Now all new and spoiler free!
Okay, let's get this out of the way right now: They should stop making superhero movies. Just give it up.
Because Avengers: Endgame is the perfect superhero movie.
Or at least, as close to it as a work of entertainment can get. In fact, it's a damn good movie period.
I'm trying to make this spoiler free, so chances are good I'm not going to say a specific thing about the plot past the first, oh, hour. But that's okay, because once I got started I'd have to divide this up into three or four parts, and besides: I already made my view known in the last few paragraphs.
At the end of the last Avengers movie Thanos--who until then I'd always called Darkseid-Lite--collected all the fabled Infinity Stones into a gauntlet, snapped his fingers (curse you, Starlord!), and turned half of every living being in the universe to dust.
That's one heck of a glove.
|But Darkseid doesn't have a cool glove. (https://geeks.media/who-came-first-the-copycats-of-comics)|
The very first scene is one of the most heartbreaking of the whole movie. We see Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye, who has no idea any of this has been happening, sharing a fun cookout with his wife and three kids. He's happily giving archery tips to his daughter, and debating and correct condiment to put on hot dogs ...
And that's when my heart froze, as I realized this was happening before the snap.
Fast forward five years. Hawkeye has disappeared, although there are disturbing stories about his activities. The rest of the survivors are dealing with the fact that they're survivors.
Tony Stark has retired as Iron Man, Captain America is trying to guide others through a new, darker world, and Black Widow is searching for Thanos and trying to keep the other heroes together. These three, in my mind, are the heart of Avengers: Endgame. But it's another hero, who's managed to avoid the entire disaster altogether, who comes forward with a way to save all those who've been lost.
I don't think that last part is a spoiler at all. Of course some plan will be hatched to bring the dead back to life. They're not going to let that whole group, especially Black Panther, Doctor Strange, or Spider-Man, just vanish without more movies. And there are a surprising number of light moments along the way.
So the survivors gather for a mission that will give them one chance to reverse the snap, even if it means sacrificing themselves, because that's what heroes do.
Yeah, I've left a lot out. The movie's three friggin' hours long, after all, although it didn't feel that long to me. To say lots of stuff happens is putting it mildly, and yes, some of the heroes get shorted (how could they not?) Brie Larson's Captain Marvel, especially, has less screen time than I suspected, although what she does get is spectacular.
There is, naturally, an epic battle at the end, but for me the most joy was the mission in the middle, which I just can't talk about and boy, is that killing me. The heroes are divided up, and we get to see some who aren't ordinarily paired working together. We also get lots of popular secondary characters, and they also sometimes get put together in ways that bring joy to my geeky heart.
I said this about the last movie, but how they managed to juggle all these characters and keep things straight is beyond me ... but they do. That must have been one heck of a diagram.
In the end, as with any great movie, the characters don't exist for the epic battle scenes. Avengers: Endgame is about people. With a combination of great actors and great writing, an amazingly unlikely number of characters get their chance to shine.
And yes ... bring tissues.
Entertainment value: 5 out of 4 m&m's. My rating system, my ratings.
Oscar Potential: 3 out of 4 m&m's. This movie is Oscar worthy. Not only for the usual things like effects, but for several of the actors and even Best Picture consideration. Change my mind. No, don't bother trying.