[Film Review] Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers- Endgame poster.jpg

Title: Avengers: Endgame
Year: 2019
Country: USA
Language: English
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo
Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
based on the Marvel comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Music: Alan Silvestri
Cinematography: Trent Opaloch
Editors: Jeffrey Ford, Matthew Schmidt
Cast:
Robert Downey Jr.
Chris Evans
Mark Ruffalo
Paul Rudd
Chris Hemsworth
Scarlett Johansson
Jeremy Renner
Karen Gillan
Josh Brolin
Brie Larson
Zoe Saldana
Don Cheadle
Bradley Cooper
Gwyneth Paltrow
Benedict Cumberbatch
Chadwick Boseman
Tom Holland
Chris Pratt
Evangeline Lilly
Tessa Thompson
Elizabeth Olsen
Anthony Mackie
Sebastian Stan
Rene Russo
Danai Gurira
Letitia Wright
John Slattery
Tilda Swinton
Linda Cardellini
Hiroyuki Sanada
Michael Douglas
Robert Redford
Benedict Wong
Tom Hiddleston
Pom Klementieff
Dave Bautista
Jon Favreau
Hayley Atwell
Michelle Pfeiffer
Marisa Tomei
Angela Bassett
Frank Grillo
Maximiliano Hernández
Taika Waititi
Yvette Nicole Brown
James D’Arcy
Jacob Batalon
Winston Duke
Vin Diesel
Samuel L. Jackson
Ross Marquand
Joe Russo
Lexi Rabe
Ken Jeong
Ty Simpkins
Stan Lee
Rating: 6.7/10

Reckoning by its record-thrashing first weekend box-office receipts, guess I am not the only one who is impelled by an impulse of closure to rush into cinemas and sits for three hours to watch the culmination of a cinematic saga, STAR WARS of our time. Overall, the four installment of AVENGERS franchise and the 22nd movie in MCU, AVENGERS: ENDGAME does a commendable job of bringing a neat coda to the original members of the Avengers assembly, suffused with sacrifice, reconciliation, passing on the baton and family bliss.

The stake is not that high after AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, since no one will doubt the resurrection of the “dusted” half of life in universe (although the movie’s poster coyly presents and credits only the surviving members of our beloved superheroes, Danai Gurira’s Okoye is misleadingly standing tall even she has less than 3 minutes screen time altogether), and a well-worn time travel plan is hatched and garnished with a veneer of “quantum realm” to give a faux-new luster (coined as “time heist” here), at the same time, to offer self-referential digs on its ubiquity in the movies.

However those “flash-forward” sequences make good, for one thing, they surprise us with familiar faces that we don’t expect to see again, like Tilda Swinton’s The Ancient One, Rober Redford’s Alexander Pierce and Rene Russo’s Frigga, just to name a few. They also grant Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark a chance to extemporize a sincere embrace with his unwitting and soon estranged father Howard (Slattery) and Chris Evan’s Captain America the glance of a new lease on life that prefigures his cardinal decision when the dust settles, not to mention incidentally setting up a possible egress to resurrect one of fan’s favorite, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, soon will be conquering the small screen with his own TV series.

Among its massive roster, almost everyone is called back into the final battle – which goes apocalyptically dark in contrast with the diurnal showdown in Wakanda from INFINITY WAR, and during which female power is rousingly pointed up, only, it is not their call yet (Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel is sketchily used as a convenient deus ex-machina bordering on obnoxiousness), but it is somewhat frustrating to see Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang is under-heralded, and still receives the jests about his alter-ego’s minuscule size in spite of being the one who literally finds a solution to reverse Thanos’ mass destruction; Karen Gillan’s cybernetic Nebula, is another key character who deserves some shout-out as her dual presences veritably trigger Thanos’ do-over aggression in the climax, so is Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, who will be sorely missed even the movie doesn’t seem to emphasize that (there is a standalone Black Widow movie in the making, so that may explain the less solemn commemoration here, especially compared with the one who finally makes the snap).

For what it is worth, ENDGAME is cut from the same cloth from its predecessors and shot hand-in-hand with INFINITY WAR, however the familiar feeling of repetition (streamlined if nondescript design, black-and-white dichotomy in its characterization, a half-hearted mixture of deadpan seriousness and throwaway wisecracks) is practically overwhelmed by an epic sense of ending that has been built for more than a decade ever since Jon Favreau’s IRON MAN (2008), which is exhaustive but also exhausting, as this reviewer sees it, one might think twice when it is time to embark on MCU’s next phase, but wait, there is still SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (2019) waiting in the pipeline, heck, that feeling of endlessness….

referential entries: Russo Brothers’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (2018, 6.9/10); Joss Whedon’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2015, 5.4/10), THE AVENGERS (2012, 5.4/10).

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