To call Avengers Endgame a global phenomenon somehow seems underwhelming at this point. The fanfare (and the subsequent, ticket fare) surrounding this franchise has reached unprecedented heights in the recent years but to create such a hype for one movie is a feat on its own. This movie marks the conclusion to an era of superhero movies under the MCU banner.
Endgame is direct sequel to the last movie – Avengers Infinity War, where a space being by the name Thanos comes out of (K)nowhere and beats all the beloved superheroes to pulp, gathers the infinity stones together and fulfils his self-proclaimed destiny. Endgame starts off from the aftermath of the events that concluded the last movie. It spends some time on how things changed after the said event and how people are dealing with it. But only a little time since the plot needs to be set into motion.
And hence begins a series of events to get the gang back together for one last gig to undo the catastrophic events in the last movie. And this is where this movie loses out compared to its predecessor. They find a very convenient solution to their ‘inevitable’ problem. While infinity war was a seamless amalgamation of emotions and action that put you on the edge of your seat with a throbbing heart, Endgame just makes you nostalgic and tickles your funny bone, At least in the first half.
While Endgame is made on an epic proportion with great action pieces and reunions galore, what it lacks is a decent plot. The first half of the movie just seems like a gag reel from all the previous movies with mostly comedic elements and with barely any gravitas considering what they are attempting. Something we have all led to believe is no joke and is not to be meddled around with. But not for our superheroes. With no repercussions and with minimum conflict, our heroes can do just about anything and no one skips a beat. Probably the easiest mission the Avengers ever took.
But things look up in the second half when the actual fighting starts, which is a whirl wind of emotions full of thrill and exhilaration. There are some surprising events, some of relief and concluded by a feeling you get at the end of high school. Its bitter-sweet, you don’t know if you would see some of those faces again but are happy to have been part of their journey.
Taking about the character arcs, the core group of avengers are the ones left alive and are also the ones in focus. The arcs for Tony Stark and Captain America are fitting and conclusive but every other character is treated a tad loosely. Black Widow seems the worst hit, emotionally, with the events in Infinity War, something unexpected because they don’t spend enough time with her to show us why. But thankfully, she finally gets the attention she deserved with a fitting end to her story. Hawkeye becomes a vigilante murderer for reasons unknown but regains his position in the team (quite easily) as the film progresses.
Bruce Banner seems like he got the worst written character among the lot. The essence of his character was the conflict between his two personalities. Instead of giving us an insight into why the Hulk was not willing to rise to the occasion in the previous movie , we find that his problems are solved not by figuring things out but by stepping into a lab and permanently becoming a green monster that retains the calmness of Dr. Bruce Banner ( Beast from X-men anyone ?). Another issue with his character is the fact that with 5 years of peace on earth, he and Natasha still don’t explore their feelings for each other. The sheer ignorance of their romantic arc is puzzling at best.
Thor’s transformation seems like it was written as a movie-long joke. By making the Nordic god a ‘Lebowski’ like character, the film looses the turmoil Thor has been through and fails to generate an emotional resonance to his character, something that was highly needed in the film.
Thanos was a bit disappointing considering he had a spellbinding presence in the last film as a villain driven by purpose and virtue but nearly feels like a one-dimensional bad guy in this film. Though he still was able to retain some of his deadly aura which made the audiences and heroes tremble with fear.
There are other small issues in the film like a shot with all women in the MCU together in one frame which felt forced from the word go or the minimum use of Captain Marvel in the movie, considering she was one of the most powerful entities in the MCU or a fight sequence of Captain America fighting himself (who wants to see that ?) But overall, they can be ignored due to the sheer joy that overcomes a fan while watching this film.
Summarizing the film in one word would be – fanservice. This movie is definitely made keeping the fans in mind. And a fan would not be disappointed since the movie has everything, he/she could ask for. The scale of it is so huge, almost all the actors who have worked in the MCU till date are in the film (Even minor characters like the kid from Iron Man 2). There are fantastic action pieces in the second half. The choreography of the scenes was exciting and satisfying. The last 30 mins was a pandemonium of action, but it was still nuanced enough to understand what was happening. Emotional reunions and farewells galore this visual extravaganza is not be missed, at least for a fan.