Andrew Roberts’s review published on Letterboxd:
I remember when The Avengers came out. I hadn’t seen any of the MCU films preceding it, but I just had to go see it. It was something new, a film that was building a universe, a crossover event unlike any seen on the big screen before. The film created promises, whether consciously or not, about what this franchise held. Films about these larger than life characters who hold onto humanity with reverence, and character driven stories about hope, never giving up and saving the world at whatever cost. It promised these crossovers with new characters, team ups unlike ever seen before. It promised long form storytelling over years of films. These promises were bold and exciting, a cinematic blockbuster experiment that was a risk in many ways, but would come with a high reward if it paid off.
Avengers: Endgame is the film that makes good on the promises made by The Avengers. A film that acts as a conclusion to the overarching story initiated by Iron Man all those years ago. It’s a film that is so grand in its vision that it really had to play its cards right. Everything, the good, the bad, the okay, it’s all been leading up to this point. An eleven year experiment, and it all comes down to this.
The thing is...it’s good. It’s not just good. It’s fantastic. It’s a film that gets to the heart of these characters, some of which we’ve spent up to eleven years watching, and gives them completed arcs, balancing and managing so many different characters and stories that it needs to conclude. It balances the character with the spectacle with such ease, it’s kinda miraculous to watch. Not to mention handles the fan service in such a way that it knows this is going to get the biggest reactions while also fitting the story and following through on what’s come before.
The biggest surprise is that they allow the film to be quiet. Sure it’s got it’s loud, bombastic moments, but it’s also full of gorgeous silence. Whereas most of the MCU films are never really allowed to stop and just sit in a moment, whether it’s a moment of solemn or pride or heartbreak or counsel, Endgame allows these characters to sit for a moment, landing the emotional beats like it’s absolutely nothing.
I have spent the last few weeks critiquing quite a bit of Phase 3 of the MCU, and while I stand by everything I’ve said, Endgame makes it all worth it. It’s not perfect, it’s still got it’s issues with the flat, grey cinematography, but this film nails it so hard on every other front that I don’t actually give a damn this time round. Silversti crafts the best score of the entire MCU, this film has some of the best performances in the franchise, and it concludes every single arc it’s trying to with such brilliant grace, the character arcs, the story arcs, everything that it has set up.
This is a movie that should not work, that shouldn’t be manageable, shouldn’t be possible. And yet, it doesn’t just work, Avengers: Endgame delivers on the promises of the MCU, and it does so with such impeccable fashion. And it’s incredible.