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Avengers: Endgame

For the past 17 years, I’ve been lucky enough to provide movie reviews for both “Table Hopping” and NewsChannel 9. It’s fair to say, in that time, I have seen hundreds of movies in the theater, and though I relish an opportunity I get to watch a film, there’s something special about being there for opening night of an “event” film.

The energy and excitement are palpable, and everyone is planted firmly on the edge of their seat. Whether it be STAR WARS, LORD OF THE RINGS, THE AVENGERS, or anything in-between, there is a passionate fanbase for virtually every major franchise, and when there’s a new installment, everyone wants to take in the spectacle before it’s spoiled by someone else.

Having said all of that, I can categorically proclaim that, in the near two decades I have been covering films, I have never seen or experienced anything like the premiere of AVENGERS: ENDGAME. Amongst the capacity crowd at Regal Cinemas in Destiny USA, there were laughs, there were tears, and most of all, there were constant, resounding cheers. With a project that was this secretive, and the fact that it was 21 films in the making, it felt as if, for those three hours, we were all having a shared experience that transcended your typical night out at the movies. For me, it perfectly encapsulated why I love this medium. For that brief moment in time, it didn’t matter what was happening in the lives of anyone in the theater. Their hearts and minds were locked in to what was unfolding on the screen, and for me, it truly illustrated how popular and beloved many of these characters have become.

As spectacular as that experience or was, make no mistake, whether you are in a theater with 300 people or you are sitting there all by yourself, AVENGERS: ENDGAME was everything you could have possibly hoped it would be. Serving as a satisfying, emotional conclusion to this phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it did the impossible; it lived up to the hype.

By the time you read this review, chances are, you’ve either seen the film, or have stumbled across a spoiler or two. If not, rest assured, I’m not going to give away much.

ENDGAME begins shortly after the catastrophic events of INFINITY WAR. Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is aboard a lifeless spacecraft millions of miles from home. His only companion is Nebula (Karen Gillan) and his oxygen is running perilously low. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the remaining Avengers attempt to come to grips with what happened. Consumed by feelings of grief, loss, and failure, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) must come to grips with the fact that they were beaten, and millions died as a result.

Endgame, much like INFINITY WAR, is devastatingly heavy. Highlighted by emotional complexities and plenty of soul-searching, it is far from the whimsical adventures of SPIDER-MAN and THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Considering that the last installment in the AVENGERS franchise revolved around genocide, this really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Despite these morose undertones, the film is bursting with all of the best elements that has the MCU so endearing. These elements come in many different forms, including a number of twists, some beautiful set pieces, plenty of laughs, and spectacular special effects. Most importantly, AVENGERS has a cast that has grown into a family, and this love and dedication to one another (and the universe that they have created) is plainly visible. Featuring a number of moments that are as memorable now as they were when their individual films were originally released, ENGAME is both nostalgic and refreshing, with directors Anthony and Joe Russo fusing past, present, and future with exciting and highly entertaining results.

On paper, the three hour running time may seem daunting, but for those who have watched all 21 films in the MCU, I find it unlikely that you’ll be glancing at your phone (seriously, please don’t do that) or checking your watch very often. Despite its length, there are no “throw away” moments, and the pace was exactly where it needed to be. For a franchise that is this dense, with so many characters and concurrent plotlines, it makes sense that it would take this much time to wrap it all up. Yes, there is plenty of action, particularly in the final act, but there is also character progression and resolution, which is, for me, even more important than the blasting and the bashing. That’s not to say that the climactic battle isn’t a wonder to behold.  Because make no mistake, it absolutely is.  As thrilling, intense, and rousing as any sequence we’ve seen in the MCU, it certainly serves as a worthy payoff for a decade’s worth of waiting. I give the Russo brothers credit, because this battle, and ENDGAME as a whole, serves as an adequate final chapter in this revolutionary collection of films. I’m sure there will be a select few who will watch ENDGAME and find logistical failings in terms of science and storytelling. I’d like to think, however, that most will embrace it, much like the sold-out crowd I had the pleasure of sitting with. It was to stand as a culmination of 21 films, and a launching pad for what is to come. In this manner, ENDGAME succeeds spectacularly, and will stand for years to come as blockbuster filmmaking at its finest. 

Avengers: Endgame: A


RUN TIME: 3h 2min

GENRE: Fantasy/Sci-fi

STARRING: Robert Downey, Jr., Karen Gillan, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlet Johansson, Chris Evans, Don Cheadle, Mark Ruffalo, Bradley Cooper

DIRECTORs: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writers: Stephen McFeely, Christopher Markus

Brian Miller
Film Critic
Based out of Central New York, Brian Miller is a film critic who works in television, radio, and print. Providing passionate and energetic takes on every movie he sees, he looks for the best in a movie, not the worst.