Beth’s Blockbuster Blog - Avengers: Endgame (SPOILERS)
Warning: This is a spoiler review of Avengers: Endgame. If you have not seen the movie, click here to read my spoiler-free review. You have been warned.
The finale to the Infinity Saga is nothing short of a love letter to the Marvel fans who have stuck along for the journey. Every moment of this was made with love to send off the characters fans have been following for the past 11 years. And they pull this off mostly well.
The biggest issue I have with this film is the way Thor's arc is handled. Everyone handles their grief of losing to Thanos differently, but Thor becoming a reclusive hermit is treated as a joke just because he got a beer gut. He became an unhealthy alcoholic, yet he's just the butt of every joke because of the way he turned out. Though he gets closure and gets to see his mom again, and the fat jokes calm down by the end of the film, it's unfair that everyone else got such in depth arcs showing how what they did over the 5 years and how that helped motivate them to come together for the final battle and Thor only comes because Rocket says there's beer in their ship. Though his ending is nice, as he gets to go pursue his own destiny rather than follow the desires of others, it doesn't justice the rest of the arc.
This film has so many easter eggs and callbacks to previous films that it probably is impossible for anyone who isn't invested in Marvel movies to follow along with everything. Even more casual fans probably missed some references because they stretch over all 21 films. There's callbacks of lines said during other films, like Bucky and Steve's conversation before he goes to return the stones, or Tony's last line. There's characters that we forgot existed making appearances, like Miek from Thor: Ragnarok, Crossbones from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Ancient One from Doctor Strange, and a grown up Harley from Iron Man 3. Even the music makes callbacks to previous films, not just with the Avengers theme but pulling key orchestral motifs from other films and building upon them. There isn't a film like this that has such a huge scale or library of content to pull from.
In an ensemble film, it's hard to pick out only one or two specific actors that give a strong performance, but in this film, it has to be Robert Downey Jr in his final performance as Iron Man and Karen Gillan as Nebula. Starting with RDJ, he knows that this is his final chance to put on the suit, so he gives everything he has to show how Tony has changed since Iron Man. The same man who was a brat and only cared about making the most money and couldn't care less what his impact on the world was is now willing to sacrifice his life if that means everyone else gets to live in a peaceful world. It's also been said that he was the only actor to get a full version of the script and know everything, which makes it even more impactful since he knew everyone else's arc too. In terms of final performances, this has to be a top 5. But Gillan also gives her all, showing off the complexity of Nebula. Especially when you compare 2014 Nebula to 2023 Nebula, it's so interesting to see how Gillan interacts with herself. The new Nebula has seen so much chaos caused by her father that even though she still cares for him, she can no longer defend what he does and works to stop him too. That's one of the most honorable things a character has ever done in the MCU and Gillan lays it all on the table.
The scale of this film is like nothing we've ever seen before and probably nothing we'll ever see again. The action is beyond exciting, and makes you feel young again watching all these heroes come together one last time to take on the bad guy. The moment the portals opened and nearly every hero that's ever appeared in the MCU walked out, my heart stopped out of pure adrenaline. That moment alone shows how this film will become such an important part of film history as time moves on, and will be discussed for decades to come. Regardless of anything else, this film will make history in one way or another. The size of everything, from the cast and crew, to the action sequences, to the effects, to the music, to the runtime, is unprecedented. And yet, even with all that excess, it doesn't feel excessive in the least. It comes together nicely to mesh together this finale.
This is an event that people will talk about for the rest of their lives. The experience of seeing this and watching the MCU grow into this is something we've all be blessed to experience. Even though this film does struggle at moments, it's nothing short of the perfect ending for the franchise. We've said our goodbyes to the original 6 for the most part, so it's time to see what the next generation of Avengers will give us.
Rating: Three and a half out of four stars.