Oh boy, this is a movie and a half. This is the culmination of more than a decade of superhero movies, and it satisfies in almost every way.
For the uninitiated, this film will be difficult. It does a nice job reestablishing characters and relationships, but it isn’t for the newbies. It deals with a lot of very specific details from previous films. A lot of the best moments are payoffs from four or five films ago, and the character arcs are a decade old now. It’s still going to carry a lot of entertainment value, but it will be more of a challenge if this is your first go around with the Marvel universe.
However, if you have seen these films, it does not disappoint. It will be an emotional rollercoaster. The film aims for the heart and nails it. The action delivers both entertaining visuals as well as heavy fan service and moments of pure glee. The film is a high flying adventure. Characters are bounced all over different layers of time and space. They go on an epic quest in the grand old fashioned sense and face all manner of obstacles both computer generated and wonderfully human.
Most of the film plays like a comedy and a very funny comedy at that. There are dozens of talented performers on display, but it never feels like a competition. Everyone is given their own space to play. It helps that every performer here is firing on a different comedic level. There is Robert Downey Jr. for the dry sarcasm. Paul Rudd brings your innocent goofball. Chris Hemsworth brings a surprising blend of broad humor and human tragedy. There are so many more layers at work that the film never sags or feels like it’s dragging on.
It was once said that dialogue in action movies is tolerated to get us through to the next action scene. In the Marvel movies the action is tolerated to get to the dialogue because in the dialogue is where the characters shine, and these movies succeed because of the characters. Special effects and action haven’t propped up this decade of Marvel movies. It is the great character work and the great actors inhabiting those characters that make these movies worth seeing. Endgame understands that better than most of its predecessors. It dedicates so much of its runtime to the characters, their development, their interactions, their loss, and their hope. It takes the time to make them human amidst the chaos.
Recently, my dad told me the last words he said to his mother before she passed. In this movie a character dies. The last words spoken to that character are almost identical to my dads words. The film is bombastic and huge. It has a scene in which a space god fights a purple super alien with a magic axe. However, the film never forgets those real genuine human moments that hit hardest. It never forgets that under all the cgi and fantasy these are human stories about people. In the final moments of the film the theater was filled with the sounds of sniffling and stifled sobs. This movie goes for the heart and reminds why we have been watching these movies for the last ten years.
The movie is very effective and affecting. It is well done and very entertaining. As a fan of these movies, it is my cup of tea. As a movie fan, it is my cup of tea. – A-