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November 20 2019
Avengers: Endgame’ review: the franchise gets an emotional, bang-for-buck farewell
29 April 2019

The superhero blockbuster revels in nostalgia, delights in special effects and continues to surpass expectations

It’s been 11 years since Iron Man (2008) kickstarted the cinematic Marvel universe, followed by another 20 superhero films. Each has been underscored with the same brand of cocky superhero humour boasting larger-than-life special effects and eye-widening fight scenes. Once in a while, a comedy maverick like Taika Waititi has shaken things up (Thor: Ragnarok) or Ryan Coogler (Black Panther) has introduced us to the power of a proud black superhero. It wasn’t obvious initially, but the cross-pollination of characters across the 20-something films served a much larger and ingenious purpose than merely whetting pop cultural fans’ appetites. Avengers: Endgame is the spectacular culmination of all those factors.

Avengers: Endgame
  • Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo
  • Cast: 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
  • Storyline: In the aftermath of Thanos’ snap that wiped out half of all species, the Avengers work together to right all the wrongs in the world

Never has a film franchise been able to capture the collective attention of audiences across the globe and consistently surpass expectations for so long. Though expectations for Endgame were sky-high, there was never any fear of failure. The final instalment of the third phase is a beautifully befitting farewell to much loved characters. In fact, the closure has been so definitive, it has evoked a mixed-bag of emotions: sadness for the end, a sense of fulfilment for what’s happened to the characters, and the joy of having been a part of something so great.

To talk about Endgame’s plot is a major spoiler. The film picks up three weeks after the Thanos (Josh Brolin) snap that wiped out half the world’s population, everyone struggling to move on. Joe Russo hilariously appears as a dating support group participant. And five years later, the Avengers find a wildly complicated way to procure the Infinity stones that fuelled Thanos’ murder spree. In spite of an elaborate and often convoluted premise along with several convenient twists that further exacerbate their missions, the unlikely partnered-up superheroes persist. It’s especially when the odds are stacked against the heroes, that the Russo-brothers director duo know just when to deliver the punches. The result is an incredible adrenaline-spiking final fight sequence, with everyone good against everything bad.

 

That’s not to say that three-hour-long film just chugs along until the ultimate brawl comes along. The camaraderie, emotional emphasis and individual arcs are testament to the care and consideration for each character. And the attention to detail is mind-blowing: when the Russos said IMAX is the format for the films, they weren’t exaggerating. There’s no other way to enjoy Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) lightening, Iron Man’s (Robert Downey Jr) lasers or Captain Marvel’s (Brie Larson) lit-up heroism.

Though it’s unlikely there are any, but even the uninitiated will appreciate Endgame. A hard-core fan, though, will most likely be overwhelmed with the constant onslaught of nostalgia. The Russos go back in time to aid audiences in moving forward from the Avengers. It’s especially heightened in the presence of supporting characters — some CGI-effected to reverse time. From the get go, Endgame makes a revisit to phases one, two and three imperative thereby quite deliberately stretching the impact of this final chapter. Even in the conspicuous absence of end credit scene, a singular sonic moment harking back to the first Iron Man film drives that final sentimental nail in the coffin of our Marvel dreams. The series may be over but the Avengers’ magic will live on.

 

 

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