‘Avengers: Endgame’ is a remarkable finish to a great run

Thank you, Stan Lee. Take a victory lap, Jack Kirby. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in good hands. Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame is everything we wanted in the climatic finish to a decade-plus relationship that we’ve had with Earth’s avenging superheroes.

To be exact it has been 11 years since Iron Man first invaded our world, knocking our socks off in the process with his badass flying suit, scientific mind, and undeniable swag personality.

Eleven years later, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark character still has his mojo going on but now he’s a family man and his priorities have shifted a bit from his kick-butt and take names later persona when he was still living the life as a swashbuckling ladies’ man.

He sees life starkly different now. An encounter with super-villain Thanos, as was the case when the Avengers found themselves humbled in Avengers: Infinity War, can change anyone’s way of thinking. It’s like why even bother with risking life and limb when an alternate path to aging gracefully is a whole lot better option.

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME. Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019

Then again when half the world’s population gets wiped out and your demigod friends are annihilated and reduced to rubble (Avengers: Infinity War), just what exactly are you supposed to do? Get a redo. Iron Man and his super pals get this opportunity to right the ship against Thanos after being thoroughly humiliated in their previous encounter with the galactic terrorist and re-write the final episode of Team Avengers in Avengers: Endgame.

How all this turns out is a surprise. Well, it’s more than a surprise. And that’s a great thing for this finale. It is the great unknown that makes Avengers: Endgame a film well worth the 3 hours and 1 minute you take out of your life to enjoy. Bring your handkerchief because there are going to be moments during the film where the tears are going to flow down your cheekbones.

There are also plenty of times you’re going to be cheering on the original Big Six (Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, and Captain America) and their comrades to restore order back to the universe. But what makes Avengers: Endgame works really well are the funny one-liners bandied about and the way all the characters play off each other.

The movie is briskly paced and the plot moves along so good that it doesn’t feel like you’re spending over three hours in your seat being entertained. Without going into a point-by-point bulletin, Avengers: Endgame is just the conclusion that fans of Marvel may or not have wanted, but it closes this chapter of the MCU with a highlight bang.

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME. L to R: Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019

The epic showdown ending in Avengers: Endgame is a classic battle call and certainly one for the ages. Be prepared to be wowed. If you think that you’ve seen the best of the best of battle scenes where the good guy (or gal) is pitted against and is trying to thwart the forces of evil, you might find yourself picking your jaw off the floor as Avengers: Endgame wraps up.

But from the beginning of the film and throughout Avengers: Endgame, the storyline provided to audiences is like a slow-burn of anticipation ready to explode at any moment with its many twists and turns along the way. Without a doubt, you will find yourself talking to the screen from start to finish. That’s what good movies do. They ignite reaction from the audience.

Brothers Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed Avengers: Endgame and Kevin Feige, the film’s producer, did an excellent job in making that happen. Sitting at a press screening of Avengers: Endgame in a room full of reporters and press people, the reaction was all over the place-from overt crying to unfiltered laughter. That’s the power of humanity coming through, which we all can identify with.

That is probably why it is hard for some of us to let go and say good-bye to some of our favorite superheroes. Some we will never again. Some we will. And that’s the connection MCU has with its global legion of fans. These characters that Lee and Kirby created and brought to cinematic life by the Russo brothers have made them like members of the family to us.

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME. L to R: War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019

We laugh with them. We cheer for them. We lean on them for clarity even about our own lives as they navigate the forces of good against the bad. After all, that is who we are. After all these years of seeing these MCU characters evolve in front of our eyes, we have learned to shed tears, laugh and mourn with them.

In a sense, Downey’s Iron Man, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) have become like our brothers and sisters. They fight each other. They disagree. They argue. They make up. They walk around with stoked egos. There are times (many) where they genuinely don’t like each other.

But that’s what family do. And at the end of the day, they live, breath and die as a family. Together. If one member of the family is hurting, they all hurt. All for one and one for all.  So when the extension of that family (Captain Marvel, War Machine, Falcon, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, The Wasp, Valkyrie, and others come for backup to their brothers and sisters’ plight, woe unto the opponent (in this case, Thanos) that have to deal with all of that superpower synergy.

One of the more refreshing aspects of Avengers: Endgame is the equal billing time that our female superheroes share with their brethren. Even though the thunder of male masculinity is heavily on display in the film, the superpowers of Marvel’s sheroes are lit just enough to show that unconditional teamwork is essential in reaching the ultimate goal.

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