April 28, 2019 – This film makes up for my disappointment in “Avengers: Infinity War,” which seemed to be half a movie, much like those movies based on a book in which the last book in a series is adapted into two movies in order to milk it for twice the money (as was done with the Harry Potter and Hunger Games movie finales).
“Avengers: Endgame” has a lot to live up to, since it has to complete the story set in motion in “Avengers: Infinity War,” and to wrap up multiple story lines from about a dozen other films in the Marvel Studios series. It does all this very nicely indeed with the help of some magic stones and some time travel hocus-pocus. I'll leave it to the multitude of other web sites devoted to this topic to try to explain how this movie's time travel plot is in any way logical. Let's just say it works well enough for me.
I also won't try to list all the characters in this film since there are so many, virtually all the main characters from numerous Marvel Studios films of recent years. There is an enormous battle scene near the end of the film featuring numerous superheroes and super villains. This is a suitable climax for the war between good and evil that has been raging for the last two Avengers films.
If all there was to this story was a big battle, this movie would not be over three hours long. Instead, the film splits into several parallel narratives that deal with the personal journeys of several key characters. We learn what has happened to these characters since the apocalyptic events in “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Captain America: Civil War,” and for a five year period beyond that.
Just as in the first Avengers movie, the remaining Avengers once again assemble to do battle. There is even an inside joke, in which Captain America (played by Chris Evans) actually says “Avengers, assemble.” This is not only a line taken directly from the Marvel comic books, but it is also an alternate title to the first Avengers movie, mostly used on DVDs sold in Europe. There are numerous other so-called “Easter Eggs, cameos and callbacks,” (insider references to Marvel comics, TV shows and previous Marvel movies) like this throughout the film. These nuggets for Marvel fans are detailed in numerous articles and videos on the internet. I won't go into all that here.
Just as many previous Marvel movies culminate in this one, these parallel stories within this movie also culminate at the climax of the movie. Instead of one quest for six magic stones, there are several teams of Avengers each going after different Infinity Stones at different times in the past with the idea of undoing the damage done by Thanos (played by Josh Brolin) in the previous film. Thanos, a kind of super environmentalist, obsessed with overpopulation, has wiped out half of all life in the universe, using the power of the six Infinity Stones.
These are not just quests for magical stones, however, they are also multiple personal journeys in which characters have to make very difficult decisions. Some of them have to make great sacrifices in their quest to restore the trillions of lives erased by Thanos. These are the journeys of heroes, the kind of story as old as the first stories ever told by the first peoples.
This all sounds pretty heavy, but, like most Marvel movies, there is plenty of humor to go with all this drama and tragedy. In short, this movie accomplishes all the goals listed above, and it is also entertaining, at least for those of us who have seen enough of the previous Marvel movies to make sense of this one. What this movie achieves, I believe, is unprecedented. What other movie manages to sum up, wrap up and unite so many other movies?
Without this movie, many of the other recent Marvel Movies would be incomplete. True, many of them were interconnected before now, but this movie brings them all together in a way that has not been done before, at least to this extent. The nearest thing to it, in recent years anyway, are the Harry Potter movies. But this achievement is different, instead of a single author, J.K. Rowling and her seven Harry Potter books, here, we have many authors, many more books, many directors, over 20 movies, spanning more than a decade and many more diverse characters, brought together to achieve what seems to be a single, heroic journey summed up in a single movie.
While this movie is a little over three hours long, it doesn't seem that long. It doesn't drag because it is tightly constructed. There are no wasted minutes. It moves right along. There is also plenty of action, and the story is very rich, packed with details, and varied. The acting is also very good, considering the huge cast and how little screen time some characters have to shine. I think I still like the original Avengers movie the best, but this one is a close second. This film rates a B.
Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.