This review contains no major spoilers for the film.
It’s hard to describe the feeling after watching Avengers: Endgame. It’s essentially the close of a chapter, a chapter that produced 11 years worth of movies belonging the Marvel Cinematic Universe; a universe that has expanded to include a plethora of characters and storylines, so of course, wrapping it all up was already proving to be a tough enough task. But Anthony and Joe Russo manage to do it. Though the film is overly long (three hours, make sure to not drink anything), Avengers: Endgame is the most emotionally satisfying Avengers film to date and an ambitious, yet heartfelt, end to an era.
Having left off with Thanos snapping half of Earth’s population into dust in Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame picks up 22 days after the Decimation. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is still stuck in space while the remaining Avengers–Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Thor (Chris Hemsworth)–with the assist of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) head to space after figuring out Thanos’ location. Without getting into any major details about what happens (and if they even find Thanos), Endgame isn’t so much about the destination as it is about the journey of the characters we’ve loved and rooted for for years. A journey the Russo brothers treat with immense respect and a thoughtfulness that wasn’t as present in Infinity War.
Endgame rests on the shoulders of Tony and Steve Rogers’ often tumultuous friendship. They started off on the wrong foot in 2012’s Avengers and, though they got on the same page and worked together, their conflicts persisted into Avengers: Age of Ultron before coming to a head in Captain America: Civil War. They’ve arguably carried the team forward in various ways, but they’ve never really seen eye to eye on a lot things, and Endgame hinges on whether or not they ultimately trust each other to do the right thing for the world. Suffice it to say the film provides great payoff for both of their characters, their individual storylines, and their rocky friendship.
One of the most exceptional things about Endgame is that none of the character relationships feel forced or tacked on, a problem that has plagued many of the previous films, Infinity War included. Instead, Endgame really leans into the relationships that work organically and have only been strengthened over time, such as Pepper and Tony, Clint and Natasha, etc. The writing and directing decisions to focus on the characters, whether it’s having them (and the audience) lean into the loss of half the population and their friends, or to meaningfully interact with each other, helped to build up to a phenomenally executed final act that will leave fans breathless, cheering, and perhaps more than a bit emotional.
Ultimately, Endgame is a well executed story that centers its characters and their journeys, while providing some of the best action sequences the MCU has ever had. It has something for everyone and, though it really didn’t have to be three hours long, does something remarkable: it provides the fans with an immensely satisfying conclusion to its first set of films and a proper way to tie up the stories of the original Avengers (not a spoiler, I promise) before opening the doors for a new wave of stories to tell.
'Avengers: Endgame' is a well executed story that centers its characters and their journeys, while providing some of the best action sequences the MCU has ever had.