Avengers: Endgame (dir. The Russo Brothers, 2019) – With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe.
Ten years in the making, Endgame delivers a moving culmination of a brilliantly constructed story.
Review (Warning: Spoilers!)
The very day after watching Avengers: Endgame, I penned down my thoughts and left it sitting in my drafts. I had been hesitant to post it, given how any new review would be rehashing the same few points on the Phase 3 conclusion.
But the franchise deserves every possible tribute for the writers and filmmakers, who have elevated the MCU films above the average superhero fare. Most of all with this 3-hour finale, where the Russo brothers have done it again.
The set pieces are nothing short of epic. Humour and tragedy hang in perfect balance, hitting the right notes for the most part. Above all, every original Avenger found a due end to their arc.
“No amount of money ever bought a second of time.” – Tony Stark
In the nostalgic conclusion to this 22-parter, time travel comes in handy and never unwieldy in the grasp of the Russos. Plot holes be damned, as Avengers: Endgame gives its band of characters the opportunities to revisit their past and confront their regrets.
Tony Stark and Thor get to say goodbye to their beloved family, Nebula faces her old self and the sister she thought she had lost, and Steve Rogers gets his final dance with the love of his life. Perfect bittersweet endings are weaved for the broken, deserving heroes.
“I don’t judge people on their worst mistakes. You didn’t.” – Natasha Romanoff [to Clint]
Amongst gods and super-soldiers, Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff’s striking humanity made them most compelling of all. Made killing machines by circumstance, both were made to shoulder the weight of guilt for what they did and did not do. But they choose the difficult road of redemption, facing their mistakes and moving forward to fight on the right side.
In their fight for the Soul Stone, both have red to clear on their ledger. One’s irreversible sacrifice ultimately gives the other a second chance, a struggle that made for a moving close to their compelling stories.
“I keep telling everybody they should move on and grow. Some do. But not us.” – Steve Rogers
We see that the real world has consequences. Heroes make tough choices, some inevitable and demand sacrifice. Protecting humanity comes at a cost, as Steve Rogers time and again finds out, whether it is with Hydra or Thanos.
In both The Winter Soldier and Endgame, he woefully acknowledges the intractable collateral damage of vigilantism. But he never gives up on healing the world as best as he can, because he knows that mistakes must be righted and sacrifices, made worthwhile.
“Avengers… Assemble.” – Steve Rogers
And the moment arrives when he finds the people who are willing to do the same. Avengers Assemble, an iconic mantra that in Age of Ultron never escaped the Captain in time before the credits, finally sees the light of day. Twenty two films later, all that build-up and characterisation make the simple line mean so much more.
In the powerful battle sequence, Avengers: Endgame witnesses the biggest gathering in the history of Thanksgivings, where the loneliest solders fight proud alongside newfound family.
“I am Iron Man.” – Tony Stark
Tony Stark is one of them soldiers, whose riches never meant a thing until he found his family in the Avengers. Even if he had struggled to reconcile with Steve Rogers after the painful revelations of Civil War, he believes in fighting for the good of humanity that far outweighs their grievances.
“I am Iron Man”, he starts and ends the saga with the very same line, first meaning pride in his superhero ambition. Then, it comes to mean pride in being part of The Avengers, inducing smiles and tears for those who understand. There is no other way we would rather the giant chapter come to a close, in time for a brand new beginning.