(Great care has been taken to ensure this review is spoiler-free, and we would appreciate it if you could keep it that way in the comments as well. Remember, Thanos Demands Your Silence, so Don't Spoil The Endgame).
I wish Stan Lee had lived long enough to see this. That was the thought running through my mind as I sat stunned in the cinema in the dark while the credits rolled on Avengers: Endgame.
Even now, as I sit in front of my screen trying to write this review, I am lost for words. How do you review a movie that is the culmination of ten years of movies, 10 years of epic highs that just seemed to get higher with each movie?
Remember that first time you saw the Avengers assemble in the first Avengers movie in 2012? Take that feeling and multiply it by 22 - one for each Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie - and you wouldn’t even come close to how this movie will make you feel by the time the credits roll. It is an epic that exceeds every expectation you might have had.
It is impossible to truly describe this journey without getting into spoilers, so I’ll just go through what is shown in the trailers. In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos (Josh Brolin) wiped out 50% of the entire universe’s population with a single snap of the Infinity Gauntlet, and that included a big number of heroes as well
The only ones left are Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), General Okoye of Wakanda (Danai Gurira) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). And it’s up to them to avenge those who have fallen.
Also read: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ stars, producers on ending an era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Sorry, I really can’t tell you more about the story. There simply is no way to go beyond that short summary without giving away spoilers. But trust me, you would want to go into this movie completely oblivious to what is going to happen (though that’s practically impossible these days thanks to the Internet). Directors Anthony and Joe Russo have crafted a well-paced, character-driven movie event that will make you laugh, cheer, cry tears of sadness and joy, and if you're a Marvel fan, a film where you'll be constantly geeking out over all the references to iconic comic book moments in there.
Heck, even the much-hyped three hours it takes to reach the endgame of Endgame doesn’t feel like three hours at all. Three hours is nothing, not when you’ve already invested so much emotion and care into these characters. Not when you’ve already watched them grow and develop over the past decade to get to this point. And not when you’re watching each and every one of these characters come together to shine like they have never shone before.
That being said, this is also where the story of the original six Avengers come full circle. It’s a much bigger circle than the one they formed in The Avengers, but it brings the stories of Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor Son Of Odin, Natasha Romanoff, Bruce Banner and Clint Barton to a such cumulative high that really makes you wonder if Marvel Studios will ever reach those heights with their future movies.
This is how you wrap up a franchise. This is how you bring a 10 year long story spanning 22 movies to a close. This, my friends, is the pinnacle of superhero movies. Every other superhero movie that comes out from here onwards, yes, even those in the MCU, will seem anti-climactic next to this.
I just wish Stan Lee had lived long enough to see his beloved characters reach this ultimate high. But you know what, I’m sure he is watching from that great comic panel in the sky, cheering as we laugh, cry, and marvel at the spectacle that is Avengers: Endgame. Thank you Stan, and all the other Marvel comics writers and artists out there. Without you, we wouldn't have had this amazing, spectacular, fantastic, uncanny high. Excelsior forever.
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, and Josh Brolin