In 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was launched with their bold new superhero, Iron Man. Over the next 11 years it has grown into a cultural phenomenon rivalled only by Star Wars. I, personally, have never been mad on Star Wars. I enjoy the films, I’m just not bothered much about the mythology or overarching story behind them. The MCU, on the other hand, I have religiously followed since its inception, and the fact I’m able to say that Endgame was a satisfying conclusion of this saga fills me with an amount of joy that cannot be measured.
I won’t discuss plot points of any kind because as soon as the film starts it throws you into major spoiler territory. From that opening, the story goes completely off on a unique and brave trajectory. It’s not what I was expecting the film would be at ALL, and yet, it delivers exactly what I had hoped for. The tone of the film is completely all over the place, and it was surprising just how well it all blended together. The film delivers some of the biggest laughs of the entire MCU, but also the most emotion there has been.
When Infinity War came out last year, I was very slightly underwhelmed by it. In my review, I gave it 8/10 stars, or 4/5. I will now accept that I was totally wrong, and it was a 5 Star film. What’s more, Endgame raises that bar to another level. The scale, the grandeur, the excitement, the twists, the emotion. It cannot be described. It can only be felt. During the film, there were moments when the screen was showing things so perfect, that I’d wanted to see for so long, that I couldn’t contain my excitement, and that ultimately manifested itself in tears of joy. Yeah, I cried. ALOT. Sue me. I cried at the happy moments, I cried at the sad moments. It was a total tear-fest and I loved every second of it.
The performances are all fantastic, with Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans in particular giving truly stunning performances. The whole (incomprehensibly massive) cast, who have been set up over the last 10 years, are still an absolute joy to watch as they all continue to contribute to the quirky fun dynamic that has seen The Avengers thrive for so long.
The special effects work is simply awe-inspiring, and blends so much CGI with the real world its almost impossible to tell where that blend is. There is everything from huge space effects to tiny but incredible ageing effects, and everything works together to sell one story. Nothing ever feels like its a special effect for the sake of it, and this is the best thing CGI can be. The cinematography by Trent Opaloch (returning for his fourth MCU film) is beautifully realistic, making everything happening on screen seem possible. His ability to mould his style to fit the various characters while also maintaining his own visual flair is brilliant. Additionally, Alan Silvestri’s score (again, the fourth he’s contributed to the MCU) is stunning, with a huge symphonic orchestra delivering the great musical touches, and of course, the beloved Avengers Theme with incredible gusto.
The film felt to me like the ultimate tribute to the MCU, to Stan Lee and to Marvel in general. After setting up this huge world, Joe and Anthony Russo (the directors) can now just play, and the toy-box at their disposal is bigger and better than I have ever seen. Their ability to blend together so many stories, characters, plot lines and emotions is on a level of genius that should not be underestimated. They are two VERY smart cookies, and though their time in the MCU is done, they’re sure to deliver a lot more perfection in the coming years.
Overall, all I can really say is go see Endgame. It really does live up to the hype