Griffintainment - Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Posted on Wednesday, May 01, 2019 at 10:00 PM


"When we were young"

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Movie Review by Griffintainment X CalgaryMovies.com

If other life from other planets made contract with earth, and this life brought with them superhuman powers: if they could fly, had incredible strength, were immortal, or a-mortal, if they could leap tall bounds or run at speed too fast for our eyes to see, what would we do? Would we fight them? Would we hand them the keys to our planet and back away slowly with our arms aloft? Would we grab the nearest holy book and pray for deliverance?

No, I think what we’d do is evolve. We’d adapt. We’d put our biggest brains and brightest minds together in a room and have them come up with something extraordinary to fight these aliens, should our communion with them come to fighting, and our species would, hopefully, persevere.

And that’s what this movie is about. That’s what this whole Marvel universe is about. Perseverance, invention and will. Having some of our brightest minds come together and think up a way to save this planet from invasion or worse. And for all the special effects, all the interplanetary travel and all of the non human invaders, or subhuman protectors, what the filmmakers are trying to get at at the bottom of Endgame, is the human element. How do we put our differences aside for the greater good? How do we suture the rip in the human curtain and stand together for something that’s bigger than politics, that’s bigger than religion, that’s bigger than society itself? The Avengers try to answer this question on the screen, while fighting off Thanos and his horde of alien forces, and the filmmakers try to answer this question for all of us out there in the audience watching the Avengers attempt this feat, while also, hopefully, taking this lesson home with us afterwards. This lesson of unity in the face of great trial and tribulation.

Endgame takes place five years after the events of Infinity War. The world’s population (those that were spared) is still trying to grapple with the aftermath of that movie’s finale. Tony Stark is floating around in deep space, awaiting a rescue that may or may not ever come. Steve Rogers is leading a support group for survivors. Thor’s failure to stop Thanos in Infinity War has left him despondent. A veritable shut in, he spends his days doing little more than drinking beer and playing video games. Which has left him with a hell of a beer belly and an unkempt mane on his head and his face. It’s actually amazing how unattractive the filmmakers were able to make Chris Hemsworth look in this movie. I wouldn’t have thought it possible. Hawkeye is running around Tokyo taking out Yakuza. Hulk, well, I won’t say much about Hulk, but it’s cool what Bruce Banner was able to figure out in regards to his big, green friend.

I won’t go through the whole cast, but let’s just say that five years after Infinity War, the Avengers have accepted their failure and are doing their best to move on with life. Then, one of the old gang, the gang we thought was gone, comes back. With a bright idea of how they can right the wrongs of the previous film and the past half decade.

That’s all I’ll say about the plot. Honestly, this movie is three full hours long and there is so much plot packed into those three hours that you’d better make sure you pee before you sit down, because there isn’t a ‘pee’ scene. There’s no part of the movie unimportant enough to give you a couple of minutes to empty your bladder. So let’s instead talk about the execution.

How well did the filmmakers pull off this epic finale?

A main narrative component of Endgame involves time travel. It’s basically impossible to use time travel in a story and not have logistic plot holes all over the place. That’s why time travel hasn’t been invented yet in the real world. We don’t know how to make it work. One of the characters actually pokes fun at this in the movie, talking about how every time travel movie ever made, made no sense. So I think the filmmakers decided, screw it, we’re using time travel, it’s going to have logistical inconsistencies, but this is a comic book movie, not a BBC documentary.

Once you get past that, Endgame has everything everyone going to this movie will be expecting to see: smarmy dialogue, dark moments of self reflection/discovery, sacrifices of the self for the sake of the whole, planet hopping, betrayals, revelations, major characters dying, minor characters having last second changes of heart to save the day, etc, etc, etc.

Did they pull it all off? They did. Not as effectively as they did in Infinity War, but effectively enough to allow the audience to leave with a sense of closure and satisfaction, though perhaps not full blown elation. It’s not the greatest finale to a blockbuster franchise we’ve ever had, but it does feel final. And to be honest, that’s all I wanted. Don’t give me cliffhangers, don’t give me reasons to think the Avengers will assemble again in the future and for God’s sake, do not leave any little threads hanging for characters that have no business coming back in future movies to do so. And to the filmmakers’ credit, they didn’t.

One thing I wish we got more of was scenes of the characters dealing with life in the in-between, instead of just jumping five years and now we’re off saving the world again. I realize that asking for more backstory in a film that is already three hours long is greedy, if not maniacal, but the whole thing feels a little immediate. Besides, the three hours of Endgame fly by. Some three hour movies feel like you’ve been in the theatre a week by the time the movie lets out. Endgame is relatively snappy by comparison.

The thing I liked most about Endgame was the way it was able to balance nostalgia with future spectacle. It found a way to make us feel the feels we felt in the first Avengers movies and every movie since, while also giving us something new and allowing us a peek behind the curtain of what the future of the Avengers universe would have felt like if the series kept going. Because in many ways, this is a franchise that could just go on and on and on, like Bond. Which makes the finality of it that much more satisfying. I’m sure in the future someone will reboot the Avengers. If it’s anything like Spiderman, that ‘future’ means in two years. But for now, it’s nice to bask in the glow of the Endgame and wave goodbye to this bloated spectacle once and for all.

So goodbye, yellow brick road. This boy’s too young to be singing the blues. 

Rating: ****

Calgary Showtimes:  Avengers: Endgame > | Avengers: Endgame 3D > | Avengers: Endgame - An IMAX 3D Experience > | Avengers: Endgame - The IMAX 2D Experience >

 

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