AVENGERS: ENDGAME (4/26/2019)
Directors: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, etcetera, etcetera…

My Rating: 9/10
Rotten Tomatometer: 96% Certified Fresh

PLOT: After the devastating events of “Avengers: Infinity War”, the universe is in ruins. With the help of the remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to try to undo Thanos’ actions.

———————————

SPOILER ALERT!!!

SPOILER ALERT!!!

You have been warned.

For starters, “Avengers: Endgame” is not my favorite movie in the MCU. (That title still goes to the incredibly complex, endlessly debatable “Captain America: Winter Soldier”, a superhero movie for people who hate superhero movies.) BUT… “Endgame” contains my single favorite moment in the entire franchise. It occurs during the climactic battle, and it involves…hardware. YOU know what I’m talking about.

That aside, while “Endgame” is a more-than-worthy sendoff for the 11-year-long story arc, and is Hollywood spectacle at its best, I gotta be honest and say that the 3-hour running time was starting to get to me around about the 2-hour mark. Yes, the plot threads all had to be woven together to bring everything to a head for the ultimate showdown, and I wouldn’t dream of eliminating anything that I saw, but it just was feeling a little slow.

Other than that…it gets all A’s across the board.

• ACTION – I haven’t seen CGI action on this scale since the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” Or “Avengers: Infinity War”, take your pick. I can only imagine the headaches and nervous breakdowns experienced by the hordes of CGI artists who painstakingly created the outstanding battle scenes. They were incredibly dense, but never were we unable to see any of the key moments involving key characters. Nothing was too dark or murky. It was an event.

• HUMOR – In spite of the heaviness of the proceedings, the filmmakers never lost sight of their origins: COMIC books. From the first appearance of Thor in residence at New Asgard, to Stark’s never-ending supply of dry one-liners, to Hulk’s selfie in the diner, the audience is always kept from falling into major depression, even after some really, REALLY dark moments in the story.

• CLOSURE – The film ends the way it does because it HAD to. Some of the original actors are just getting too old to do it anymore, folks, that’s just the way it is. Hugh Jackman hung up his claws on Wolverine because he was getting too old to get into that kind of shape anymore. And some other actors are just ready to move on. It’s time. Regardless, though, the way that certain characters were granted their own particular curtain call…it was IMMENSELY satisfying, not a bit gratuitous, and even noble for everyone involved. I wasn’t moved to tears myself, but there were audible sniffles in the movie theater.

(I did also REALLY like the abandoned New York cityscapes after we jump ahead in the timeline a little bit. I’ve always LOVED the concepts of modern edifices and cities left to ruin after abandonment. That’s one of the reasons I really love “I Am Legend.” BUT I DIGRESS.)

So, yes, it’s worth the hype. They got it right. It is a fitting final chapter to one of the most amazing cinematic achievements in history. It IS a little long, but I can get over that.

And I am excited to see what comes next.