The Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU for short, began in 2008 with the release of Iron Man, starring Robert Downey Jr as the titular Genius Billionaire Playboy Philanthropist. In the 11 years that followed, the series has become a box office juggernaut, as well as establishing critical acclaim for its characters, effects and design, and impressive overarching storyline: a storyline that concludes in 2019’s Endgame, a 3 hour long cinematic epic the likes of which hasn’t been seen on the big screen since perhaps Peter Jackson’s ‘Return of the King’ in 2003 to conclude his Lord of the Rings’ trilogy.
Following on from the catastrophic events of Infinity War, where the mad Titan Thanos was able to collect all 6 Infinity Stones and eradicate half of all life in the “grateful” Universe. Endgame is effectively a movie focused on time travel as the Avengers, including Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor, attempt to undo the Snap by collecting the Infinity Stones for themselves.
Whilst the run time is immediately unappealing to even the most avid of cinemagoer, it is entirely justified with just how collosal and contentful Endgame is for 182 minutes. Within the first 15 minutes alone, we witness Iron Man and Nebula, played excellently by Karen Gillan, rescued by Captain ex Machina…I mean Captain Marvel, and Thanos’ ‘death’ at the hands of Stormbreaker which leaves our heroes in a state of uncertainty: how will they fill the next 180 minutes of screentime if Thanos is dead?
Not to worry, because perhaps my only true gripe with this film rears its ugly head: by complete fluke (which many theorise as the one of Doctor Strange’s 14,000,605 possibilities that succeeds), a rat steps on a button that brings Scott ‘Ant Man’ Lang back to the post-apocalypse World believing and encouraging the Avengers to pursue a time-heist for the Infinity Stones across different dimensions and timelines.
The Universe got saved by a rat Lads. Pack everything up, nothing makes sense in cinema anymore. Time to shut up shop here on ‘Jasp of all trades’.
But from there on out, Avengers’ Endgame stands as one of the most entertaining, thought-, and emotion provoking entries in the saga. Whilst not being perfect like, in my opinion, Iron Man, The Winter Soldier, or even the first Avengers film, the movie fulfills its primary duty of ending the Infinity Stones story.
In terms of individual performances, the likes of Robert Downey Jr, the aforementioned Karen Gillan, and especiallyJeremy Renner delivers series-best performances as Tony Stark, Nebula, and Hawkeye respectively. This is also with Josh Brolin cementing himself as on the level of Heath Ledger’s legendary Joker as one of the most convincing, iconic, and recognisable comic book villains ever put to film.
Whether this be the state of 6am delirium and exhaustion which I’m currently writing this in or relief that the series ended on a bang and not a whimper I’m not too sure: but, Avengers: Endgame truly delivers on the extraordinary hype and anticipation built around it. Whilst DC continues to flounder with its cinematic Universe (though that Joaquin Phoenix/ Joker movie could be something special), Disney and Marvel can finally rest with a grateful movie-going Universe happy and content with this truly epic finale to a decade long story.