2019 Film Reviews - 26: Avengers: Endgame [dir. Anthony Russo & Joe Russo; 2019]
Although I’m someone who loves the idea of superhero movies in principle - mainly for the fantastical, imagination-expanding potential they offer - I know full well that a product as overhyped, over-marketed and overblown as Avengers: Endgame is ripe for being reduced to a ridiculous pulp. But that attitude would ignore the film’s achievements, of which there are more than one might have expected. So in the spirit of accentuating the positives - and because no amount of poo-pooing is going to stop anyone from seeing this behemoth - here are what I consider to be some of the highlights of this 3-hour long account of our heroes’ response to arch-villain Thanos’ killing of literally half of all life on Earth: the writers’ dexterous juggling of complex (and probably hole-filled, but does anyone care?) plotlines; the brave decision not to cram proceedings with every single available character just for the sake of giving them something to do; the geek-tastic re-writing of the received wisdom around the rules of time-travel stories; Karen Gillan’s nuanced performance as Nebula; the surprisingly slow-burn of the pace at the start; most of the special effects (I still find it difficult to suspend all disbelief when it comes to wholly CG characters); the realisation that Chris Evans should one day play the lead role in a Ronald Reagan biopic; and the best shirtless Thor scene yet. Personally, I still prefer delving into the angsty, melodramatic world of the X-Men characters, but I cannot deny that Endgame’s scale, bravura and relentlessness - not to mention its savvy blend of the aesthetics of Star Wars and Lord Of The Rings - will doubtless make it one of the most successful films of all time.