How did they do that?
Over 11 years and more than 20 films, Kevin Feige and the team at Marvel Studios has wrapped up what has to be the most ambitious, most complex, and utterly satisfying run in cinematic history. Avengers: Endgame is the perfect capstone to this monumental effort. It is satisfying not only as an epic film (and at 3 hours and 2 minutes it is epic), but also emotionally. It wraps up the plot neatly, making way for whatever comes next without taking away from the legacy of this set of films.
If you remember from the end of Avengers: Infinity War, half the team and the world is eliminated with the snap of a finger. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this film is going to be about how to get them back. Yet, the filmmakers have done a remarkable job in creating a plot with interesting twists and turns to keep you guessing without delving into predictable plot devices. And the surprises built into the story are worth discovering on your own – so no spoilers here.
The film focuses on the six main characters from the first Avengers film – Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, and Black Widow – with some notable additions including Ant-Man, War Machine, Rocket, Nebula and Captain Marvel. But rightly so as this adventure began primarily with them, it ends with them as well. Each of their stories is wrapped up nicely in both expected and unexpected ways. There will surely be some who are critical of the ending, but most will walk out with a deep sense of satisfaction if not a bit of sadness at the end of an era.
From a storytelling point of view, perhaps the biggest surprise is that after 21 films, these characters continue to grow. After the second movie in most franchises, the characters are pretty stale and the action begins to revolve around the ancillary characters. But in the MCU, every film sees these heroes changed by their circumstances and by how they view their world. Tony Stark, who has been at this the longest, still wrestles with his past and with his future. Can he still protect the world? Can he even protect the ones he loves?
Will you see your other favorites somewhere in the film? For sure. They may not have prominent roles, but nearly every other major (and sometimes minor) character gets screen time. And the Russo brothers pick some interesting ones to highlight. Again, it’s too much fun to find out on your own, and I did promise a spoiler-free review so go check it out yourself. Most do not get the character storyline treatment the main characters do, but I love the tidbits of dialogue each one gets. And is Captain Marvel perhaps the most powerful and awesome superhero in the universe? Avengers: Endgame is a wild romp through the MCU and a fitting end for this story arc. But go see it on the big screen where it belongs.