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Avengers: Endgame

by Kevin Taft
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Apr 24, 2019
'Avengers: Endgame'
'Avengers: Endgame'  

It's going to be next to impossible to give any sort of in-depth or pointed review for the kinda/sorta final chapter in the current "Avengers" series. The culmination of 10 years of the Marvel Universe, and the 22nd film in the series, "Avengers: Endgame" is huge, ambitious, a little muddled, but somehow manages to hit the right beats, make us care, and takes its time to allow these beloved characters emotional moments that go beyond "your work takes you away from your family" or "we're worried you'll die at any time."

Picking up right where "Avengers: Infinity War" ends, this last chapter begins quietly and with heartbreak. These opening moments set the tone for the rest of the film, which is pretty much a downer for the first 45 minutes until we get a good chunk of the team back together to try and find a way to bring half the world back. As you may recall, during the Infinity War evil Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) gathered all the infinity stones into a metal glove, snapped his fingers, and half the world's population disappeared. Among them were many of our adored heroes, such as Black Panther, Groot, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Scarlet Witch, and more.

To reveal who joins the re-teaming, and how they plan on reversing what Thanos did, would kill the many surprises and numerous twists and turns the film takes. Credit has to be given to screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely for managing to wrangle dozens of characters into some semblance of order and allow the audience to understand the story without needing a comic book nerd to explain it to them.

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo combine their special touch of having just the right amount of hard-hitting action and drama with the goofy sci-fi/superhero action and banter audiences love. It's sort of shocking that it all works, but it does, and they've shown this to us time and time again - most notably the first time around, with "Captain America: Winter Soldier" which was a masterpiece of superhero filmmaking.

Many of your favorite characters and their actor counterparts are back — and even more than you might expect! Everyone does a bang-up job, and a few get to step into expanded roles, like Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), who haven't done too much with the crew thus far. Chris Hemsworth gets to flex some more of his comedic muscles as a Thor that will remind some viewers of a certain dude that will not be named here. But you'll know. Even Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) gets to take center stage in a fun and different way.

With all of this expertise and love for the Marvel Universe, it's no wonder it comes across as entertaining and special as it does.

That said, the film is not without its flaws. While I can't talk specifics, the screenplay sets up a major plot point that has very specific rules. It's even mentioned that these rules are different from what most would expect, and the person explaining the rules makes a dramatic plea to point this out. The problem is those rules end up getting broken a number of times throughout the story. While many will not notice and just go along for the ride, savvier moviegoers might scratch their heads at why things are happening, or not happening, according to the rules that have been set up. Not to mention, there is a big rule set up during an emotional beat in "Infinity War" that is disregarded here, making one particular call-back scene certainly dramatic, but it should never have happened the way it did.

I know I'm being super vague and am unable to point out exactly what I'm talking about, but the issue does exist. Or else it seems to. I'll be interested to discuss with fans and critics once the film is released to see if maybe my own understanding of the rules was cloudy. The mechanics of the plot of "Endgame" are sort of a personal favorite genre of mine, so my Spidey-senses tend to get super sensitive to these particular guidelines.

Do these issues take away from the enjoyment of the film? Of course not. There's enough humor, emotion, and fan service to please everyone. In fact, it's nice to see a film that has a lot of action but also lets the more tender moments have their fair share of screen time.

This is how I wish all of the Marvel Universe films were. There are times Marvel has gotten in its own way, or, to be honest, gotten lazy with their storytelling. If they can continue the Marvel stories utilizing the same look and feel they have with these last two "Avengers" movies, I welcome another few decades of superheroes battling evil, bantering with each other, and learning how to save the world while figuring out how to live life in a spandex suit and being endlessly on call.

This might be the endgame for some of our favorite Marvel characters, but something tells me there are more where they came from and, perhaps, new and improved versions for us to cheer on. It's just a guess, but we all know this isn't really the end. In fact, in some ways, it's a new beginning and a whole new game.

Avengers: Endgame -- The IMAX 2D Experience

Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply starts to dwindle. Meanwhile, the remaining Avengers -- Thor, Black Widow, Captain America and Bruce Banner -- must figure out a way to bring back their vanquished allies for an epic showdown with Thanos -- the evil demigod who decimated the planet and the universe.

Info

Runtime :: 181 mins
Release Date :: Apr 26, 2019
Language :: Silent
Country :: United States

Cast

Tony Stark/Iron Man :: Robert Downey
Steve Rogers/Captain America :: Chris Evans
Bruce Banner/Hulk :: Mark Ruffalo
Thor :: Chris Hemsworth
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow :: Scarlett Johansson
Clint Barton/Hawkeye :: Jeremy Renner
Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel :: Brie Larson
Scott Lang/Ant-Man :: Paul Rudd
James Rhodes/War Machine :: Don Cheadle
Nebula :: Karen Gillan
Okoye :: Danai Gurira
Voice of Rocket :: Bradley Cooper
Pepper Potts :: Gwyneth Paltrow
Happy Hogan :: Jon Favreau
Wong :: Benedict Wong
Valkyrie :: Tessa Thompson
Thanos :: Josh Brolin
The Ancient One :: Tilda Swinton
Alexander Pierce :: Robert Redford
Drax :: Dave Bautista
Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange :: Benedict Cumberbatch
Peter Parker/Spider-Man :: Tom Holland
Janet van Dyne :: Michelle Pfeiffer
Frigga :: Rene Russo
Shuri :: Letitia Wright
Gamora :: Zoe Saldana
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch :: Elizabeth Olsen
Brock Rumlow :: Frank Grillo
Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier :: Sebastian Stan
Hope van Dyne/The Wasp :: Evangeline Lilly
Driver :: Stan Lee

Crew

Director :: Anthony Russo
Director :: Joe Russo
Screenwriter :: Christopher Markus
Screenwriter :: Stephen McFeely
Producer :: Kevin Feige
Executive Producer :: Victoria Alonso
Executive Producer :: Michael Grillo
Executive Producer :: Trinh Tran
Executive Producer :: Jon Favreau
Executive Producer :: James Gunn
Executive Producer :: Stan Lee
Cinematographer :: Trent Opaloch
Film Editor :: Jeffrey Ford
Film Editor :: Matthew Schmidt
Original Music :: Alan Silvestri
Production Design :: Charles Wood
Costume Designer :: Judianna Makovsky
Casting :: Sarah Finn


Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.


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