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Movie Review

Movie Review: 'Avengers: Endgame'

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There’s never really been anything like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with 22 movies since 2008, dozens of characters jumping across multiple films, and narrative arcs that weave through all of it. It’s all led, so far, to the last two movies, Avengers: Infinity War, and the latest, Avengers: Endgame.

In Endgame, we’re dealing with the aftermath of the villain Thanos wiping out half of all life in the universe, including many of our favorite heroes, and so we know that much of this movie will be spent trying to get them all back. Impressively, though, Endgame first spends a third of the movie showing how our remaining heroes deal with the emotional trauma of having lost those they love, and completely failing as heroes. And so we’re given quite intimate scenes of each of them nursing those wounds, and some of them are not handling it well.

But, of course, they’re going to get to the action, and eventually our Avengers concoct a plan to bring everyone back from the dead and to win the day. They yadda yadda nearly all the details of that plan, but realistically, trying to explain it would be nonsense. So, off we go.

Everyone is terrified of spoilers, so I’ll just say that things happen that you probably expect, there are a few real surprises, and there’s plenty of jokes and fighting. This is not dismissive—I found Avengers: Endgame wonderfully satisfying. It’s very much a conclusion to this first decade-plus-long arc, and a couple of our heroes definitely reach the end of their stories, in ways that are both bittersweet and exactly right.

What Marvel has done is remarkable, creating real emotional stakes over nearly two dozen movies, wrapping things up and passing the torch to the next generation of heroes. Not every single aspect has been totally successful, but as a body of work, it essentially stands alone in movie history.