Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame Click play above to listen to the review. PG-13 | 3h 1min Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo by Jason Koenigsberg […]
Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame
Click play above to listen to the review.
by Jason Koenigsberg
Anyone who follows my reviews on Pan and Slam knows that I am not the biggest fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sure they have some hit films I enjoy like the recent Captain Marvel and I consider the first Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (both released in 2014) to be bonafide great movies. However, I have never been a huge fan of the Avengers team up movies. With Endgame, the fifth and allegedly final Avengers movies of the MCU, it is still just more of the same. The fans will get what they want and walk out happy. Those viewers like myself that desire more from a blockbuster will sadly walk out underwhelmed as usual from the previous Avengers films. Even with a run time of three hours it just packs in more cliches and staples of the Marvel formula, very little different and new. On the plus side Avengers: Endgame does not feel overlong as it moves at a brisk pace.
The opening shot is the point of an arrow, we see the arrow being pulled back and then released. We see that it is Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) teaching his daughter how to shoot and she hits a bullseye. Hawkeye is spending time with his family at a picnic. Then his family disappears and that is the explanation as to why his character was mysteriously absent from last years Infinity War. The first few scenes catch us up with the heroes that are still alive and survived “the snap” from Thanos last year which saw half of all living beings in the universe die by turning into dust and evaporating. Robert Downey Jr. continues trying to add depth and humanity to his Tony Stark/Iron Man character and is more successful this time around. His early scenes his character is lost in space and he looks physically emaciated. His weight loss and emotional moments involving loved ones are some of the best scenes in Avengers: Endgame.
This movie is a missed chance at making the action relevant to our current society. Moments, such as where they talk about Thanos (Josh Brolin) and how he “did exactly what he said he wanted to do” could have been a moment to parallel him to some of the real-life evil leaders in the world. They also talk about how evil and death are an inevitable part of being alive. Instead of making Avengers: Endgame a smart commentary or satire, they ignore politics and just go straight for the grand scale CGI violence. They assume that audiences are not interested in having their real-world problems invade their entertainment and maybe they are right. What shame that in a time where there is so much turmoil in the world, our greatest artists are choosing to ignore social issues and insert them into modern works of art so that audiences do not have to think or get upset.
Instead, Avengers: Endgame delivers exactly what viewers would expect. It gave me exactly what I thought I was going to see with zero surprises, as predictable as any Marvel movie to date, but obviously, this is what the masses want. It contains the typical lame humor that has become synonymous with the MCU, but here more than usual it hurts the film taking away from the gravity of these characters that basically survived the apocalypse. Avengers: Endgame also features the same copious amounts of PG-13 bloodless violence. A lot of mind-numbing and unjustifiable violence without consequences. To me this is irresponsible but that is the nature of the movie blockbuster in 2019. Maybe I just need to get with the times.
For everyone worried about spoilers, I do not get what the big deal is. Not just because the film is as predictable as the sun rising, but the story is very straight forward. The plot once it finally gets going involves the remaining Avengers (all the ones you have seen the trailers and TV spots for Endgame) teaming up to go back in time to steal all of the Infinity stones before Thanos gets the stones and uses them to kill trillions of lives. That is it. What that actually entails though are the characters going back into recent history to insert themselves into scenes from previous movies to steal the stones. A safe excuse to run down memory lane in the eleven-year-old MCU. I stated that Avengers: Infinity War felt more like an All-Star game than an actual movie, Avengers: Endgame is like a greatest hits album by your favorite artist, or more like a live album where you can relive a lot of the same songs you know but since it is recorded live they sound a little different. Endgame adds a few adjustments but overall they are literally giving you what you have seen before. I guess it comes down to the fact that I do not like movies that make me feel like they are something else whether it is an All-Star game, a live album, or a greatest hits compilation. I like movies that are original and feel like they need to tell a story with characters that I can relate to, not a soulless million dollar production meant to sell tickets and merchandise. Those that want to see Avengers: Endgame are going to and they are most likely going to enjoy it. I just wish I was capable of turning off my brain to enjoy the mindlessness.
Like whenever I hear The Return of I think The Jedi and not The King, well whenever I hear Endgame I will always think of Highlander: Endgame and not Avengers: Endgame. There can be only one… or four, or whatever. I like the Highlander movies.