If you’re reading this review it hasn’t escaped me you’re reading it on a comic book website. That means you’ve probably already seen Avengers: Endgame, plan to see it or have seen it three times already. Even if you’re on the fence and done with this whole “Avengers thing” you’re still going to see it. That said, here are my thoughts for you, casual readers, and anyone who might be on the fence (comic fans feel free to share this with your friends who aren’t fans). This is a spoiler-free review, but I’ll get at the core of why it’s so good.
It gives the fans what they want
If you’ve been watching since Iron Man (the MCU film that started this whole craze back in 2008) you are in for quite an emotional ride. Robert Downey Jr. puts in an excellent performance and ends up playing an important part at key moments. In many ways, this is his movie, but he shares it with so many more. Marvel Comics has always been about this rich tapestry of characters and you get plenty of them. For those heroes who we know are still alive after Avengers: Infinity War — they too all get moments to shine, reflect and/r be the heroes we know they can be. In many ways, this movie culminates into an epic ending that is a celebration of everything that has come before and everything we hope these movies to be.
It takes the time to set up emotional arcs for everyone
Running 3 hours I think many were reluctant to be excited for an extra long superhero movie, but for the most part it works. The first half is certainly slower than a conventional blockbuster, but that’s because it’s taking these characters and their stories very seriously. I could see a casual fan or someone who hasn’t seen all the films to be a bit bored by this, not understanding the gravity and weight of all that has come before, but the writer and directors aren’t taking this lightly. Every character who plays a big part in the narrative has a moment in these early scenes so that we connect with them on a human level. That pays off in the best of ways by the end.
Tons of nods to comic book canon
I won’t name them as they are spoilers, but longtime fans have more than one instance in the film to point at, turn to their partner, and squeal, “Oh my god that’s [blank] from the comics.” That goes for nods to storylines and deep cut references too.
It all makes so much sense
The narrative never feels forced. Characters aren’t magically showing up because the plot demanded it, and given all the work leading up to this film there is a good reason for characters to act as they do. Considering how many characters are involved, including the brand new Captain Marvel, that’s saying something.
Speaking of Captain Marvel: hell yes!
I know some feared Captain Marvel being introduced so late in the game was going to be tricky, but they’ve nailed her character out of the park. Her inclusion doesn’t feel forced (see above) and the twists and turns for her character suit her role in the universe. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but I will say audiences will be more than ready for more of her in future films.
It’s a fitting end to 10 plus years of movies
Again, not spoiling here, but the ending feels right. Given the emotional arcs they experience, and all the time setting up who they are and connecting us to their characters, this ending is the right one. We all know there will be many more films (there’s another Spider-Man in only 3 months) but this wave of films is over. This film feels like a great ending for this wave and a promise for more in the future. There are many characters that could go in any direction, play mentor, go on more adventures, or simply retire if Marvel Studios so sees fit. Considering how good this finale was we should all breathe a sigh of relief since this is proof enough this movie universe is in great hands.