Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame ★★★★

Coming from someone who was very mixed-to-negative on Infinity War, this was a Hulk's leap forward.

Through tone and pacing, Endgame is Infinity War's complete opposite. Technically there is only one action scene here, and it's better than all the action scenes in Infinity War combined. The rest of the film leading up to said action sequence is a brutal and uncompromising look at human failure, and our past failures that continue to haunt us; tragically, the more we try to change our past failures, the more likely it will lead to new failures. For arguably the first time, the MCU has released a film that prioritizes itself as a family drama first; the spectacle is in the calm before the storm, from the grief-ridden performances (EVERYONE is at their best here), to the slow and methodical first act, and in the ways the narrative pays tribute to every single Marvel movie that came before it (yes, every single one).

I can't say everything worked for me though, for reasons I can't explain too heavily for spoilers sake. But to dance around it as best I can, the film does leave quite a few plot points unaddressed, either to explore them later on or to just deliberately leave them unanswered; if it's the latter, I would go as far as to call that lazy storytelling, and veering dangerously close to plot-hole territory. There is also one character arc that concludes in a rather well-earned fashion, only to then leave it untouched in almost offensive ways; if there's any lingering sting of negativity I had here, it's with this one little tidbit.

But kudos to the Russo's, Markus and McFeely, Feige, and the entire cast for creating an emotional spectacle rather than just a visual spectacle, and a film that is actually about something. Age of Ultron is still my favorite of the four Avengers flicks (blasphemy, I know), but I can safely call this one a close second. Maybe not quite Top 5 MCU for me, but damn near close.

This is also Alan Silvestri's best work in this franchise thus far.

Brendan liked this review