Thank You Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Roy Thomas, John & Sal Buscema and Jim Starlin
"Avengers: Endgame" is a shining example of how to finish a franchise on a high note. Where many have failed with the tone, structure, character development and pacing, Kevin Feig, and the Russo Bros deliver a herculean feat as if they went through all of the screenwriting outcomes via Dr. Strange's physic ability to deliver the best possible result. Disney's masterplan of building an entire cinematic universe of superheroes astonishingly pays off in the long game to "Endgame." I will try my best not to ruin this film as it's something that must be viewed personally for maximum enjoyment. To be completely transparent I recommend coming into this film blind for the ultimate experience before reading, watching or listening to any review. Having said that let's get started.
Wasting no time from "Infinity War's" cliffhanger "Endgame" is a fittingly somber experience for its first half. The Russo Bros come into the start of this picture respecting their audience's intellect, allowing the characters to change from a world that has changed for the worse. With all of our heroes placed upon a state of grief, the Russos instill their trust in the audience. "Endgame" stays for a large portion of the picture as a dystopian reflection piece. We're no longer watching a simplistic superhero film but rather an existential drama about failure. The imagery of this opening reminded me of the beginning of "28 Days Later" where Jim wakes up from a hospital observing a desolate world deprived of hope. That hope is further snuffed in "Endgame" by a new movie twist which may alienate its audience. It's a surprisingly violent scene not only in a physical manifestation but morally as well. The beginning of "Endgame" comes close to a subjective intellectual picture.
The despair isn't everlasting nor overstaying where we are once more are thrust upon the fun adventure film; we have known to love. Where "Endgame" starts as a mournful think piece, it transitions into an enjoyable heist film. The heist portion is where "Endgame" stumbles over itself a bit through the convolution of a universal storytelling technique that is all too familiar amongst blockbuster filmmaking cheapening some of the fulfillment of the final outcome.
When entering upon the climax of "Endgame," we witness the years of Marvel's preparation come into fruition. "Endgame" features some of the most gratifying climactic moments placed upon a large story arch I have seen put in a commercial property in a long time. If movies are to be argued as a communal experience, I highly recommend seeing this movie with the largest crowd of Marvel fans or a group of friends possible. There will be cheers coinciding with tears. Similar to many epics ranging from "Ben Hur to "The Lord of The Rings," "Avengers: Endgame" is far too big to be a three-act structure play requiring an epilogue.
Unlike "The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King" our ending doesn't split up into an overdrawn twenty-minute ending but rather a summation that evens its pace equally providing an emotional sendoff that's surprisingly mature for a series of comic book films. The character flaws of Marvel's greatest heroes are unapologetically put on display to exemplify how they're just like us. They can be heroic, selfish, vulnerable, all of the traits that we maintain. The Russos challenge their audience to accept some of the choices that these warriors make to understand them on a very personal level requiring us to see between the images of the frame into ourselves through their eyes. Though it stumbles a bit in its second act "Avengers Endgame" is a magnificent sendoff to a twenty-two year, ten movie epic. To quote my friend, Matthew Bright "thank you, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, for creating something so beautiful that has touched the lives of so many." EXCELSIOR!
MIke’s Score ***1/2