'Avengers: Endgame' (2019) Movie Review

Updated on November 4, 2019
John Plocar profile image

I've had to save the world plenty of times, these guys could learn a thing or two from me... let me dream.

Boo! Zero Stars!!

Just kidding, I thought that I’d give some fellow nerds a brief heart attack. Good start? I like to think so.

In All Seriousness…

What are you reading this for? Why aren’t you out at the theater watching Avengers: Endgame for the tenth time? The rest of the world seems to be doing that right now, what’s wrong with you? Or did the theater owner kick you out to help ease yourself out of this addiction you’re struggling with? Damn Marvel junkie.

Alright, I’m Done Being An Ass.

Now this time, in all seriousness, this may be the absolute most pointless review I will ever write in my life. Quite literally, everyone has probably already seen Endgame multiple times over and it hasn’t even been out a full week yet. I debated internally on whether or not to bother writing a review at all, it’s a very solid flick that is already getting more than enough attention. Then I thought about it a little more, realizing that maybe I do have a take on critiquing this movie that no one else really can write. That being my own personal journey getting to where we are now in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as of 2019.

2008

In 2008, I had little to no clue as to who the hell Iron Man/Tony Stark was. A rich guy that fought crime in a costume? I already had Batman, how was Iron Man going to make much of an impression on me? Through the power of Robert Downey Jr., that’s how! When the first Iron Man film came out, I was 16 years old and was pretty skeptical going into it, then coming out of it my family and I basically found the movie that we’d watch together on a weekly basis for a very long time. We had a genuine blast watching Jon Favreau’s Iron Man again and again when it made it to home video. Any time it popped up on TV, there was no need to continue channel surfing. Any time we were bored and didn’t have much else going on, we threw that sucker right into the DVD player. Hell, we’d go to sleep watching that movie almost on a nightly basis, simply because it was that enjoyable of a movie for us. We loved it and couldn’t get enough of it. At this point, I’m honestly not entirely sure if that DVD works anymore. We must have worn that thing out at this point.

Downey is incredible in the charismatically sarcastic role of Tony Stark, a role that was practically made for him. The action was exciting and looked spectacular, we hadn’t seen special effects put on such a enormous scale in quite some time and it was unbelievable for us to witness. The cherry on top was always the RoboCop reference. I loved that. I love that movie and to this day it still holds a soft spot in my heart. However, as spectacular Iron Man was, I had no idea it would escalate to become something even bigger.

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2010 – 2019

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I know, released in 2008. Whatever.
I know, released in 2008. Whatever.
I know, released in 2008. Whatever.

I’ve seen this cinematic universe grow from a single fun superhero movie to a total juggernaut amongst the globe. It’s rather astonishing thinking back to when I thought that there was no way Marvel was ever going to get this shared universe pieced together. There’s no way that we will ever see these dominating hero personalities work off each other in a single movie. There’s no way to make a guy running around in a star spangled banner costume not laughable. There’s no way that they’ll be able to make a movie with a talking raccoon and a tree man actually good. There’s no way Ant-Man could ever hit it off with general audiences. There’s no way this big purple dude is going to live up to all this build-up and hype around him after several movies of teasing. There’s no way there’s ever going to be a Black Widow movie… okay that last one presently still holds up to be true. Pretty much every time I have uttered the claim, “there’s no way”, Marvel has found a way to shove it back in my face. Color me wildly impressed, especially with their movie track record holding far more hits than misses as well. Sure, there have been a few films in the Marvel line-up that I haven’t much cared for. In all honesty, there hasn’t been a single MCU flick that I’d ever consider being a truly bad film though. There are the occasional letdowns, but the worst quality that an MCU movie has ever reached for me was simply just ‘okay’. Not terrible, just ‘okay’ with usually enough entertainment value to always carry me through somehow. The rest of the world may disagree with me on that, but I’m rather convinced that a lot of those people have never seen an real bad film such as Nukie, The Trump Prophecy, or any Dinesh D’Souza documentary either.

Truly this was the 'Avengers: Endgame' before 'Avengers: Endgame'...
Truly this was the 'Avengers: Endgame' before 'Avengers: Endgame'...

