[REVIEW] “Avengers: Endgame” is a spectacular final chapter: The highly-anticipated Marvel flick is an exciting final piece in a well-written puzzle
Most Marvel fans are already aware of how things are going to pan out: ultimately, the supervillain Thanos will be defeated by the Avengers. Yet the big question remains: How will that happen? According to what Doctor Strange foresaw with his Time Stone in “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018), the chances of the heroes winning were one in 14,000,605. Pretty slim odds, but what would a superhero movie be without suspense?
To answer the question on every soon-to-be moviegoer’s mind: Yes, you can watch the entirety of the 3-hour-long film without a bathroom break. This reviewer made it, but only thanks to a lot of preparation and multiple visits to the bathroom throughout the day prior to the screening. Make sure you visit the toilet before the movie starts so that you don’t have to worry about missing a second of the movie. When the ending credits start rolling, you will thank yourself for having made it the whole way through.
Disappointingly, Marvel’s famous post-credit scenes don’t appear at the finale of “Endgame,” a sign that this really is the end of the journey for many of the heroes. It would have been wonderful if everyone could have survived their journey to defeat Thanos, yet there can’t possibly be a completely happy ending where everyone survives and gets to go back home to their friends and families — Marvel fans know better than that, and so does Thanos: he’s too strong to be defeated without any sacrifices.
Speaking of the superheroes, the actors played their individual roles perfectly as always, adding touches of humor here and there despite a mostly grim set of circumstances. What was most intriguing about the film’s humor was that directors Anthony and Joe Russo actually took heed of jokes that were popular among audiences and the actors, and used them in the plot, making the film even more enjoyable for die-hard Marvel fans who have poured over every interview with the film’s stars.
Fans got creative and even caught the attention of the film’s stars. During the film’s Asia press conference held in Seoul earlier this month, actor Robert Downey Jr. mention that his favorite theory that he saw online involved Ant-Man going inside Thanos’ body through his rear-end and expanding once he made it in. There were also rumors that the Russo brothers wanted to throw fans off guard by adding extra scenes in the trailer that were not actually part of the film.
It turns out that the Russo brothers were not quite as malevolent as some might think, as all of the scenes featured in the trailers were important parts of the story.
I found myself roaming around YouTube in search of the best fan theories and potential plotlines ahead of the “Avengers: Endgame” screening. After finally seeing the film, however, I could not help but feel the limitations of a big franchise film that has to appeal to a global audience. The scriptwriters cannot outwit the creative minds of enthusiastic fans no matter how confidential the script was kept.
Many of the theories proposed by fans panned out. For those who have kept up with these conversations online, there are no particular surprises, especially in how the Avengers eventually defeat the supervillain. But to see it all play out on screen is still spectacular and it is exciting to see all the clues and hints from previous films fit together like pieces of jigsaw puzzle.
Leaving aside some predictable moments, “Avengers: Endgame” wraps up the series nicely. I especially loved how every character — no matter how trivial their role was — adds an important contribution to the outcome of the movie. The film leaves a few mysteries for fans to puzzle over (that they will surely soon figure out) but gives the old Avengers a grand exit and features enough scenes hinting at the return of a new team of Avengers.
Nevertheless, there are no “what ifs” left at the end of the movie. If all of the previous 22 films in the MCU were one big book, then “Endgame” really does feel like the final chapter for the Avengers. Will there be another beginning, a sequel to the book? Nothing has been decided yet, but as Tony Stark always says, “Part of the journey is the end.” We ought to be satisfied with what Marvel has given us. For now.
BY LEE JAE-LIM [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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