Film Review: ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Variety | 4/22/2019 | Peter Debruge
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SPOILER ALERT: The following review contains mild spoilers for “Avengers: Endgame.”

The culmination of 10 years and more than twice as many movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Avengers: Endgame” promises closure where its predecessor, “Avengers: Infinity War,” sowed chaos. That film — which revealed that the cookie-cutter uniformity of all those MCU movies had been part of an unprecedented master plan — infamously wrapped with a snap: a gesture that, when performed by a supervillain armed with the six Infinity Stones, was capable of wiping out half of all life in the universe.

Audiences - Year - Loss - Spider-Man - Star-Lord

Audiences have had a year to mourn the loss of Spider-Man, Star-Lord, and Black Panther (whom they’d only just met two months earlier), and to nurture theories as to where directing siblings Anthony and Joe Russo might steer things from here. Maybe all those characters weren’t really dead. Maybe the remaining Avengers just needed to travel inside the Soul Stone to get them back. Or maybe “Avengers: Endgame” would have to resort to that most desperate of narrative cheats — time travel — to undo the damage caused by Thanos (the purple-skinned, multi-chinned baddie so compellingly performed by Josh Brolin).

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Film - Review - 'Avengers - Endgame

Film Review: 'Avengers: Endgame'

The element of surprise and the thrill of discovery are everything in these movies, so every attempt has been made to minimize spoilers. Yes, “Avengers: Endgame” is the most expansive film yet, and yes, it strives to provide emotional catharsis for several of fans’ favorite characters. It’s even safe to say that “Endgame” shifts the focus from extravagant, effects-driven displays of universe-saving — manifold though they remain — to the more human cost of heroism, which comes at great personal sacrifice.

Readers - Avengers - Endgame - Hinges

That said, readers should also be warned that “Avengers: Endgame” hinges on the most frustrating of...
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