It’s the end of the MCU as we know it but the Avengers: Endgame brought old friends, cameos, call backs, laughter and a few sniffles
My spoiler free review is keeping it vague on details but we all know Avengers: Infinity Wars ended on a snap. Of course MCU began in 2008 with Iron Man and for true comic book purists Blade the comic book movie that ignited a universe of the genre. But the Avengers are still standing sort of with Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in charge for some reason, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Clint Barton/Hawkeye still under house arrest, Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), and temporary/honorary members Rocket the Space Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Nebula (Karen Gillian). It’s such a mission impossible I expected Tom Cruise to make an appearance. They come up with a scheme to destroy Thanos, get the six Infinity Stones and try to restore balance. It’s a long, long, LONG road from the plan to closing credits and I do mean LONG since the movie clocks in at THREE hours <yikes> with NO bathroom breaks!
Thanos was able to succeed to wipe off half of all living creatures in the universe out of a sense of strain on the ecology (over population, pollution, and that sentient creatures are awful). Thanos (Josh Brolin) was able to make this villain a depth that painted various shades of pitch black to shade (he wants to kill everyone so not an anti-hero). Anthony and Joseph Russo worked really hard to bring all the storylines into a cohesive thrilling movie. It’s a huge project and didn’t succeed a 100% but wrangling cats is hard so they get an A for effort for even trying to conclude the many stories and timelines.
I don’t want to reveal any major plot points but it’s a rollercoaster ride from the surviving Avengers and general populace ‘stuck’ unable to get their minds around the absence that Thanos created. I suppose one of the things that disconcerting is the flippancy towards PSTD/depression for one of the characters. It was played for laughs but for me it made me sad and a little frustrated that what could have been an enriching storyline was treated so dismissively. I saw a preview and everyone else laughed so maybe it bothered me more because of my experiences. Endgame jumped through time as it tied up and explained what happened. The Russo’s also made time to concentrate on all the major characters so fanboys/fangirls will be ecstatic seeing favorite characters able to really shine. It’s surprisingly serious MCU movie at times but had great one liners and lots of visual Easter eggs for hardcore comic book and MCU movie fans. We got to say goodbye to Stan Lee for the last time <sob>.
Endgame isn’t perfect and in my opinion would have benefited from editing it down to 2 ½. But I understand that the MCU has a lot of stories to tell and goodbyes so the Russo Brothers didn’t want to miss anything. It’s not a perfect movie but it’s perfect to end the MCU as we know it.