Avengers Endgame review (with spoilers): The film equivalent of a buffet.

To review Endgame without spoiling its story is an impossible task. Because of this, I’ve delayed publishing this review until a week following its release. Sure, many probably haven’t seen it, but there are plenty of reviews not containing spoilers.

Additionally, this review requires a rough knowledge of the previous Marvel films, and will make no sense if you haven’t seen Infinity War.

So, the big question, was Endgame worth the 10 years of hype? Well, kind of.

Endgame starts off strong, continuing the devastating events of Infinity War and showing the world in disarray. It feels more like a sci-fi drama than a superhero film, and it works in Endgame’s favour; emphasising the weight of their loss.

We’re also introduced to Captain Marvel, who is instantly unlikeable. Her response when asked where she was during the Thanos snap is “I had more important things to do”, as if saving half the universe was second on her todo list for that day.

The film makes sure to double-down on the Avenger’s loss of hope by having Thanos destroy the infinity stones (thus stopping them from simply undoing the events of the last film). Despite this dark tone and reassurance that the events of Infinity War are final, Endgame quickly pivots and loses its sense of sincerity.

Things start to go slightly downhill when Ant-man turns up (a very confusing scene if you didn’t watch the after credits scene in Ant-man & the Wasp) and introduces the concept of time travel.

Time travel will always be a stupid concept, and in my opinion usually seems like a cheap plot device.

Once time travel is introduced things become very messy. On one hand, the film says “we can’t mess too much with time, or else it could destroy everything in our reality”. But on the other hand, Endgame enjoys having characters do things that should completely change the MCU, but end up having no real consequences.

Despite a messy plot, the film continues to be very entertaining throughout these sections thanks to the comedic elements. Action (aside from one scene) is non-existent, and instead the film focuses more on the character’s relationships with each other.

At this point the film has no real villain, they simply have a goal, and the film is not negatively affected by this.

However, Marvel knows the audience wants to see the Avengers fight Thanos again, so finds a way of reintroducing him.

Annoyingly, when reintroducing Thanos, they take away all of his personality they built within Infinity War.

In Infinity War, Thanos states his motivation for killing half the universe is to prevent it from overpopulating and dying; allowing the surviving half to thrive. It’s clearly an evil plan, but it’s made clear that in Thanos’ mind he’s the universe’s hero.

In Endgame, Thanos turns up and decides “yeah, I now want to wipe out the whole universe”, completely contradicting his initial motivation and just making him another generic villain.

They try to dismiss this by having him say he was disappointed by the results of killing half of the universe, but earlier in the film we see Thanos happy with his actions and enjoying life as a retired warlord; a strange contradiction of his character.

The huge final battle is a very confusing mix of cringeworthy and cinema magic.

The end result and fight choreography is satisfying, but the moments between are clearly Marvel appeasing to as many social issues as possible which breaks up the film’s flow.

Additionally, Captain Marvel is continuously used as an overpowered weapon. In any given moment where you think “oh, someone will definitely die now”, she turns up and saves the day. It’s another cheap trick that hurts Endgame as a result.

The closing act of the movie, despite being emotionally impactful, does leave me on a sour note with its ending for Captain America.

After watching Ironman make the ultimate sacrifice to save the universe, Captain America goes back in time to live the family life that Ironman gave up.

This annoyed me because the Avengers are meant to put the universe before themselves (which is what Ironman does), but Captain America instead selfishly decides to no longer protect the universe to enjoy a normal life. It feels out of character, and not the same selflessness we’ve seen in every other film his character is featured.

This final act is devoid of any comedy, which made the opening 2 hours (roughly) of the film so great, although the action sequences do save the film from becoming bad.

So what is my final thoughts on Avengers Endgame?

Endgame is a buffet of content and quality, there’s a mix of everything but it doesn’t necessarily work.

There’s a lot of entertainment here, but a lot of it is overshadowed by the film’s flaws. The cultural significance makes Endgame a must-watch, but the film pales in comparison to the excellence of Infinity War.

I rate it 3 purple Thanos’ hearts out of a possible 5.


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