo brothers might, since Endgame is undeniably a good, even great film. Set with an almost impossible task, the Russos come out soaring. Thank goodness for that.
Set after the events of Infinity War, Endgame sees our heroes struggling with the new normal without their friends and allies. The beauty of IW was that Thanos did have a point and the purple Mad Titan truly believed what he was doing was for the greater good. Well, it’s not a spoiler to say it backfired, big time. Earth is in ruin, cars abandoned, buildings collapsed and everything is eerily quiet. No one is happy and the remaining Avengers are set on bringing their friends back. But how?
If you haven’t seen Endgame yet and wish to see it completely unspoiled, I advise to turn back now. I will not be discussing major plotpoints, but I do wish to review the film in full and it’s incredibly difficult to decide what is a spoiler now.
You have been warned.
Endgame is a very particular film. It’s sole purpose it to bring closure to some of the several narratives the franchise has covered over their over 10-year run. And it does magnificently. It manages to handle all it’s characters with grace and give them their dues. Especially Hawkeye, a character played to perfection by Jeremy renner but never really awarded any big moments, gets a big chunk of screentime.
While Infinity War, one of the biggest and baddest blockbusters of all time, starst to crumble after a few watches, Endgame is the slower and more satisfying of the two. IW of course suffers from the fact that the characters dusted at the end were always destined to come back. It’s easy to complain that the stakes aren’t as high when you know they’ll all return but I would argue that made the stakes even higher. Endgame is very much the end of the Avengers as we knew them. We know Spidey and Black Panther would return, but at what cost? How does it impact Steve or Tony?
The Russo brothers have always been gifted at directing action. Their setpieces are exciting and full of adrenaline, but they’ve always missed the spark Joss Whedon brought to the films. The easy banter between characters, the way the actors bounced off each other in scenes. While the duo still struggle with the funny bits, they’re a little over-written, they seem to have picked up a few things. Endgame takes it’s time with the characters, devoting as much time to internal dynamics and character relationships as it does to big scale battles.
Endgame is nothing short of a masterpiece. Seriously, I mean that. It might not compete in the same category as films like Roma, 12 Years A Slave or Citizen Kane (which I dislike by the way), but it’s certainly a masterpiece in it’s own genre. For Marvel Cinematic Universe, Endgame is finally the film that balances CGI, emotion and narrative in a satisfying way. It sets a new example for all comic book films to come; this is what you want your film compared to, this is what you should strive for. It allows the actors to do something new with their already worn characters and let’s them breathe new life into them.
Most importantly, Endgame is satisfactory to the fans. It’s easy to call it fan service and maybe it is, but it doesn’t make Endgame a bad film. It delivers breathtaking action and some truly great gags and is never short of emotion. It might try to pull on those heartstrings a little too heavy, but this is the end of a journey not just for the Avengers but the young fans. With Iron Man debuting in 2008, a lot of people have literally grown up with these characters. It’s simply not fair to dismiss their heartbreak over Endgame because the stakes are much higher for them than for a lot of us. We should embrace that, because how amazing must it be to grow up with superheroes and then be awarded with a film like Endgame. I don’t know about you, but I envy that.
The film isn’t perfect. The time travel defis logic at times. If you really start to look at the undeniably sweet and emotional ending, not everything makes sense, but Endgame still delivers as a film that acts as an end of an era. The question becomes how much you’re willing to forgive? Is it more important for you to have a nice, neat ending or a logical superhero film? It would have been nice if Endgame made more sense, if it didn’t sweep some of its’ issues under the rug, but it’s hard to deny the sheer ambition and skill the Russos have brought into the film. It’s a film that has something for everyone, but will be enjoyed the most by die-hard fans. Regardless, Endgame might be a blockbuster event film like we’ve never seen before and more importantly, it’s at the very least a decent film.
So there you have it! What did you think of this monster of a movie? Loved it, hated it? Let me know!