Film Review - AVENGERS: ENDGAME - "The End Has Arrived"

So here we are. Eleven years & 20+ films later, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU), as we know it, is drawing to "a close." Picking up after the shocking conclusion to last year's INFINITY WAR, ENDGAME is burdened with the difficult task of not only bringing closure (or finality) to the former's cliffhanger, but also tasked with wrapping up over 20+ films worth of plot points. So, I'm sure the question you are all likely asking is: Does the film accomplish these respective feats?

Well, I can definitively say YES - AND THEN SOME!

Now, before I jump into "the meat and potatoes" of the film, I will warn you that this review will have mild spoilers.

So you've been warned!

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Still here? Cool! Come join me below to unbox this impressive package.

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Perhaps in an effort to remind the audience of what's at stake, the film opens to Hawkeye - a character absent from last year's outing - fall witness to his family's dusting as a result of Thanos' snap. Meanwhile, stranded out in space, we come across Iron Man and Nebula (last seen in INFINITY WAR), still coming to terms with their devastating loss to Thanos. Though all seems lost as they ration their last few supplies (i.e. food, fuel, oxygen) to survive, a certain energy-based hero (I've give you a hint, she had her solo release this Spring) comes to their aid.

Elsewhere on Earth, the remaining "OG" Avengers - i.e. Thor, Cap, Black Widow, Hulk - and some of the Guardians are trying to piece together a solution that could bring back the many heroes that were dusted in the prior film. Enter Capt. Marvel, Iron Man, and Nebula, who not only reveal where Thanos has been recuperating, but also rally the team to seek out The Mad Titan. Though this early encounter with the Titan results in a victory, it's still not without lost, as Thanos - before getting the ax - reveals that he has atomized the Infinity Stones - seemingly destroying any possibility of the stones resurrecting any of those heroes who were dusted away.

Flash forward 5 years later and we find: Black Widow leading the remaining remnants of the team, Capt. America leading therapy groups for those dealing with The Snap, Tony Stark & Pepper Potts enjoying a quieter life with their young daughter, and Bruce Banner coming to a remarkable physical compromise (this statement will make more sense once you see the film) with his monstrous alter ego. Enter Scott Lang, who, thanks to being stranded in the Quantum Realm, reappears in this future just mentioned above. Completely taken aback by what has become of the world (due to The Snap), he makes his way to Avengers Headquarters to fix what has been done. In making sense of how he ended up 5 years in the future, Lang shares his idea of going back into the past to acquire the Infinity Stones to undo what Thanos has done.

Now, as mentioned before, considering the many threads left by the various films in the MCU (including ENDGAME), this film does a great job of wrapping up MANY of the loose ends for its diverse library of characters that have featured thus far in the films. Additionally, for eagle-eyed fans, the plot device of time travel allows for many enjoyable "callbacks" to specific films in the MCU. All of which is without the film feeling overstuffed or unnecessary - which, considering its 3 hour runtime - is no small feat!

Next up, I'd like to comment on the films major set piece at the end....WOW! Without a doubt, this sequence was worth the price of admission! Seeing that sequence took me back to that first encounter between Nick Fury and Tony Stark, in which Fury explained to Stark how had become part of a bigger universe. However, as I gush over the MANY THINGS that this film knocks out of the park, I did have one minor gripe: how The Hulk was handled. Seeing how the character was beaten and mostly absent in INFINITY WAR, I felt kind of let down by what he given to do in this film. Still, overall this is a remarkable film that stick the landing.

Grade: A

AVENGERS: ENDGAME is in theaters starting today.

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