Here is it then – the climactic finale of the first realm of Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Endgame is a direct sequel to Avengers: Infinity War and it comes packing a huge amount of emotional baggage. In the last film we saw the mighty Avengers humbled and life across the universe decimated when the mad titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) ‘won’.
Now we see the fallout. There is deep grief and much reflection as the surviving heroes Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and friends including their powerful new pal Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) try to rally and find a way to fight back. I’m absolutely not going to share key plot points – all you need to know is that the Avengers want to live up to their name. As Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) says: “That’s what we are, right – the Avengers. We strike back.”
With so many of the heroes lost to Thanos in the last film and morale at an all-time low the Avengers certainly have an almost impossible task on hand. It’s impressive that the directors Anthony and Joe Russo don’t let the magnitude of the job daunt them and manage to craft a tale that is both reverent to all that has gone before and a rousing conclusion that will please fans both old and new.
At three hours, the runtime might be butt-numbing, but it’s certainly never dull. The winning interplay of the heroes and a cleverly worked renewed threat mean that Endgame delivers both some excellent fun moments (Thor playing Fortnite!) and the crunching action scenes that scale intimate duels and epically huge final showdown with a deft touch. As in the last film there is resonance and cost to choices made and a great insight into the psychological damage that ‘losing’ did to earth’s mightiest heroes.
It’s impressive just how natural the special effects feel now – this might have cost millions to make but you won’t see more eye-popping spectacle anytime soon. And as it looks like it might reap over $1billion in the opening weekend, Disney’s money men will be seeing it as an investment paying off.
Payoff is exactly what this delivers - for a supremely satisfying, total adrenaline rush of superhero adventure, there is simply nothing to match Avengers: Endgame. See it on the biggest screen you can find.