Sometimes movies can become events. Movies that have everybody talking and people flocking to the multiplexes to see them. Movies that sometimes even spark debates. Think about how Jurassic Park and the possibility of bringing back extinct animals became an actual topic on TV-shows. Another good example of an event movie is Avatar. A movie that single-handedly revolutionized the movie industry by bringing back 3D and had people lining up to see this in theaters. With Avengers: Endgame, Marvel and all of the people involved have managed to create the biggest superhero event movie ever.
Avengers: Endgame is a direct follow-up to Avengers: Infinity War. The movie which ends with mad titan Thanos snapping his fingers while wearing the Infinity Gauntlet. The result: half of the living organisms in the universe turn to dust. An event that saw all of the recently introduced characters disappear and leave the original Avengers behind with the inclusion of Ant-Man and Nebula. Audiences then had to wait a year whether or not the death of popular characters like Spider-man and Black Panther would be permanent.
But in reality we were just wondering how they would have the characters return. Nobody is ever really dead in this type of movie anyway. Black Panther just made a billion dollars at the box office. No company would kill off a goose that lays golden eggs. Especially not Disney.
This immediately brings me to the weakest aspect of Avengers: Endgame. The stakes are only high for the characters played by actors whose contracts are up. Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man, and Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers most notably. Sure, maybe a supporting character like War Machine will stay dead, but then again, nobody is clenching their hand in suspense whether a character like him lives or dies. I was kind of disappointed they even had him survive his crash in Captain America: Civil War.
Much like Infinity War this movie delivers on its fair share of main character deaths. Deaths that seem unlikely to be overturned unless it’s through the way of flashbacks and prequels. But Endgame provides closure to the story arcs of several main characters. At the same time it seems to undo some of the seemingly permanent deaths from Infinity War. Spoiler warning: I am really disappointed how they gave a character like Loki a way out from his demise and giving him his own TV show on Disney+. Sure it’s now some alternate timeline version of Loki, but his death at the beginning of Infinity War meant something. It made Thanos a genuine threatening villain.
The main function of a movie is to tell a story. But an Avengers movie also has to set up several other movies and TV-shows nowadays. I think that eventually the MCU might collapse under its own weight. At one point they will probably start messing up the continuity and you have to have seen movie X to fully understand movies Y and Z. It’s kind of happening already in a movie like Spider-man: Far From Home where they have to explain why Captain Marvel is unavailable to fix something. Disney has already announced that a TV-show like Wandavision will connect directly to Doctor Strange 2.
Otherwise Avengers: Endgame is a triumph. A culmination of twenty plus movies that preceded it. When the Avengers start traveling back into time to certain points in MCU history it plays like a best of album. Though we now see certain scenes from pas movies from a different perspective. If there is one feat this movie manages to do is that it made me want to re-watch Thor: The Dark World.
At several times Avengers: Endgame managed to give me goosebumps. Most notably in the overcrowded finale. A showdown between 2014 Thanos and all of the Avengers. All. Of. Them.
We have never seen scenes this big with so many characters we know and love. I know there have been enormous battles in movies like Lord of the Rings, but in those battles there were only a handful of characters we knew and followed. The rest wast just CGI-filling. There is a risk in creating such a scene. Things could have easily go wrong. There are multiple examples of movies that completely derail once they have a a massive fight scene, but the choreography here is spot-on.
Avengers: Endgame is one of the best movies of all time. Though it’s hard to just classify it as a movie. If you’re someone who wants to have seen every movie from the IMDB Top 250 list a movie like this is going to be a problem. You can’t fully grasp this movie without having seen 21 other movies before it. If you’re not familiar with these characters you’ll have a hard time understanding what is going on. The moment Captain America picks up Thor’s hammer will have no meaning to anyone who has not seen Avengers: Age of Ultron. The movie is full of moments like that.
So Avengers: Endgame is a good movie, but can only be fully appreciated for people who have seen all of the other Marvel movies. Then again, I’m pretty sure everybody who watches this movie already has.