Endgame is a grand MCU farewell party where nostalgia is served in different flavors. It’s a celebration where you laugh, cry, look back at the journey, and most importantly, you move on. Sometimes that’s the difficult part- moving on. Some characters stay with us. Their memories can’t be erased. Everything will change after this party. A new phase will start.
Finales are tricky. How do you give a satisfying closure to the biggest superhero franchise that offers a series of payoffs, tells a compelling story that’s emotionally rich, and resolves the arcs of dozens of characters mapped out over the last decade in 22 movies? Big movies come with bigger challenges. The writers of the movie (Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely) had a herculean task before them- to utilize every MCU character and bind them together in a cohesive narrative. But they made it work.
Endgame is not your usual Marvel movie. Russo brothers have taken a slightly different approach here. It’s more restrained. It has a lot of serious moments that are not undercut by silly jokes. The witty one-liners are sparse. Yes, there are giant action set pieces, but it doesn’t constantly hammer you with that. The pace is relaxed but doesn’t drag much for a 3-hour long movie. It’s packed with the references to earlier MCU films. Every character is given a redeeming moment. Remember The Office finale where the mere sight of Michael Scott made you choke up? That’s how I felt during the movie. The film heavily borrows from its past to show how much our favorite characters have transformed since their first film.
It’d be unfair to talk about the plot of the movie since it’s full of surprises right from the beginning. But if you’ve seen Infinity War, you know the movie is about the remaining Avengers trying to undo the damage caused by Thanos. For a movie that’s supposed to tie all the threads together neatly, Endgame takes some risks. It’s wildly surprising. And it mostly pays off. Every hero brings his own world, his own genre, and sensibility. Marvel’s strength lies in pitting the contrasting personalities against one another. Imagine a conversation between Bruce, Natasha, and Carol. It’s boring. It’s the comical characters that make the stoic characters stand out. We’ve seen the transition of Hulk and Thor from serious to almost clownish. Endgame pushes it further.
You can’t have the Avengers movie without the big battle. The epic showdown. That’s where the film slightly falters. The set pieces are massive in scale and way too crowded. The good thing is, there’s a clear goal and urgency in the action sequences which keeps us invested despite the loud action. Every character gets a moment to shine. Josh Brolin plays the character of Nihilistic giant blue monster with the utmost conviction. In the hands of a lesser actor, it’d have seemed caricature. Black Widow steals the show in the little screen time she’s given. But the film belongs to the core members.
Endgame is an utterly satisfying conclusion to the biggest superhero saga. It uses the familiar tropes of the genre to talk about complex themes like grief and morality.
This review has been contributed by Deloret Imnidian.