REVIEW: 'Avengers: Endgame' Fills Three-Hour Runtime with Epic Action and Tremendous Heart

Endgame definitively closes a few chapters in the Avengers saga, in supremely satisfying fashion

Warning: This review contains very minor spoilers highlighting the broad strokes and highlights of Avengers: Endgame

Is this the last of the Avengers movies as we know them? Avengers: Endgame seems to seems to indicate as much, setting the table (in surprising and satisfying fashion) for a very different cinematic future for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

The last time audiences saw the Avengers assembled was in 2018’s blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War, which ended on a heckuva cliffhanger — evil super-villain Thanos (Josh Brolin) managed to gather all six infinity stones, snapped his fingers (while wearing the all-powerful, world-ending Infinity Gauntlet) and seemingly turned half the world’s population into dust — including a few key superheroes.

The end of Avengers: Infinity War saw fan-loved characters like: Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) — not to mention a traumatic ending for Zoe Saldana’s Gamora — turn to dust and drift away in pieces.

Avengers: Endgame
Marvel Studios

Endgame opens right where Infinity War left off, with a couple of reminder scenes showing where certain characters who did not turn to dust ended up, like Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd).

Barton loses his entire family, while Ant-Man is stuck suspended in the quantum realm. What’s left of the Avengers — Tony Stark/Iron Man, (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Natasha/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Panther‘s Okoye (Danai Gurira), Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Bruce Banner/the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) — and the remainder of the world’s population are suffering greatly from the shocking losses at Thanos’ hand. Now what? How do they right Thanos’ wrongs?

Avengers: Endgame
Avengers: Endgame. Marvel Studios

The answer — an expertly-executed, love letter to Marvel and its famous characters — is not what most moviegoers will expect. A new hero mission is devised, one that takes time (roughly 180 minutes of runtime, to be specific). The overarching goal in broad strokes, to avoid giving too much away, is to save the universe from Thanos’s evil once and for all. And although it involves super powers, space travel, and curious manipulations of time itself, things play out in surprising and thrilling fashion.

Endgame‘s three-hour run time is chock full of story. Of course this film features incredible action, but its greatest strength is its heart and a very powerful emotional payoff. This film is different from all those that have come before it in that it’s almost like a long goodbye. All major and minor characters get moments to shine — specifically the original six Avengers: Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor and Hawkeye.

Marvel fans who’ve been following these characters throughout all 21 films before this one will enjoy the carefully-crafted callbacks and countless easter eggs from previous films. Watching favorite Marvel superhero characters interact in new, different and moving ways does not disappoint. Several of the film’s greatest scenes are laugh out loud funny (Hemsworth’s Thor stealing much of the thunder here, pun intended), along with a few that will bring tears to some eyes. This movie is a must-see for die-hard fans, and really a must-see-as-soon-as-possible to experience all the special surprises spoiler-free.

Endgame definitively closes a few chapters in the Avengers saga in highly satisfying fashion. It is a tremendously entertaining intergalactic trip.

Avengers: Endgame opens in theaters April 26.

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