FILM REVIEW: Avengers: Endgame provides a rich and satisfying conclusion to the Infinity Stone Saga.


The saga of Marvel’s superheroic quest for the Infinity Stones over 20 films comes to an emotionally charged close in the Russo brothers’ highly anticipated sequel to Avengers: Infinity War.

Back in 2008, that year’s most highly anticipated film was Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, promising the debut of Heath Ledger’s Joker after his untimely death. While The Dark Knight proved to be one of that year’s best films, there was another film that surprised comic fans with a launchpad for what would prove to be one of the most lucrative franchises of all time, Jon Favreau’s Iron Man. Iron Man delivered a great lead performance from Robert Downey Jr. as the titular hero, with an equally solid turn from Jeff Bridges as his arch-nemesis Iron Monger. The film also provided a post-credits stinger, introducing Samuel L. Jackson as comic book-badass Nick Fury, as a nod to the Jackson inspired version of Fury in Marvel’s The Ultimates comic. A stinger that promised Downey Jr.’s Stark that he was part of a much bigger universe than he could’ve imagined. Now 10+ years later in 2019, Fury’s dialogue is truer than ever as we are on the cusp of the release of AVENGERS: ENDGAME, a film that honors what came before it while at the same time laying down a new foundation to build upon.

This review won’t spoil Endgame, Marvel has taken to great lengths to not let the plot or its mechanics play out in trailers or promo material. Suffice to say, the film picks up right from the end of Infinity War; with our remaining heroes in crisis from “The Vanishing” of half of the living creatures in the universe. In their quest to avenge themselves and their fallen comrades, an event of equal scale triggers their attention to find Thanos’ trail and the consequences of that encounter set our heroes on a path of discovery. One where they will do whatever it takes to undo the will of Thanos’ snap in Wakanda, no matter the personal cost.

What can be said, is that Avengers Endgame works and largely hangs its success by focusing on the MCU’s core group of the original Avengers; Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Hulk. Each is affected in different ways by the consequences of Thanos’ action. The Russo Brothers, who have now crafted several of the best entries in the MCU, tie those threads of past films together to inform the saga of the characters’ behind the heroes. Iron Man and Captain America blame their schism and each other for their failure, while Thor blames himself. Our other core Avengers look to themselves to try and push forward; some in self-destructive, even dangerous ways.

But ultimately, this is a film that is about coming together to overcome, and also celebrate what came before. The film succeeds wildly here, creating little moments that will be sure to be pop culture staples and heartwarming and heartbreaking touchstones. A film like this, one that serves as a capstone for a 20 plus film saga, has no reason to be as cohesive and as satisfying as this one does, and it is, and does so with aplomb. Part of that is great performances by series players like Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner, and Josh Brolin. A bigger part is creating a story that balances dozens of characters and shines a spotlight on others we don’t consider A-list players in surprising ways. The film serves as a final goodbye for some characters we love, and those arcs are given the respect they deserve and provides new beginnings for others in surprising ways.

In the end, if you’ve ever been invested in the Marvel Universe, you owe to yourself to see this film. Its epic space opera and comic storytelling you’re not likely to see again anytime soon.