Directors Anthony and Joe Russo
Screenplay Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Bradley Cooper, Tessa Thompson, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Favreau, Benedict Wong, Josh Brolin, etc…
It’s a movie that tries to be every thing to every body. And it pretty much succeeds. Avengers: Endgame plays like the final part of a 22 part story. If you come out of the film feeling exhausted, it’s because everyone involved gave it everything they have.
The story starts out right at the climax of Infinity War. We see the result from someone else’s eyes. This is affecting, in that it serves as a pressing reminder to us the cost of Thanos’ actions. What happens from here, I will not discuss. I will share my feelings about how well the Russo’s, Markus, McFeely and the cast performed.
First of all, the decision to break the film into segments is a brilliant one. It is a miracle what they pulled off with Infinity War, given the way the film had to end. There are so many characters they give significant time to, it would have been madness to repeat course.
Instead, we get to see literally three films in the three hours. For every inevitable occurrence in Thanos’ first go round, this time there are plenty of inventive surprises. Even the most seasoned veteran of the first 3 phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be hard pressed to guess where the film will pop from place to place.
There’s some very interesting team ups. Some are geared up, some are a little spaced out. It’s great that we don’t see an instant return to form, either. This adds intrigue and comedic value without being boring or repetitive. This is not to say the film is not without echoes from previous films. There’s just enough of a difference to them, it feels brand new.
Of the performances, this is really a film for the core team of Avengers. Each of the cast from Assemble have a preponderance of meaningful moments and they are grand. Some have new wrinkles, others are bound by their tortured minds. All of them have grown.
Nebula, Scott Lang and Rocket each carry significant parts of the first two acts. Their gifts and drawbacks are crucial to the plot. One in particular gives an incredible twist that changes everything.
Not all of the film’s twists are necessarily possible even in this cinematic space. It would be difficult to suspend disbelief were it not for the symmetry of the character arcs, drawn beautifully, like the perfect high dive.
After four Avengers films, they’ve finally made the perfect one. There’s but one overly gratuitous moment for me. It easily washes out, though, when the rest of the film feels so comfortable, so tense and anything but inevitable.
(***** out of *****)