Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Anthony and Joe Russo direct Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jnr and Chris Hemsworth in this continuation of the cliffhanger left by Infinity War and culmination of many of the character arcs set up in the Marvel universe over the last decade.

Again… were my expectations too high for this? After the five star suckerpunch of Thanos completing his gauntlet, was I expecting the same trick to happen twice? Instead we get something bitty and unfocused, three hours of fan service. The opening act is an hour long catch-up with dour survivors. Then once the magic of time travel (it was always going to be time travel) is harnessed we get a bunch of alternate takes through previously enjoyed scenes. Think Back to the Future Part 2 but with a whole 20 release franchise to muck about in. And the muck about produces smiles, laughs and feels. Yet also plays out like a string of end credit Easter Eggs. Moments that seem like neat ideas, off cuts that don’t really fit into the grand narrative but that will make the hardcore bray in recognition. Three characters in a row get to make emotional amends with lost loved ones during the life and death time hop mission. Overkill or over resurrection? Then we get our final apocalyptic Mexican Stand-Off. A brilliant shot of Steve Rogers ready to take on the full assault of Thanos’ legions single handledy, a hamfisted shot to remind us that nearly every Marvel film has featured at least one actress each… some of whom are uncharacteristically entering the fray to make a visual point which nobody really needed clarifying. Battles are fought, lives lost, stories ended. It feels like an adequate finale, it just doesn’t click like its predecessor. Ruffalo’s nerdy Hulk and Evans’ Cap prove their worth, others struggle to make their strands significant. I think I prefer solo adventures to cast of thousands ensembles.

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