Avengers: Endgame (2019) reviewed by Jonathan Berk

Infinity War was an incredible feat last year, and when you remember that is is number 20 of 22 total movies, that feat becomes even more impressive. Marvel Studios has done something completely unprecedented so far in crafting a truly connected cinematic universe. The most significant challenge, however, lied within Avengers: Endgame (2019). Ending a movie is often challenging on its own, but the question we were all wondering was:  ”Could Anthony and Joe Russo stick that landing with a movie that caps off a story woven by a series of films in a cinematic universe”? The good news for all the Marvel Fans and moviegoers alike is…they did! They freaking nailed it!

Endgame is the best ending to this epic journey we could have asked for

After the events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is stranded with Nebula (Karen Gillan) in space, while Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), War Machine (Don Cheadle), and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) are on Earth, trying to figure out their next move. Tracking down Thanos (Josh Brolin) is their collective focus – but will it undo the damage he wrought?

The Russo’s start Endgame with the perfect, somber tone after the Snap left many audience members not “feeling too good.” In some ways, the opening reminds me of Iron Man 3, as we watched Tony Stark deal with PTSD following The Battle  of New York events in Avengers. The characters here are dealing with failure, loss, and survivor’s guilt, all while holding onto the small inkling of hope that something can be done to fix it. The arrival of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) only helps create a spark to fan the flames of optimism that if they can track down Thanos, things can be undone.

I believe the filmmakers manage to take the movie into a multitude of directions. Sure, they give audiences exactly what they expected to see, but they manage not to spend the entirety of the 3-hour runtime doing that alone. Instead, the movie gives us a confrontation early on that many likely expected to be the climax, though that outcome isn’t satisfying for characters in the movie (nor the audience). From there, the film finds great ways to introduce fun set pieces, while also giving great attention to fan service calling back many elements of the 21 movies that came before. Fans of the MCU should not be disappointed with this finale of Phase 3, and the first ten years of this awesome cinematic feat.

There are many scenes I’d love to speak about, but the film is just too fresh and too full of unexpected moments that I would feel guilty giving any specifics about. Thus, I’ll just focus on my absolute favorite part of the MCU: Paul Rudd. Ant-Man was never a favorite character of mine, but Paul Rudd has succeeded in making Scott Lang my absolute favorite. To be fair, it’s really just Rudd in ANY role in basically ANY movie… – expect maybe Mute (2018) – that I love. He’s funny, charming, and really plays a great audience surrogate as Lang is as shocked at everything going on around him as we are. His role in Endgame has much internet speculation, and I’ll not confirm nor deny if the “Thanus” theory plays out or not. What I will say is that he is excellent, and I loved every minute of him in this film.

Final thoughts…

There is no denying that I’m a Marvel Movie Fanboy. If you’ve mostly loved the 21 movies that came before, you’re probably going to love Endgame, as I did. If you’ve been more or less on the fence about them, I feel comfortable saying you probably won’t be bored. If you think comic book movies have run their course and we need to get out of this, I’d say genre film will also exist and there is room for all types of art. I would love for movies like Lady Bird and Eighth Grade to get blockbuster attention, but I also love a great comic book film. Avengers: Endgame is just that, and it earns the Must See rating.

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