22 movies have brought us to this point. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become one of the greatest cinematic achievements in US history. That sounds bold, especially when you consider all the history our country has experienced. When you look deeper; it’s true. For almost 100 years moving pictures have fascinated audiences. How we incorporate technology, applied it to storytelling and moved from moving pictures, to talkies, to technicolor, to Tv, VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, Imax, 3d. Every generation brings about a shift in both technology and culture that help elevate the way creators can craft and tell a story.
Parallel to the advancements in motion picture filmmaking comic books have equally evolved. From the comic strip in the Sunday morning paper to stand alone issues, and cross over events, and graphic novels and so on; the American public and readers around the world have fallen in love with a medium that lends itself to tell the tales of extraordinary individuals in super incredible circumstances. The challenge is how to distinguish one property from another. The DC’s and Marvels and all the smaller brands compete for weekly readership and when time passed viewership of a quickening embraced medium that gave the ability to enhance our heroes and villains stories in ways enabled by our technological advancements.
The Marvel brand was down on its luck, cut and re-cut, sold and re-sold multiple times and its intellectual properties sold for pennies on the dollar and owned by varying companies doing nothing to honor the source material in a proper way. Disney; smartly, patiently recruited a team and found a comic book nerd and hardworking producer who’s had his hand in dozens of Marvel off shoot projects with different studios and strategized a game plan to marry the tech and our culture to create a dynamic, burgeoning staple to the zeitgeist that has exceeded expectations and is now firmly apart of the DNA of hundreds of millions of watchers all around the world.
The goal was to follow that idea Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) proposed. “There was an idea,” “Called the Avengers Initiative.” “The idea was to bring together a group of remarkable people, see if they could become something more. See if they could work together when we needed them to fight the battles we never could.” The remarkable individuals Kevin Feige and the other creatives at Marvel Studios were looking for were the mystery. Robert Downey Jr and Jon Favreau were the answer. 2008’s” Iron Man” produced by Marvel and Paramount was risky. It was a risk that paid off and had Disney racing to the table to fully acquire Marvel Entertainment and weave together a never before seen inter-connected shared universe of films that culminated with the assembly of our Avengers team in Marvel’s “The Avengers” in 2012.
Ironman, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) are led on a mission to avenge a fallen comrade and protect the world from a hostile alien threat. Uniquely, audiences were able to spend more than a decade investing their time and money into these characters. This team is as much apart of the fabric of society as the individuals who lead our very own country in Washington.
Getting to this point is all that mattered. Id describe “The Avengers” as the team’s first day on the job and getting to learn about one another. The sequel to follow in 2015, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” deepens our connection to these heroes and between each other and how, who and what they are beginning to challenge opposing forces around the world and the right way to protect it.
A pseudo team up film that concludes Captain America’s trilogy of films “Captain America: Civil War” is the trials our heroes endure amongst themselves when allegiances shift, politics and ideals are tested, and secrets divulged. Behind the scenes unbeknownst to them all a looming threat has been maneuvering many of the incidents they have encountered together and apart to literally rewrite the future of the universe.
“Avengers: Infinity War” somewhat reunites our team to stop this mad titan from erasing half of existence. You see, if Civil War was a fight against each other than Infinity War was a fight for each other.
Unfortunately, we lose.
“Avengers: Endgame” opens with that lost. Moments after Thanos (Josh Brolin) defeats the Avengers across multiple planets and snaps away half of the living creatures throughout the universe we peek in on our core surviving members devastated by their defeat. Tony Stark (Ironman) sends a final message to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) as the likelihood of he and Nebula (Karen Gillan) making it back to Earth dwindles. Meanwhile Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, and the Hulk work to devise a plan to bring back their fallen comrades and undo the loss of trillions throughout the galaxies.