Endgame

So here it is… eleven years in the making has all led up to this, in my opinion, it did not disappoint. In case you are wondering, there will probably not be any spoilers in this review. At least I’m not planning to spoil anything at this time, if that changes though I promise to put up a warning prior to said spoiler.

Avengers: Endgame may possibly be the most epic superhero movie that I have personally ever experienced. The action sequences in this, particularly the final battle, is the definition of ‘epic’. It’s big, it’s bold, and it is a full three hour rollercoaster ride of fun. In terms of the story, sadly since the actual plot of this movie seems to have been hidden in all of the marketing and really doesn’t reveal itself until well into the actual movie, I also feel obligated to withhold that information. All I will say for what the film is about is that the Avengers have to deal with the aftermath of what Thanos did at the end of Infinity War. I wish I could go more into detail, but since the advertising refused to share that info then I guess I will to.

Structure

To touch a little bit on the structure of the film; there are certain story beats that one would expect to happen going into Endgame, and they would be right, but how and when they happen will catch the viewers off guard. The Avengers themselves don’t mess around when trying to resolve their issue right off the bat, it was rather refreshing to see how the first act had the Avengers trying to get things done. Making for a somewhat unpredictable narrative, especially when it does throw in some twists and turns that I genuinely was not expecting.

Even though Endgame is three hours long, that is not an exaggeration as it is literally three hours long, it strangely enough breezed by. I didn’t leave my seat once and never felt a single pain in my ass while my eyes were glued to the screen. The pacing of the movie keeps up the momentum to ensure that there is at least something interesting or funny or suspenseful or emotionally driven going on within every scene. It justifies every minute of screen time that it has, which is difficult for some flicks that are only an hour and a half long, let alone twice that length. That is no easy feat, but Endgame accomplishes it pretty well and it feels like the film earns that length. This is the epidemy of everything this series of films have built up to over a decade now, a film like this required the length to give a truly satisfying conclusion to the story.

I have to emphasize though that this is not a movie for a casual viewer to blindly walk into. Honestly if someone has only seen like two or three of the MCU flicks, they are going to be lost here. This is a movie that significantly relies on the audience having full knowledge of where these characters have been and all that they’ve gone through in order to understand as to who, what, and why certain things happen in Endgame. So I strongly urge anyone who isn’t all that familiar with this franchise to not go blindly into Avengers: Endgame. Seriously, you will need to do your homework before going into a movie like this. Not to say that makes Endgame bad to not be more easily accessible to the casual viewer, it just simply is the type of film that has a lot going on in it and it would simply be ridiculous to add another hour explaining the twenty other movies that came prior for the select few that haven’t seen them.

The Characters

Avengers: Infinity War was sort of an ensemble film with a major emphasis on the character of Thanos. Avengers: Endgame is much more of a pure ensemble with everyone getting about the same amount of screen time dedication. Because of that we get what feels like an evenly balanced film that provides enough focus on our cast to receive the arcs and dignified conclusions that they deserve. When I say conclusions, I don’t necessarily mean death, so don’t start thinking that I mean everyone is going to die… with that said… characters die. Going into this film you should expect there to be some casualties, that’s just common sense. I won’t say who bites the dust… I didn’t mean to put a pun there, but I’m leaving it in. However, I will say that there are a couple of scenes that really got to me emotionally. Seeing all of these characters grow over the years, I slowly fell in love with all of their personalities and it’s difficult not to feel something when some of which meet their end. In the theater, it was kind of amazing to be there as the collective sobbing and sniffling to specific events that occur was practically in surround sound for me. Children and adults alike. That is how powerfully these characters have seemed to impact our society, crying in unison when a comic book character meets their fate. And it is sad, it’s very sad. It is also earned when things like that happen and it never feels like a cheap move to manipulate the audience. It feels sincere.

