Quick Hit: Epic barely begins to describe what you see in this film.
I can’t think of a more ambitious thing than what Marvel did in order to build to this moment in cinematic history. The idea of taking 22 films and giving them an overall cohesive story is an incredible undertaking. When you consider the amount of moving pieces in a story that large, it’s hard not to be impressed. What’s more, there’s very few truly bad movies in the whole set. Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World probably skew closest to that line, but even at their lowest points, the films are still entertaining in some sense of the word.
I think (at the risk of this post getting too long, I’ll try to wrap up my general MCU thoughts soon) that the majority of this success is due to the casting. There isn’t a single person that plays a hero in the MCU that isn’t likeable. Even the characters that are purposely written to rub people the wrong way, like Dr. Stephen Strange, are still likeable and well-performed. But that core set of performers that began the MCU – Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner – they all are so well-loved that a movie like this was necessary in order to start the next phases.
For the maybe three people in the universe that haven’t seen this movie yet, Endgame picks up right at the end of Infinity War. The Avengers take their shot at Thanos and fail, and eventually we pick up years after the event. Most are trying to move on – some are handling the failure in their own destructive ways. But eventually, Tony finds a possibility in that he may be able to use the Quantum Realm to go back in time. This allows several teams to go forth and attempt to gather the Infinity stones prior to Thanos being able to gather them. Some of these trips are more emotional than others – particularly when Hawkeye and Widow go in search of the Soul stone. The movie also follows Thanos on a journey of his own related to this.
It’s a really interesting take, and of course, it has plot holes (very few stories centered on time travel don’t have some sort of plot holes). But what it manages to do is bring emotion to the story, and build it higher and higher to an epic conclusion. And what a conclusion it is. It’s exahalting watching things on screen that you never would have thought possible outside of the pages of a comic book. Some of them may have been a bit telegraphed, but even those moments are leap-out-of-your-seat worthy. And we’re finally shown some real stakes to the world that these characters inhabit – and the way those stakes could be overcome if the timing (and the $$$) was right.
I really loved the movie – quite a bit more than Infinity War actually. There are a few things that detracted it for me – while I liked the Ronin side-plot, the fact that he only seemed to go after non-white characters is a bit of an issue. I also realize that while you can’t really have the other Marvel characters (Black Panther/Captain Marvel) playing huge parts in the story (it’s huge enough already), their characters feel severely underutilized. But these are rather small critiques in a story that ended in a satisfying manner. I’m going to give this one an “A-“.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"