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FILM REVIEW: Avengers: Endgame

FILM REVIEW: Avengers: Endgame

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  9 May 2019 11:22 AM GMT

By Ambar Chatterjee

“A thunderous finale that is visually stunning and emotionally investing”

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, and others

Rating: 5/5 (5 out of 5 Stars)

Avengers: Endgame starts exactly where Infinity War left us. The “Thanos snap” has left the world decimated and even the arrival of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) (Nick Fury paged her before he was obliterated) to the scene has not made any difference. However, she is able to bring back one Avenger from wasting away in space who Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) believed was worth sacrificing the “Time Stone” for. Iron Man aka Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) meets the rest of the Avengers after an eternity but only to realize that all is lost permanently as Thanos (Josh Brolin) has got rid of the Infinity Stones using the stones itself so that what he has done can never be undone. Years pass without hope and then one day, Ant-Man aka Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) comes knocking at the front door of the Avengers. What happens next will remain forever etched in my memory as one of the most exhilarating and inspiring bits of fantasy cinema to have ever graced the silver screen.

I didn’t like Infinity War as much as most others did. Out of all the MCU films I loved Captain America: Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man and Black Panther the most. Thus from my choices, it must be crystal clear that I am an advocate of serious, affecting and emotionally investing superhero fare. That’s exactly what Avengers: Endgame is. This is a film that doesn’t follow the traditional 3-act structure but more of a 4-act structure. The first act whooshes past and what happens in it will be a big jolt for one and all. I have seen a lot of superhero films but nothing could prepare me for what actually happened in that first act and the manner in which it happened.

The second act is a slow burn. We generally use the term slow burn to politely put into words a portion of a film that is slow or plain boring. But that is not the case here. The manner in which the pace dips in this portion of the screenplay, which also happens to be the lengthiest part of the film, goes down a long way to help us form a kind of bond with the characters that we never had formed in the past. The pace lets us take in the moments and the drama. This portion shows us how these superheroes took defeat and how it changed them as individuals. The heroes are stripped off all the grandeur that was associated with them and we are shown how battered they are by their loses.

Some of them have forced themselves to move on but they have not. Some are looking for means to undo what was done by Thanos and some are out protecting the world from new threats as well as looking out for a possible return of Thanos. When the opportunity does come their way to have a shot at redemption, they all take it differently. It takes a lot of time to assemble the Avengers and this part was heartening to watch for all the right reasons.

The Third act of the film takes us through what the Avengers Assembled do to rectify the “Thanos Snap” and how Thanos once again has an undue advantage over them all. I loved this portion as it takes us back to some of the key moments of the MCU journey spanning 11 years and shows us how every MCU film has been building up to this point. It isn’t easy to seamlessly tie in continuity spanning 11 years into a single narrative but the Russo brothers pull it off as best as it could have been done. Some iconic scenes are re-created but with different twists and turns all of which work wonderfully.

The fourth and final act of the film is the climax itself which is almost 30 minutes long. The climax has more action, more inspiring moments and more fan service than all of the previous MCU movies put together. One can watch this film a couple of times atleast just to experience this sequence. Without getting into the details of it, all I can say is that an action sequence of this magnitude has never graced a silver screen and now that it is done, none other ever may have the same kind of impact.

The reason for that is simple. We have loved these characters for years and every character’s entry brought with it memories that are associated with these characters throughout their arc in the MCU. Minute bits of action here and there featuring our heroes doing things that we knew they could but they never pulled off before brought with it as much nostalgia as goosebumps-inducing heroism. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced before and it was amazing.

The ensemble cast is brilliant. There isn’t a single weak performance. Robert Downey Jr. brings his best “Tony Stark” act till date to the screen and its only befitting for a character that has grown with him and has its DNA entangled with his. Chris Evans is wonderful as Captain America. By the end of it all, Captain America becomes the most heroic of the lot and boy! they nailed his action sequences in the climax. Chris Hemsworth plays a version of Thor that we haven’t seen till date. Some will love it, some will hate it but everyone will have some reaction or the other for it. I loved it. I had loved a similar rendering of the character in a Neil Gaiman comics and this felt just about a perfect transition of that character from the comics to the screen. Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner have their characters fleshed out a lot more this time and they make a thundering impact through their respective acts. Paul Rudd is wonderful. Josh Brolin is fearsome like he never was before. They went a few notches better with his CGI this time.

It is very easy to tear into a film like this from a logical point of view. However, that would be just wrong. This is a film about costumed superheroes taking on an intergalactic villain. What could that have to do with logic anyways? Thus shunning all the nitpicks, I decided to concentrate on the characters and feel of the tale and it was mighty rewarding. There were moments of heroism when I felt like standing up and shouting away. There were tender moments that got me teary-eyed and at the end of it all, I was satisfied beyond anything I had ever hoped for.

I don’t think we could have asked for anything more from a film of this nature. Avengers: Endgame is the most satisfying and monumental achievement in comic book storytelling ever achieved. Just to think of the magnitude of the undertaking that the Russo Brothers have accomplished here makes my head spin. The kind of coherence they bring to the tale irrespective of all its shortcomings is awe-inspiring. I will be watching this film a lot many times more and it should be on your priority list of things to do this week if you are a movie buff. This is the most fun I have had at movies in a long time.

Feedback: aambar03@gmail.com

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