Joe and Anthony Russo have helmed this franchise over several films including the proceeding epic of Infinity War. They are tasked in not only wrapping up the biggest movie of the franchise but ushering the audience through a journey that resolves dozens of character and story arcs while keeping us engaged. These brothers tremendously succeed in all of the above. They operate and navigate this story with much care to what we’ve learned and what to expect. The Russo’s in concert with the returning team of writers in Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely craft together a powerful story that depicts our heroes in the aftermath of the universe having experienced their greatest defeat. It’s amazing to sit and re watch this movie over and over and experience the call backs, the parallels, the filling in gaps from the scenes of your favorite films. They are piecing together a cinematic 1000-piece puzzle right in front of you and when you thought you had a piece it turned out to be a bigger one all along.
Infinity War proved the stakes. Fittingly this film promises to deliver whatever it takes. Not just an attempt at bringing back everyone we’ve lost. But, using that grief and pain and shaping it into something more to not necessarily become the person you’re supposed to be, but the person you want to be.
Our heroes learn stellar life lessons amidst so much sorrow and do so in a way that honors every film that came before this one and enhances it. At 22 movies in, these performers are at their apex and deliver some of their most powerful work in any of their catalog.
The first act is a master class in reservation and subtly. The dialogue fully supports the weight in every scene and enables the actors to be the most human in their lives. Heroes mostly win. And when they don’t is the closest they are to you and me. The Russo’s blend the right amounts of comedy and tragedy to keep up the appeal to many audiences while still being impactful and honest to their characters choices. Endgame is not a perfect film; however, I admire the productions clever approach and employment of a gutsy plot device to aid the Avengers in the films 2nd act and for the most part it works in spades. I can pick nits, and honestly, we could do so in every film in the MCU, but this was done in such a way to pay homage to each character, narratively it works. However, if you go in trying to espouse sound logic this may not work as well for some.
Amazingly this doesn’t detract from my engagement or appreciation for the script in anyway. I’d much rather appreciate the sweeping cinematography and production design. The richness of color and contrast throughout the film is pure art and is evident of how much detail the hundreds of individuals put into making this film what it is.
Alan Silvestri’s music in Endgame is a triumphant underscore to his contribution to these series of films. A truly brilliant accentuation to every scene that built additional character and pathos when needed and will justly deserve every nomination coming his way this awards season.
Avengers Endgame is awesome in every way and very rewatchable.
I’ve seen the movie 3 times myself and while pundits thought the 3+ hour runtime would scare off some, this film fly’s by. No scene is waisted, and all our heroes get a very earned and satisfying exclamation point to their story. The film has broken several records and climbed its way to becoming the all-time domestic opening weekend box office leader, breaking its own record and the fastest film to 1 billion dollars ever.
This movie makes for a great conversation piece and that’s an opportunity for fans and even first timers to celebrate a fitting ending to the greatest Superhero Movie of all time.
There; I said it!
I’m in love with this film and yes, it’s not perfect like I said and its OK.
Come on, we are talking about wizards, aliens, talking raccoons and tress. Once your invested it’s hard not to fully buy in to it all. Like I said earlier; we’ve come this far and whatever your expecting in this movie I’m sure it will be exceeded. I’m still going back to get more answers to additional questions. Most importantly is, how can a film be the best in a franchise and also the BEST in each of the individual mini franchises all at the same time? This is the best Iron Man movie, the best Thor movie, the best Hulk movie and even the best Captain America movie. That was tough to admit as I had “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” as my #1 for years. So how does it do that?
Its simple. This, is How.
Excellent drama, action, comedy, acting, writing and surprises around every corner. Avengers Endgame is the spectacularly climactic finale to The Infinity Saga and a love letter to the MCU and its fans.
I love you 3,000!
KOLBYTOLDME RATING- 9/10
Directors: Joe & Anthony Russo
Writers: Cristopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper Karen Gillan, Brie Larson, Danai Gurira, Josh Brolin, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Evangeline Lilly, Tessa Thompson, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Tilda Swinton, Hayley Atwell, Cobie Smulders and Samuel L Jackson!
Run Time: 182 mins