Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Avengers: Endgame: Film Review

Avengers: Endgame: Film Review

Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson,Karen Gillan, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, 
Director: Anthony and Joe Russo

It's finally here.
Avengers: Endgame: Film Review

The end of the road for the Marvel Cinematic Universe's current phase, and the conclusion of events after Thanos snapped his fingers, and wiped out half of the world in Avengers: Infinity War.

Avengers: Endgame arrives with such a weight of expectation one year after the tease of the end that it's hard to live upto what fans - and cinemagoers - want.

But simply put, if you're a fan of the MCU, Endgame delivers in spades - and as a casual cinema-goer there's also a lot to gain from a film that has dalliances with the epic, but never once forgets the intimate.
Avengers: Endgame: Film Review

Avengers:Endgame is not a film the creators want spoiling.

The plot has been briefly hinted at in trailers but outside of the upcoming release, little is truly known of if Thanos is defeated, or how any attempts are made.

The interesting thing about the occasionally sprawling 181 minutes that unfolds is how much a lot of the payoffs from previous films are delivered and how all the threads of the other 20 plus films join together.

While it’s no condemnation to say Endgame contains an overload of fan service and crowd-pleasing moments, what it also contains is an emotional depth and exploration of sacrifice that’s confined to the core of original characters, that cinemagoers have spent a decade with.

Avengers: Endgame: Film Review
There’s an elegiac feeling of its opening, the meditations on loss and if second chances are worth losing are heartbreakingly laid out; there’s a reaction to trauma that leaves you finally feeling Thanos’ actions in Infinity War had real consequences. Doubt, regret and angst are in order, and are deftly delivered by the human cast.

It's something the MCU has previously until now been somewhat flippant about, but this time around, there's a sense the remaining Avengers are truly broken and vulnerable.

Yet, there’s also scope and depth here which is more than alluded to - old grievances are raised again and the culmination of years of foundation laying has an emotionally resonant payoff that’s mostly worthy of the three hour run time for fans of the franchise.

Brolin once again brings greater depth to his bad guy Thanos and makes you feel like everyone has collateral and damage after he pursued his utopia. His nuanced bad guy has been a real boon for the franchise, and certainly delivers the heft needed in this chapter capper. 

This film is predominantly about the relationship between Chris Evans' Captain America and Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man. But more than that, it's about Steve Rogers and Tony Stark - something which rewards when it needs to.

In among the pleasing set pieces and odd touches of humour, there are one or two stumbles, which were perhaps inevitable during the three hour run time, and with a farewell mentality in mind.

A final battle is a depressing return to the usual CGI throw-it-all-at-the-wall fare (though, in all honesty, it's hard to see what else there is that could be done). Coupled with one or two moments of excess (and one overblown statement of intent to address ongoing criticism), it's the denouement fans will want, but one that critics of the superhero genre will dismiss as once again, overcrowded and overdone. 

When it's confined within to just a few single actors, it's fair to say the denouement soars in its singular quieter moments. Even if foreshadowing robs some of the emotion from landing as it should. In truth, the moments are more about your familiarity with these characters, rather than what exactly the narrative of Avengers: Endgame delivers.
Avengers: Endgame: Film Review

Equally, despite all the promise and fanfare of the previous Marvel outing, it's troubling that one character is effectively reduced solely to a deus ex machina device in proceedings. 

There are also a few emotional moments that feel a little rushed, and didn't quite hit the mark that perhaps should have been expected.

But there are plenty of character complexities and moments that ground this superhero film in the realm of the human and our various foibles.

Ultimately, this film belongs to the original Avengers - it may be the end of Phase 3, and the farewell they've been anticipating after some 20 plus films over a decade, but it's not hindered the Russo Brothers from delivering a movie that is crowd-pleasing in extremis, one that walks a tightrope between nostalgia (thanks to plot devices) and closing a chapter from a studio that's always had its eyes on its vision.

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