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How all of these characters are emotionally dealing with the events of Infinity War feels personal and investing to watch. I loved how Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) is effected by “the snap” from the previous movie and he goes out seeking his own vengeance. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and the revelations that he has after Infinity War were extremely relatable and had me really curious to see how he would handle certain situations. Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) character arc was a bit on the sillier side, at the same time I still had a good time watching him, so I didn’t have any real problem there. Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) I believe had one of the more bittersweet scenes to occur with his character and it really worked for me, in a lesser film I would have possibly called ‘foul’, here it seemingly works. Everyone really has a beautiful moment or more to shine in Endgame, it payed a lot of attention to our heroes this time around to ensure that everything was done as respectfully as possible.

The only characters I was honestly somewhat underwhelmed by were that of Thanos (Josh Brolin) and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). Which was a little surprising to me seeing how I thought Thanos was one of the best villains that the MCU had brought to the table in a good long while with Infinity War and last month I had an incredibly good time with Captain Marvel and absolutely adored the title character. This time around they both have very little screen time and don’t have much going for them. I never disliked their characters, but they were easily the least interesting parts of the entire movie. Which is sort of disappointing since I really wanted more out of Thanos since he was such a well-developed and intriguing personality to witness before, while Captain Marvel was a likable badass chick with cool powers. Sadly, I got little to nothing from them here. Thanos at least has a couple of decent lines and scenes sprinkled occasionally, not so much Captain Marvel. She’s practically barely even in this quite frankly. If there are any substantial criticisms I have with Endgame, it’s that these two characters should have been given much more development here.

The Effects

I would say that the majority of Marvel’s CGI work since 2008 has always been relatively solid since the very beginning, Endgame certainly holds up in that department in providing some glorious comic book visuals. Every action set piece and visual effect is convincing and a blast to watch the explosively bombastic chaos ensue towards the third act. If memory serves me right, I can’t recall any specific moment that stood out as a bad special effect, although it was a three hour sit with probably 85% of which being digitally finger printed somewhere. As you can imagine, that’s a lot to process, but I’m doing my best here. For the most part, it is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and delivers on all the thrills and excitement that one could ever hope for in a film like this!

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Of Course I Recommend It

Was that really a question at this point in the review? Of course I recommend Avengers: Endgame. It’s a damn good movie and possibly one of the biggest major event theater experiences that any of us may ever witness for a comic book flick. The story and pacing holds the viewer’s attention with ease, most of the characters have fantastic writing to supply plenty of laughs and a few tears as well, the action has tremendous big screen spectacle written all over it, Endgame is simply a fantastically fun popcorn flick. Now if I were to analytically break this film down with a magnifying glass to inspect every single nook and cranny, would I find more flaws within its story or what have you? Definitely. If one were to think about certain things too much, they could find endless amounts of plot holes and details that don’t quite add up. Especially with a film that deals with the specific genre it is placing itself in. That stuff doesn’t bug me if I’m having a good time with the movie. A personal gripe I may have though is that Endgame has a slight issue with tone. Sometimes it flows perfectly fine, then other times it becomes rather flimsy attempting to bebop back and forth between being comical and being serious. That, in all honesty, was fairly minor and mainly remained consistent. For myself, as long as something doesn’t take me out of my enjoyment and I am being entertained by the movie, I’m not going to nitpick it. In this case, there’s no need for nitpicking. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Also to anyone who may be wondering as to if I’m familiar with the actual comic books that this is based off of. I’m not. So if this is a faithful adaptation of its source material or not, I haven’t a clue. I apologize, that’s not under my jurisdiction. I’m a film guy, I don’t know all that much about the comics. My bad, I guess. I solely base my opinions on the film itself, not so much what material it may be based on. Although one should never like or dislike a film only because of how faithful of an adaptation it is to a comic book, novel, etc.

What is your favorite of the MCU?

So what is your favorite film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

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That’s All Folks!

Do you have any idea the hell I went through to avoid every shred of information being plastered all over the internet for the last five or six days before I was finally able to see Avengers: Endgame?! I deserve a God damn medal for how much effort that took me… but what do you think? Did you like my review? Agree or disagree? Wish that Ant-Man could shrink down in size, crawl up my ass, then enlarge himself to the size of a skyscraper and obliterate me? Comment down below and let me know! And if you so happened to enjoy my article, please do me a favor by sharing this around the social media world. Thank you all so much for reading, have yourselves a super day!

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    © 2019 John Plocar

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