Review: “Endgame” leaves on a high note

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

“Avengers: Endgame” is just the right ending for this saga of the MCU.

By Gabriel Arizon, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Studios

After the massive critical and financial success of “Avengers: Infinity War,” it would be an understatement to say that expectations were high for its follow-up, “Avengers: Endgame,” to knock it out of the park.

The culmination of 21 previous films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe manages to do just that by delivering one of the most action-packed and emotional send-offs these characters deserve, ending this saga in one of the best ways possible. (Spoilers for “Infinity War” are below.)

The film begins just after Thanos’ victory in the previous Avengers movie — which destroyed half of all life in the universe — with the remaining, depressed heroes trying to pick up the pieces and desperate to reverse the damage. After Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), who was thought to be dead, re-emerges with a daring plan to go back in time, the Avengers assemble once more to rescue their friends and loved ones.

The feeling of defeat among the Avengers is palpable, and each tries their best to cope with the loss against Thanos in “Infinity War.” While some manage to find their peace, others are left shadows of their former selves. The statuses of Bruce Banner, Hawkeye and Thor are particular highlights, with the latter deeply affected by his prior inability to finish Thanos off.

“Endgame” gives the majority of its focus to the original Avengers cast of Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk and so on. The buddy relationship between Banner, Thor and Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) continues into this film from “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Infinity War;” the relationship between Hawkeye and Black Widow is given some new heartfelt depth; and there are a couple surprising and sweet moments between Tony Stark and Nebula (Karen Gillan). Even Ant-Man is given some heart as he discovers an Earth left in shambles.

“Endgame” pays off to the relationships and individual character arcs that have steadily developed over the last decade. Each character gets their moment to shine, and Stark and Steve Rogers, in particular, are given plenty of screen time to resolve any lasting emotional struggles before the film gives them a farewell that is both fitting and emotional.

However, the movie leaves little room for characters like Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) to work with. Despite playing an integral part in the fight against Thanos, she does not get nearly enough focus that was expected of her. War Machine (Don Cheadle) feels more like a background character and hardly gets the same emotional weight the others do. Okoye (Danai Gurira) from “Black Panther” suffers from the same problem to an even greater extent.

The finale of “Endgame” ends with one of the most exciting and bombastic climaxes ever realized in a film, let alone a comic book movie. Though some moments could be seen as purely fanservice and pandering, it nonetheless is extremely entertaining to watch and a feast for the eyes. Over a decade of Marvel movies has built up to this, and it does not disappoint.

The major fault residing in this outing fall within the Avenger’s plan to time travel and reverse Thanos’ mass genocide. Though the scenes where the team travel to the past are highly entertaining, it raises way too many questions as to whether the timeline still makes sense. The fates of certain characters are left up in the air and the movie spends no time addressing it. While the pacing is solid throughout the movie, the film itself leaves several unanswered questions for what should be a closing chapter for this saga.

Not once during the movie’s three-hour runtime does it relinquish its grasp on your attention. The emotional gravitas layered throughout combined with one of the best action-packed climaxes in film history gives way to one of the best chapters in the MCU.