The final part of this phase of the MCU staring Robert Downey Jr (Sherlock Holmes), Chris Evans (Life), Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight), Scarlett Johansson (Ghost in the Shell) and Chris Hemsworth (Rush).
Hands up, I am not the target market for this series. I am from the Star Wars and Batman/Superman generation and was not a comic book fan. I have, on the whole, enjoyed the MCU movies but never felt they achieved a great movie (although many critics disagree). Black Panther and the original Avengers is probably the closest they got.
I did enjoy Infinity War and was intrigued as to how they would close the series. Now, this is a tricky review to do without spoilers but I shall do my best.
The film works on a three-act structure. Opening on a very sombre tone, it sets up the aftermath of the “snap”. This was, for me, the best part of the movie. There were consequences for the characters and although the pace is slow it was the most involving act. There were sad moments and funny moments (catching up with Hulk and Thor) with the highlight being the handling of Tony Starks failure. There are calls for Robert Downey Jr to get an Oscar nod for his performance. This might be pushing things a bit but he certainly is the star of the movie.
Act two focuses on the Avengers plan to fight back (again difficult to talk about without spoilers). This is where I started to have problems with the story. As with all MCU movies, it asks you to just go with it and not think too much about the reality of the tech or the powers. However, I thought the choice they made was too much of a cheat. The second act then takes a turn towards fan service and becomes an MCU greatest hits album. Fans will love it but I started to lose interest. Its saving grace is its humour but, once I realised the direction they were going, it became almost completely predictable.
Act three is the usual large showdown. Again, fans will love this (especially a moment for Captain America) but I am becoming tired of these mass CGI battles that have no real feeling of jeopardy. Having said all this, I must take my hat off to the ending. I thought the resolution of Iron Man and Captain America’s storylines was superbly handled.
Overall, Endgame provides a satisfying conclusion for fans and most viewers will be able to let go of their minds and enjoy it. After twenty odd films, it was just a bit too much of the same for me. I couldn’t ignore some of the plot holes and since the Dark Knight Trilogy brought the possibility of a truly great superhero saga, I find it hard to accept a series of this scale settling for being ok. As I said, many will disagree with me!
Should I go and see it? – Yes especially if you are invested in the MCU universe and the comics. Hardcore fans will shed a tear or two and this is the “Star Wars” for this generation. Not as good as the hype in my opinion but certainly fun. (Bet your house on this being film of the year for Empire magazine)
Rating – 7.5/10