Avengers: Endgame

Movie Review

Tonight I went and saw the much anticipated “Avengers: Endgame,” which came out six days ago. All I can say they must have saved the best for the end.

Richard Roeper said in his review, “I’m not prepared to instantly label “Avengers: Endgame” as the best of the 23 Marvel Universe movies to date, but it’s a serious contender for the crown and it’s the undisputed champion when it comes to emotional punch.”

If you don’t feel watery-eyed in certain parts during this screen-filling, eye-popping, time-hopping, pulse-raising, amazingly filmed superhero movie for everyone, you should get yourself checked because you may not be human.

Roeper mentioned, “So much hype has swirled for so long in advance of this sure-to-crack-$2-billion-worldwide insta-hit, you might have been wondering if even the combined powers of Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Black Widow, the Hulk, Captain America et al., would be strong enough to hold up under such an avalanche of expectations.”

You don’t have to be concerned because as the popular movie saying goes: They got this.

Thanks to a funny, well-paced, smart, capably submitted screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Great direction from Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, who have done the universally deed of bouncing countless story lines and an all-star cast shining with over a dozen famous superhero characters, and the commonly solar performances from a cast filled with Oscar winners, Oscar nominees and magnetic stars on the rise, “Avengers: Endgame” actually flies through its three-hour running time with no boring moments or a slip in plot development.

Go to the bathroom before the movie starts. You’re not going to want to miss a moment.

“Avengers: Endgame” starts with the first of many small, friendly, human family moments, with one of the Avengers and his family in the prologue just before (“Avengers: Infinity War” spoiler alert!) Thanos, reprised by Josh Brolin, snapped his fingers and made half of the entire universe’s population (including many of our favorite superheroes) disappear in breezing brown dust.

From there we go to the main group of remaining Avengers, including Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), who don’t look and sound anything like strong fighters as they mourn over their losses and think if they still have a reason in this new and broken society.

Eventually we see Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), each of them have traveled a unique journey – one finding an amount of peace in a post-superhero life, another completely sad but wanting to get himself back together, another wanting nothing more than vengeance, and another who has let himself drown and wastes his days drinking beer and playing video games. (Roeper said, “I’ll leave it to you to discover the particulars, which include some heart-touching moments AND some of the biggest laughs ever produced in any superhero movie in any universe.”)

Roeper said, “It’s Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man, he of the super-duper shrinking abilities and the experiences with all that “quantum realm” scientific jazz, who comes up with a seemingly impossible proposition: Why don’t they expand on Ant-Man’s experience and take it to the next level?” He says they should travel back in time to before Thanos collected all six Infinity Stones and placed them inside his Infinity Gaunlet, stop him from gathering the Stones, and that way he’ll never get the chance to snap his fingers and instantly kill half the populations of so many planets in the multi-verse!

“You mean…a time machine?” asks a fellow Avenger.

Well, no, says Ant-Man. It would be more like, well, you know, it would be…

All right: It’ll be a time machine.

Roeper noted, “This leads to a bounty of jokes about “Back to the Future” and other time-traveling movies — and then “Endgame” actually BECOMES a “Back to the Future” type adventure, that is, if Marty McFly could actually McFly and he was joined on his time-hopping missions by all sorts of superheroes on multiple planets.”

Working in teams of two, the Avengers travel to Asgard and Morag and New York City of the recent past and New Jersey about half a century ago, along with other stops. This ends up with some serious encounters with past selves – Captain American fights 2012 Captain America, Nebula, reprised by Karen Gillan, meets up with 2014 Nebula, that type of encounters – and also gives so many chances for various characters to revisit famous ones who exist only in the past.

These superheroes never seem more human than when a son gets to talk to his father (John Slattery) at a time before the son was born, or a man sees the woman (Hayley Atwell) he never had the chance to be with, or a son is reunited with his mother (Rene Russo) on the day she will die.

At those parts, “Avengers: Endgame” is as emotionally moving as any Marvel movie has ever been. However, keep the Kleenex next to you, because even more powerful dramatic moments are going to happen. Roeper said, “Amidst all the soaring and the blasting and the inevitable gigantic climactic battle, this is a genuinely moving drama involving certain characters we’ve come to know and love through the years.”

Some of the Avengers are given a large amount of screen time. Others have a line or two as the most. Yet somehow, everyone leaves a strong impact. In a movie filled with amazing performances, the standouts are Scarlett Johansson, whose Black Widow has changed in so many ways since we first saw her. Roeper said, “Chris Hemsworth, providing a surprising amount of comedic relief as a very different version of Thor, and most of all Robert Downey Jr., whose Tony Stark has always been the most fascinating, complex, multi-layered, charismatic “civilian” persona of any superhero universe I’ve ever visited.”

The Motion Picture Academy never sees great acting if it comes incognito with a costume or a cape. That doesn’t mean Downey isn’t deserving of an Oscar. It’s great acting in a great film.

You have to go to the theaters to see this movie, it’s an absolute must. If you were left anxious with what was going to happen after “Infinity War,” this movie will leave you satisfied and happy. This is like “Return of the King,” especially in the climactic finale battle sequence. Hands down, this is another one of my favorite comic book movies and has got to be the best movie of the year thus far. This may surprise everyone, but there will be no mid-credit or post-credit sequence for the first time in the MCU. I guess because this is the definitive cap of this phase and also with this one being three hours long.

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