There has never been a film quite like “Avengers: Endgame,” and I doubt we’ll see another one like it for at least a decade.
The greatest comic book movies, including, but not limited to, “The Dark Knight,” “Logan” and “Black Panther,” skillfully borrow from decades worth of superhero lore in order to create an original, exciting story with a familiar character. “Endgame” does that, too. However, unlike any comic book film that’s come before, the film has a monumental cinematic history behind it.
There have been 21 Marvel movies released across the last 10 years, all leading up to this. A decade of cultural hysteria is converging on this one film, and the result is everything I could have hoped for as a Marvel fan, and then some.
The action sequences alone are enough to justify buying a ticket. This is the most beautiful, detailed, wholly epic use of CGI in any Marvel movie, ever. There are a number of visually stunning scenes where heroes, aliens, spaceships and crazy special effects are all packed together on-screen at once, and almost all of it is computer-generated. Add on some impressive fight choreography and ridiculous star power of the ensemble cast, and you’ve got yourself some mind-blowing blockbuster action. The final showdown is definitely of the greatest battle scenes ever put to film.
The film is loaded from front to back with crowd-pleasing moments sure to make long-time Marvel fans cheer, laugh and erupt into wild applause. The tendency of “Endgame” toward servicing fans with abundant callbacks to previous Marvel films is not a criticism. It’s quite the opposite. There’s a particularly long shot toward the end of the movie that completely emotionally destroyed the audience in my theatre, myself included. I don’t just mean watery eyes — I’m talking full-blown tears. I’ve never had a superhero film do that to me before.
“Endgame” is a reflection upon the entirety of Marvel’s cinematic history up until this point. The film looks back at earlier Marvel movies with significant nostalgia. It’s a stroll — or rather, a wild rollercoaster ride — down memory lane. “Endgame” never, not for one moment, forgets that it doesn’t exist in a vacuum.
The final moments are both heartbreaking and joyous. Most importantly, however, they are reassuring. If you are entering “Endgame” afraid that once it’s finished, Marvel will have run out of material, let me calm your fears. Marvel can go anywhere and everywhere with their cinematic universe, and the direction they seem to be hinting at by the end of the film is perfectly satisfying to me.
I generally like to avoid using the terms “greatest” or “best” to describe a film, but it simply cannot be helped here. “Avengers: Endgame” is one of the most extraordinary comic book movies to ever grace the big screen.