“Whatever it takes” – this is the mantra of The Avengers as we rejoin them for another round of superhero extravaganza after being wholly and utterly defeated by madman titan Thanos at the end of Infinity War. But, strangely, that same mantra could be applied to Joe and Anthony Russo, screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus and producer Kevin Feige – whatever it takes to bring this “final” chapter to the screen, no matter the expectation or indeed the cost. And so, after a year of (im)patient waiting, the long-mooted Endgame is finally upon us, the 1 in 14,000,605 chance for our heroes to right the wrongs, to fight the fight that no-one else could. This is the end.
As with most of the Marvel films, spoilers are everywhere but they haven’t quite had the feverish amount of secrecy that has come hand-in-hand with the release of this one given the expectation lavished upon it. So we won’t be saying anything out of place here, but what we do know is that we head into Endgame after The Snap: Thanos, brilliantly brought to life with CGI motion-capture and a pitch-perfect Josh Brolin, did exactly what he said he was going to do and thus, half the universe has been decimated including many of our Avengers, dusted away into nothingness. Those who remain are angry, hurting more than they ever had before, and in that cloud of red they are at their most vulnerable. Can they bring back any of the fallen while still trying to negotiate defeating Thanos for good? All this, and more, make up this three-hour epic and suffice it to say, such a runtime isn’t enough.
What we can say, however, is that Avengers: Endgame goes galaxies beyond expectations and exceeds anything that any of us could have imagined. It’s a film that will need you to pay attention and keep those eyes peeled for what unravels in front of you but in the best possible way. The Russos, Feige, Markus and McFeely have pulled off something absolutely remarkable and you just will not believe your eyes as to just what they have accomplished. In essence, in story, in execution, every nuance, every emotion is beautifully, elegantly played – there’s, of course, plenty of action magnificence to feast your eyes on – but nothing will prepare you for the why and what. And, trust us, bring the tissues. But to say anymore wouldn’t do justice to what has been achieved, and not just in this film but in the decade previous, to all the filmmakers, actors and talents who have brought a generation something truly spectacular.
A film phenomenon of monolithic proportions, the MCU has shocked us, surprised us, tricked us and, yes, enthralled us for over a decade but nothing in their cavalcade of brilliance will have the impact, both emotionally and theatrically, like Avengers: Endgame. The culmination of a staggering achievement as a shared universe, it succeeds as its own beast on almost every level, in its action-packed three hours, in its emotional resonance and in its humour, this arguably is their greatest achievement thus far and one that perhaps never be bettered – but that doesn’t mean we cannot wait to see what they come up with next.