Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo
Based on comic book characters created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Jim Starlin
Screenplay by Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Karen Gillan, Chris Hemsworth, Josh Brolin, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, and so many more…
It still seems somewhat unbelievable that the first generation of Marvel comic book movies has come to an end. Avengers: Endgame was released as the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Following Infinity War, this film might have been one of the most highly anticipated releases of all-time. As with the previous movies, this one got it’s roots from Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Jim Starlin, and the people who published the classic Marvel comic books. Marvel veterans Christopher Markus (Captain America: Civil War) and Stephen McFeely (Captain America: The First Avenger) were hired to write the screenplay. Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Anthony Russo (Avengers: Infinity War) shared the role of director.
The cast of this film would take far too long to call out individually. In addition, there are a lot of faces that fall under the “spoiler” category. If you’ve seen the movie you already know. If you haven’t, I’ll do my best to keep the mystery alive.
The screenwriters were asked to tackle an almost impossible problem. How do you bring characters and events from 21 movies into one climactic story? Markus and McFeely didn’t just need to include characters, they also needed to give them their moments. This comes with a unique set of issues. First and foremost, can you give each character a moment without making it feel forced? The other issue is accomplishing this without creating distractions from the main arc of the film. These two did a great job resolving both concerns, and wrote a wonderful script that honors the many characters and the journey they have been on.
The many characters in this one aren’t just dropped into the story at random. It’s evident that decisions were made about how they fit into the film. The dialogue is excellently written, bringing each character back with their unique voices. While the story is a drama at the core, there are a number of great action and comedy moments that help to break the tension. The overall experience really lives up to the expectations set by Infinity War. This isn’t a perfect film, and there are some moments that might have been more fan service than anything. Still, it’s a great script that pays off in all the right ways.
The performances in this film are wonderful. If anyone wins an award for acting in a Marvel movie, Robert Downey Jr. (Zodiac) should be the one. As always, he finds all the right chemistry with the actors around him. He also brings an emotional depth to the film that is definitely needed. His co-stars also brought something special to the film. Evans (Gifter), Johansson (Isle of Dogs), Hemsworth (The Cabin in the Woods), and Renner (Wind River) are just a few of the actors who made this one so good. Josh Brolin (Sicario) also did an excellent job bringing Thanos back. He plays his character with a subtlety that works to bring out the darkness within him. Overall, the expected and unexpected performances in this one are all worth watching. Some fans might have wanted more from their favorites, but the script does a nice job giving most of the central characters their time to shine. The actors seized on those moments, and this one doesn’t have a bad performance in the bunch.
The production work on this film is top-notch from the start. The costuming, makeup, and hair-styling all do a wonderful job transforming the actors into their characters. The costuming does bring back a lot of familiar looks, but also introduces some new stuff that’s really great. The film also has some incredible CGI work throughout. The battles aren’t the only moments that benefit from that work. The movie also has a nice score that accents the story and brings back some of the memorable themes from previous films. The collective effort from so many creative people really brings this one to a higher level.
This is a hard one to predict reactions for. The easy answer is that fans of the previous Marvel films should love this one. There will be some people disappointed that their favorite character didn’t get as much time. There will also be people who don’t like the choices made by the writers. Still, this movie is a great example of how to weave dozens of films and characters into one cohesive story. This one has drama, action, comedy, and a ton of heart. I give this one 4.8 out of 5 stars.