Endgame finalises eleven years of meticulous planning in an epic superhero extravaganza. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a behemoth. A cultural phenomenon that has enveloped the minds of audiences everywhere. Since 2008 when 'Iron Man' graced our screens in a small yet metal-bashing blockbuster, we knew something big was happening. Deep down. And now, eleven years later, this fantastical journey of spectacular conflicts and personable characters has come to an almighty conclusion. Generations have been anticipating, for a whole arduous year, how the remaining Avengers were going to stop Thanos post-snap.
The burning question raised from this extravagant superhero soap opera: Does Endgame sufficiently conclude the franchise? It's an inescapable thought. Endgame was no longer just a film in an elongated series of interconnected stories. It was answers. We needed them, and we needed them executed satisfactorily.
So, does it? Yes. A resounding yes. My inner fanboy was pleased with the sheer amount of fan service shoved into this epic three hour beast. The third act especially, which we all know is the climactic battle (I believe I'm safe to say that...), is teeming with mesmerising energy as the Russo brothers shove as much glorified content as they possibly can. However, do not mistake my inner child-like demeanour as a critical analysis of the film, for am I not blindsided. It's very easy to succumb to the colossal amount of fan service and forget about the criticisms. I would not do that to you.
Treating this film as I would any other, I found myself embroiled with many reservations. This is not a perfect film. It is flawed with contrived plot conveniences and a narrative structure that segregates its tones far too excessively, consequently producing inconsistent pacing. Problem is, I am unable to discuss these issues with you. In fact, it's one of those rare films to which I can't really say anything at all, for it may be deemed a spoiler (and I'm not falling down that Asgardian pitfall again...)! Let's try though.
The first act explored the humanistic drama beneath these heroes. Conflicting emotions as they adjust to the immediate vacuous lives after the events of 'Infinity War'. An interesting direction from the Russo brothers took which injected a dark melancholic aura, cementing the finality of this franchise. Then, the second act kicks in once a particular character is re-introduced. Let's just say I wasn't overly enamoured with the film during the second hour. Intrinsically implementing a barrage of references from previous entries, to the point that it becomes overstuffed and a detriment to the overall arc of the plot. The beautiful development of Thanos from its predecessor seemingly shattered in this instalment, resulting in a simplistic antagonist. And the exaggerated comedy came across as desperate, especially from Thor. Whilst appealing to general audiences and acting as a crowd pleaser, it unfortunately didn't gel with me. I blame 'Ragnarok'.
Thankfully the third act saves the day, with what I can only describe as a sublime celebration of the cinematic universe. That is what Endgame is all about. Celebration. From the heart wrenching moments (yes, please bring a tissue or twenty) to the chaotic action, the Russo brothers celebrate eleven years of work into three hours. The last hour was entertainment done perfectly, and left me with moist eyes and a smile across my face. Performances were top notch from all cast members, especially Downey Jr., and I had minimal qualms with the visual effects. A few action scenes were edited haphazardly, but just a small nitpick in the technical department.
So, let me change the initial question. Is Endgame the perfect superhero blockbuster? No. I would go as far as saying I believe 'Infinity War' was better executed and remains the best 'Avengers' film (not to be mistaken with best MCU film). Yet, regardless of my insignificant disappointment for the film itself, Endgame had enormous pressure. It could've simply buckled under the weight. But it didn't. For that, I applaud Marvel Studios and everyone involved. You don't need me to tell you to go and see it, just do it.