Avengers: Endgame (PG13)
Starring Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth
Directed by Anthony & Joe Russo
Full disclosure: I can’t make myself review Avengers: Endgame. Does this movie even need to be reviewed? Anyway, I’ll keep this snappy and, hopefully, spoiler-free. Who do you think I am, friggin’ Hydra? (Then again, it’s hard to tell what counts as a spoiler these days. People are sooo sensitive.)
Just know this: the surviving Avengers — including pioneer members Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) — and their allies (Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man and Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel) plot to undo the damage intergalactic despot Thanos (Josh Brolin) did with his Infinity stones-fuelled, population-culling snap in the previous movie.
To do that, the gang is going to attempt time-travel. And if you’re familiar with time-travel movies (a bunch of them get mentioned, with Back to the Future Part II being a key reference), the science behind the plan is complicated and confusing, and that means repeat viewing is a prerequisite. 'Cos there are bound to be questions about it.
But the three-hour movie moves so briskly that you don’t stop to think of the plot holes or ramifications of disrupting the space-time continuum. (Besides, because it's also the last hurrah for some of the characters, I'll let those gripes slide) The vagueness is probably by design: to welcome ‘new’ players — like the X-Men and Fantastic Four — into the Marvel Cinematic Universe further down the road?
Think of the MCU movies as a long-running TV show (they are, in a way, part of a serialised and interlinked narrative that spans 22 features over 11 years), and Endgame is that special 100th episode where the characters reminiscence their favourite moments from the show. And when that special episode happens to be its last (believe the hype — there will be casualties), it’s even more poignant.
As finales go, Endgame is an epic and emotional rollercoaster ride, filled with lots of hilarious and moving callbacks to the earlier instalments, crowd-pleasing revelations, and tears-inducing shocks. If Infinity War is the MCU’s The Empire Strikes Back, then Endgame is its The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King — a bittersweet but satisfying conclusion to a saga.
What else can you obsess over next? Game of Thrones, of course. I hear that this coming Monday's episode is a, er, game-changer. But that’s another story for another time as I need some time to get over the ending in Endgame. (****1/2)
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