Spoilers might pee their pants before the review is over.
I will discuss key things about the plot. Go see the movie first and then come back. I think it’s worth watching in the theatre. I think you should bring a like-minded friend that is crazy about superheroes. Don’t read anything before you see it. You’ve seen the previous movies. You’re ready for this. You’ve been ready for this for a while. Let your inner child out to play and leave the adult self behind. Has everyone gone to the restroom? Good. Let’s begin.
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo had the herculean task of taking on Avengers: Endgame and give each character a moment to shine without making look incoherent. The fact that they genuinely do justice to the entire franchise while focusing on the original Avengers is as impossible as me trying to write this in one sentence. The moments of emotional engagement feel honest. The moments of despair are devastating. The fact that victory had a cost was never going to be a question. We’re obviously going to bring back everyone – and I mean everyone. We’re just not going to do it without a few people laying down their lives for the greater good, as much as it hurt us the first time.
Marvel Studios, which grew into a powerhouse along with this entire endeavour, has really brought their A-game. They’ve written a magnificent book on creating cinematic universe and they are the one to beat. Endgame is an achievement in franchises, an event in intellectual property adaptation whose only competition is going to be their own creation. Marvel can walk away the winner of all fandoms with this jewel in their crown, this last infinity stone in their gauntlet.
How do we start? Well, first of all we drive the knife even further and we highlight the despair and solitude of the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War just enough to extinguish those last embers of hope. No more stones, no more Thanos, the deal is irreversible. Five years go by with the world in shambles. The remaining survivors are in disarray. This is where the movie starts to build, bringing one unlikely hero thought dead to the present.
The key to victory still lies in the same, now disappeared, stones of infinity. The solution is a tried and true stratagem from all comic books: time travel. I didn’t like it the first time I heard it, but here’s the interesting twist. We’re not subscribing to the usual rules of time travel that we’ve been following since Back To The Future. In other words, timelines don’t matter, going back in time may revisit events but any changes do not alter the timeline, they just die away. Therefore, they’re not going to bother changing stuff but rather grabbing the stones from the past and bringing them back… All of this with the intention of altering the future.
What our time travellers are after is obtaining the stones from a time period, bringing them back to use them and then taking them back again. The stones, it appears, must go back to where they were even if nothing else does, which is a major flaw in the timey-whimey science. This is where the movie goes from time travel movie to complete screwball comedy as everything and everyone is up for grabs. All universal rules about not messing with the timeline ever established in movies get broken. Everyone messes up royally. And let me tell you, it’s entertaining AF. We’re literally involving a ton of established beats from other films in ways beyond repair. Doc Brown would be having a heart attack. I was beside myself with laughter.
Now unfortunately, I had another schedule to keep. With the movie’s runtime at three hours, I had to know at least three key scene starters without much plot development for restroom breaks. They’re not spoilers per se, but still, they’re spoiler-y. I ended up using two: Hulk having lunch (1 hour in) and when the title card for New Jersey appears on screen (almost 2 hours in). Also there is no post-credit scene to wait for at the end. That’s very crucial information to know.
Extremely recommended if you have been watching some/most of the Marvel movies, since it’s the actual payoff for a lot of those. However, if you are not a fan, there’s a good chance that this doesn’t grab you as much. And yes, it’s a love letter to fans – but I also think it’s one for the comic book fandom as well. That means that superhero comic book readers that haven’t watched a thing should at least browse through the Avengers saga part of the franchise before tackling this one. That only goes to the fans who have somehow managed to skip all of Marvel movies until now, but don’t worry. I don’t judge people on their worst mistakes. Specially one that you can easily correct. If you are fan, a movie event like this is inevitable.
That will do for now.