McCoy on Movies: Avengers: Endgame
See why our movie critic is saying this Marvel Studios film delivers a genre-defining masterpiece.
WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:
KEY CAST MEMBERS: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Brie Larson, Mark Ruffalo, Karen Gillan, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Dania Gurai and Josh Brolin … PLUS A BUNCH OF OTHERS (You want me to spoil it for you?!)
DIRECTOR(S): Anthony and Joe Russo
THE BACK STORY: The last time we saw them, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America (Chris Evans), Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Col. Rhodes aka War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Dr. Bruce Banner aka the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) were dealing with the aftermath of being the last heroes standing after “the mad Titan” Thanos (Josh Brolin) found all six of the Infinity Stones and snapped his fingers, eliminating half of the life in the universe in the process. Now, our heroes have no clue what to do with themselves or how to fix the catastrophe.
Luckily for them, the retired Hawkeye a.k.a. Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) survived the snap, as did Nebula (Karen Gillan), Thanos formerly war-minded adopted daughter, Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Scott Lang a.k.a. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), who was stuck in The Quantum Realm. And once the pager from a former S.H.I.E.L.D. operative reaches Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), it looks like there may be hope to undo the damage Thanos has caused. It’s just going to require (1) a bunch of time travel, (2) a lot of extremely coordinated teamwork and (3) a wee bit of luck to make everything go right.
But with the literal fate of the universe hanging in their avenging hands, they’re the best – and only – chance we have …
THE REVIEW: Imagine telling someone a decade ago “Yeah, I heard Marvel Comics is going to form a movie studio and then make 20+ movies that will all tie together with a huge finale featuring 3 hours of action and emotion the likes of which has never been seen on the silver screen.” Given where superhero movies were as a genre before – 2007 gave us Spider-Man 3 a.k.a. the bad one, Ghost Rider and Fantastic Four featuring yup, Chris Evans – you would have a better bet thinking the Cleveland Browns would become Super Bowl champions.
Fast-forward to 2019 and Marvel has made money hand over muscular fist to the point that the closing film is set to break records left and right and the only question now remaining is – much like the Avengers own prospects battling the toughest enemy they’ve ever faced – can Endgame live up to its massive hype?
Yes. The answer is a resounding, action-packed, emotionally charged and fitting–ending to the first 10 years of Marvel Studios yes.
Sure, next month’s collaboration with Sony, Spider–Man: Far From Home, is the official ending to Marvel Studios’ Phase 3 plans according to studio head Kevin Feige, but Endgame sure feels like a finale in a lot of ways. With spoilers abound on the Internet as of Tuesday, April 23 (when this review was posted), it’s hard to talk about Endgame in detail without giving away too much.
Thus, here’s a checklist of Marvel-themed .GIFs that will give you information without giving you too much information.
Comedy on the level of Thor: Ragnarok that brings great levity at times?
Plot that feels convoluted but makes sense for the most part?
Fight scenes that will have your adrenaline pumping?
Is there a moment that feels like Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women” should be playing during it to make it feel complete?
Moments that are pulled from the comics that feel natural enough to set up future cinematic adventures?
Worried about whether you’ll need tissues? Let’s just say I’d expect a lot of people to do this at some point during the movie …
With those non-spoiler spoilers out the way, here’s what I can say: Endgame ties together just about every Marvel movie where it feels like not only a conclusion, but a payoff for sticking with our heroes throughout this journey. We’ve watched them go from not knowing the powers they had or how to use them to maturing and growing with each conflict to now what may or may not be their final and greatest battle to date. The character arcs are executed to perfection, despite its run time, there never feels like any wasted moments and the climax is just about everything you could hope for … Unless you’re a D.C. Comics fan who still has hope Warner Bros. has ANYTHING ready to compete with this. Evans and Downey, Jr. doing the heaviest lifting in the film emotionally (with Hemsworth coming in as the third man quite well) with Renner and Ruffalo – much like their characters – exhibiting strong supporting player performances. To say more would be to ruin the experience, and given how much of an experience Endgame is, that would be a crime against (movie) nature itself.
Superheroes have come and gone over the years; what Endgame showcases, however, is that no matter how much their powers may make them cool or be the things many of us wish we had, its their human traits (yes, even in Rocket’s case) are what keep us watching. Infinity War is arguably the first superhero movie to end on a down note, but Marvel’s heroes have always shown reflected the best and worst parts of the human experience: The desire for power, the need for hope in the face of extreme adversity, the importance of family, you name it – Marvel has covered it and done so in quite spectacular fashion. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo have delivered a masterpiece of a movie, but since we all know comic book movies don’t win major awards, what we have to simply do is admire Marvel’s crowning achievement in all its glory and wait for baited breath to see what comes next.
Even when we’re down, Endgame proves that they are just a snap second from helping us all remember why movies like these give us hope for the future.