27th Apr2019

‘Avengers: Endgame’ Review – Second Opinion

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Brie Larson, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Karen Gillan, Josh Brolin, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo | Written by Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely | Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

After the devastating events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe, in the grand conclusion to twenty-two films, Avengers: Endgame.

avengers-endgame-poster

It’s fitting that I’m reviewing Avengers: Endgame, the culmination of Marvel’s epic 22-film “Infinity Saga” for Nerdly. That original cinematic journey for Marvel is coming to a close and with it comes an extra air of poignancy for me personally… After all my writing career started alongside the MCU as we know it today.

I’d always loved movies of course, I used to rent films like they were going out of style as a teenager. But what I do now, running this site, employing writers, etc., was born when I put pen to paper – well more like finger to keyboard – to review the very first Iron Man movie back in 2008. Back then the site was hosted on a ridiculously long URL (think a whole bunch of numbers rather than a name) that was given to me by my ISP as part of the free 16Mb of webspace you got with your broadband contract. I’d started the blog as something fun to do as an aside to my day job as a designer: sharing memes, showing off stuff I’d bought (I was also passionate about product photography) and telling folks about what comics I’d read and would recommended… Pretty much the same sort of thing I do on social media nowadays.

But it was Marvel’s first outing for Iron Man that pushed me to share my thoughts in a full review. More reviews of more films followed and soon after Blogomatic3000 was born – fully formed on its own webspace this time – leading us to today, with B3K (as it was affectionately named) now re-monickered as Nerdly. But if it wasn’t for Iron Man I would never have actually tried to review a movie. I was so, SO, excited about seeing the hero I’d read in a myriad of comics come to the big screen that I felt physically compelled and very excited to write something about it.

Without Iron Man I would never have got a gig reviewing films and TV for Screenjabber, I would never have gone to my first Frightfest (this year will be my TENTH year there, another personal milestone for me) and covered it for Bloody Disgusting, or penned various pieces for the now defunct MSN Movies and The Horror Show amongst others. In fact without Iron Man you wouldn’t be reading this… Hmmm, maybe Iron Man isn’t the film to thank, maybe it’s actually to blame for EVERYTHING?!?! I joke of course. It was Iron Man that set me off on a journey that has literally, and I do mean literally, affected the last ten years of my life -since that day I’ve moved houses, moved counties, spent a small fortune and even quit day jobs in the pursuit of reviewing movies!

All of which is a VERY long-winded way of saying Avengers: Endgame, and the MCU as a whole, means a LOT to me. Which is why I got so defensive about Guardians of the Galaxy back in 2014, its also why I’ve seen 90% of Marvel’s movies at midnight on day of release, suffering the next day at work usually! So what did I think about Avengers: Endgame?

In a word… Stunning.

Yes, I’m a Marvel fanboy but that doesn’t stop me being critical of Marvel Studios’ output. Some of the films, whilst fun, don’t stand up to rewatching (the second Thor film and even Civil War IMHO). Some – like Captain America: Winter Soldier – I can watch over and over and over. And you can count Infinity War as one of those films you can relive and rewatch time and time again, thanks mainly in part to an action-packed yet still somewhat emotional storyline and a cast at the top of their game.

Well I thought the cast in Avengers: Infinity War were at the top of their game! But that rhetoric should have been saved for this film. Those original Avengers, the ones we saw in that sweeping panorama in the first Avengers film, that cast have really upped their game, bringing all their 20+ film experience to play in a film that runs the gamut of emotions…. Oh, the emotions! Avengers: Endgame is a rollercoaster of emotions – from the highest highs to the lowest lows and everything in between. And as a grown man I’m not afraid to say there was a tear in my eye on more than one occassion; and not for the reasons you might think. In fact there were times I was brought to near-tears in sheer man-child expression of happiness, not sadness.

Yes this film does have times of sadness, however for all the pathos of the film, Endgame is also filled with lots of laughs. Thor: Ragnarok levels of laughs. You might even say “belly” laughs! It’s also filled with some incredible fan-service – there are nods to all, literally all, that has come before it; in an almost “farewell” fashion (even though this ISN’T the last MCU film ever it sure feels like it could be given all the homages to films past) – and incredible action. In fact there’s a point in the film where the action reaches a [brief] lull then its hits a HUGE crescendo that had me cheering (internally mind you, I was in a packed cinema and didn’t want to annoy fellow cinemagoers) like a kid at Christmas.

Avengers: Endgame is certainly one film where you can say all the hyper and hyperbole are TRUE. All of it. This is the film of the year, this is the best Marvel Studios film EVER – even surpassing my personal, and long-standing, favourite Captain America: Winter Soldier. I fear that this might be the be-all and end-all of the MCU as we know it and worry that Marvel may never reach the same dizzying heights of this film (and franchise) ever again. If they don’t then we still have over a decade of films to re-live, re-watch and enjoy; if they do… well I’m prepared to loose my sh*t all over again in another 10 years at the end of phase 6!

Avengers: Endgame is in cinemas now.

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One Response to “‘Avengers: Endgame’ Review – Second Opinion”

  • Autumn Black

    *Spoilers* How was Thanos so powerful without the Power Stone in this movie and in IW, WITH the gauntlet he was just as strong!!? How could he take a beating from Thor, Cap and Captain Marvel and still be kicking ass if he doesn’t have any of the stones when he’s fighting them? He’s not THAT powerful without the power stone. [EDITED FOR HUGE SPOILERS!] I really liked the movie but some stuff was just unforgivable IMHO.