‘Avengers: Endgame’ brings emotional close to series


Claire Meyer

Thanos returns as the main antagonist of “Avengers: Endgame.”

The Marvel logo is missing.

The movie begins suddenly, setting a scene which quickly turns solemn. Only silence and dust remain. The finale has arrived.

Directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, written by Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, “Avengers: Endgame” premiered on April 26. It made a $350 million in North America and $1.2 billion worldwide in its opening weekend. It starred a number of actors and actresses, over 30 main personalities, all of whom have been seen in the Marvel universe at some point before.

There is only silence and dust. The finale has arrived.

— Claire Meyer, 11

While all played a part in the conclusion of “Endgame,” the plot of the film hinges on six of the actors, the original six. Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, played by Chis Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner respectively. This line of superstars looks exactly the same as Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and for good reason.

Where “Infinity War” focused on the emotional ties between the treacherous trifecta of Gamora, Thanos and Starlord and the newly minted power couple Scarlet Witch and Vision, “Endgame” chooses to focus on its original six, the pillars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film capitalizes on the emotional arcs built up over many previous movies. Tony Stark is no longer a billionaire genius playboy, but a quiet man with a modest(ish) life. Steve Rogers has gone from America’s greatest hero to a lost cause. Each and every main character has undergone a visible transformation, some greater than others (looking at you, Thor). This is what gives “Endgame” life: the ending of these stories the audience have been so long invested in.

The plot itself, while complex and at times muddled, is quite entertaining. The movie is split into three very discernible acts, the first being the introduction of the situation at hand and these characters. It starts off very grim, almost in a Detective Comics (DC) fashion, and only gets worse. It feels like there is no hope for our heroes, which is what makes the movie gripping and intense.

It starts off very grim, almost in a DC fashion and only gets worse.

— Claire Meyer, 11

The film then moves into the second act, which displays the best tactic in “Endgame.” The audience is greeted with several nostalgic scenes and moments with characters who have long since checked out of the MCU. While some of the moments miss their mark, a few of them hit home and reiterate this film is the big finale. At the same time, the plan set in the first act is now put in motion and filled with action and the clever quips which are something of a Marvel staple. Surprisingly, there were even a few unpredictable plot twists.

The third and final act is what every fan was awaiting. It’s the end. Rewarding to long-time viewers, tear-jerking scenes are sprinkled with references to other movies. It leaves the fans satisfied and content, and for the most part, everything is tied into a nice bow, and the universe has been saved yet again. Throughout the whole movie, the audience in my theater cheered, cried and laughed. They were all emotionally invested in a way I’ve never seen another movie accomplish before.

While all filmmaking techniques are simply white noise to the huge plot, “Endgame” does have some beautiful visual effects. Light on Tony Stark’s worn face, Captain America silhouetted against all odds or shots of Thanos’ menacing space cruiser produce audible awe from the crowd. Even some of the settings, such as the world after the snap, feel real even if they are even in the movie for a short period of time.

For what “Endgame” accomplishes in three hours, the few issues present are easily overlooked. Some sticky plot holes are difficult to explain without the fabric of the movie unraveling, but for the type of massive, ambitious movie it is, Marvel keeps them to an impressive minimum. There are also a few loose ends, especially for the more minor characters, but this can be chalked up to preparation for several upcoming Disney+ TV shows and Phase Four of the Marvel movies.

In short, “Endgame” is a love letter, a true ode to the entire cinematic universe which came before it, specifically those movies in the very early days of the MCU. Unlike “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Avengers: Endgame” is a fan-service film. It requires audiences to watch years of prior movies to truly appreciate the closure it offers. Infinity War may have been the true climax of the story, leaving Endgame to pick up the pieces, but, somehow, it seems to work. It’s an encore better than any fan could have hoped for.