Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers Endgame poster.jpgDirector: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Running Time: 181 Minutes
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Bradley Cooper, Josh Brolin

It's astonishing to think how far Marvel Studios have taken their films since 2008. From the post-credits scene of Iron Man, hinting at a larger universe on the horizon, the following 11 years has seen the roster expand and venture into various different corners. It's all led to this, a culmination of the 22 films which showed a cinematic universe can work, and it thankfully sticks the landing.

After the devastating events of the previous film, which saw Thanos decimate half the population of all life in the universe, The Avengers are struggling to cope with the fallout. They must once more assemble in a quest to undo the horrific actions, no matter what the cost.

While viewing the film, it takes aback how little of the film you actually know about. The marketing did a fine job of keeping this films cards to its chest, ensuring this chapter plays out in successfully surprising fashion. As such, it's quite the test to discuss this film without giving away spoilers, and this review will adhere to uphold that. Still, if you wish to go into the film knowing as little as possible, perhaps come back to this after you've watched it.

Considering it carries a runtime of 181 minutes, it's a testament to those involved that each and every moment feels necessary. Be it to the story, the character work, or the fantastic images which adorn the screen, none of it feels superfluous, and it manages to never feel as long as it is. Joining it is Alan Silvestri's score, managing to perfectly capture each aspect of the film, no matter what avenue it ventures down.

Considering how Infinity War ended, it's an understatement to say the surviving characters have been left changed in the aftermath of the snap. What occurs is a compelling look at grief, as each survivor tries to persevere with their lives and cope with their survivors guilt through their own methods. Be it through taking preventative measures, trying to help others, or being on a more destructive route, these are broken figures trying to make sense of their place in what's left of this world. The returning cast may be reprising their roles for the umpteenth time, but do wonderful work showcasing these new aspects of their characters, and conveying how such a time has affected each of them.

For what sounds like a downbeat time at the cinema, humour is found throughout to deliver cathartic bouts of laughter, while never undercutting the serious nature of those scenes. But the surviving Avengers aren't going to leave this as the end, for a plan is formed. The stage is set for their determined attempts to make things right, whatever it takes, and what occurs is a thrilling time which keeps hold of ones attention. Accompanying it are nostalgic nods to the past films, returning characters whose appearances feel right, and touching moments which deliver necessary closure.

The emotional stakes are clear, running throughout the narrative, and continuing through to the final act. The battle which takes the stage here is one that must be seen to be believed, an exciting time that's pretty ambitious, large in scope, and carrying a multitude of fist-pumping moments. Between this and the emotional character endings, it all feels so earned, and the perfect way to wrap things up.

An ambitious and satisfying climax that will leave you thrilled and emotional, Avengers: Endgame is an utter triumph. A love-letter to the 21 films which came before it and those who've been along for the ride. Whatever happens from here on out, at least we have this magnificent end to the Infinity saga.