Action Adventure

Review: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is the Satisfying Culmination of a Decade-Long Cinematic Journey

April 23, 2019Ben MK

With every new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes the desire to look back on the movies that have come before — to reflect on the journey that has led us to that point. But with the MCU's latest blockbuster, the journey is truly worth reflecting on. 11 years and 22 films onward, and it has finally come to this. We're in the endgame now.

In Avengers: Endgame, we find Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and the heroes who survived the universe-shattering events of Avengers: Infinity War — and indeed, the world in general — struggling to come to terms with their new reality. Precisely half of all living creatures in the entire galaxy have been wiped out in an instant by Thanos (Josh Brolin) and a cruel snap of his Infinity Gauntlet, while those who escaped disintegration might as well have been turned to dust themselves.

Some, like Thor (Chris Hemsworth), are quick to blame themselves for failing to stop Thanos from executing his master plan, while others, like Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), will try everything in their power to find a way to bring their loved ones back. Then there are people like Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who have managed to find a bright spark in this grim future, or others, like Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), who have chosen the dark path of revenge as a way of quelling the all-consuming feelings of helplessness and loneliness growing inside them.

But what if it really could all be undone? What if all the heartache rendered by Thanos could be essentially wiped out with yet another snap of the fingers? To do so would certainly seem near-impossible — but improbable? Maybe not. Not if our heroes are willing to do whatever it takes. Not if they can find a way to defeat time itself — to collect all of the Infinity Stones before Thanos and his Black Order have a chance to — in order to build their own Infinity Gauntlet with which to undo the pain and suffering wrought by the Mad Titan.

Though the subject matter may seem somber — and make no mistake, Endgame does have its share of somber moments — the result is as much a celebration of a decade-long cinematic journey as it is a mourning of things that have come to pass and a passing of the torch to a new generation of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. For while directors Joe and Anthony Russo and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have crafted an action-packed and emotionally wrenching second half to what they began with Infinity War, they've also seen fit to pay homage to the movies that have helped pave the way, even giving some characters the due that fans have longed to see from the beginning.

Suffice to say, it all adds up to a love letter to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What began in 2008 with Iron Man has grown into a box office juggernaut that regularly churns out blockbusters like clockwork, but Avengers: Endgame is proof that no matter how massive a film franchise gets, it is still possible to stay the course — to bring the story full circle, while also blazing a cosmic path for new and exciting adventures ahead.

Avengers: Endgame releases April 25th, 2019 from Walt Disney Pictures. The film has an MPAA rating of PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and some language. Its runtime is 3 hrs. 1 min.

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