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‘Avengers: Endgame’ (review by Stefan Blitz, SPOILER-FREE)

Produced by Kevin Feige
Screenplay by Christopher Markus
and Stephen McFeely

Based on The Avengers
by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
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, Josh Brolin

 

“There was an idea… to bring together a group of remarkable people. To make them work together when we needed them to, to fight the battles that we never could.”

– Nicholas J. Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., 2012

Like any good comic book event, Avengers: Endgame assures that nothing will ever be the same again.

Over the course of almost two dozen movies under the watchful eye of producer Kevin Feige, cinematic storytelling has been forever changed. Launching a motion picture shared universe with B and C-list comic book characters unknown to much of the general audience, the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) became a modern pop culture mythology.

Beloved by millions, if not billions of people, the MCU provided role models that were both vast and specific enough to reach audience members who needed to see themselves on screen; from Captain America to The Hulk to Starlord to Spider-Man to Black Panther to Captain Marvel.

And as any talk show or convention appearance can attest these actors had also become a family. And in turn, became our family.  A family built over the last decade until last year’s Avengers: Infinity War when the galactic Titan, Thanos, donned the Infinity Gauntlet and used it to channel the powers of the six Infinity Stones and destroyed half of all life across the cosmos with a single snap.

And in a moment, audiences were unsure of where the MCU was headed.  In the two films released since, Ant-Man and The Wasp ended with it’s post-credit sequence continuing the snap’s eliminating power and Captain Marvel turned out to be set in the mid-90s.

Which brings us to the highly anticipated Avengers: Endgame. 

Does it deliver?  That really depends on what your expectations are.  It’s not at all what you might think it is.  It is not a sequel to Infinity War.  Sure, it’s a follow up.  But the deaths of those characters isn’t easily answered.  A world is mourning.  The Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have been defeated.  The surviving characters are in pain.  And there are no easy answers or quick fixes.

And before you call me a liar because you saw the trailer or the commercial.  A solid 95% of that footage takes place in the first twenty minutes.  And the Russo brothers aren’t even necessarily honest even when it come to that.  Remember the iconic shot of the Hulk running with the heroes in the Infinity War ads and trailers that never happened?

The film clocks in at three hours and is a love letter to both these characters (and actors) and the previous decade of storytelling.  I laughed frequently, I cried several times and walked away a little curious of where the MCU goes from here.  Despite flaws in logic and time travel theory, Avengers: Endgame made me feel like I was twelve years old again.

And it was pretty great.

 

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