‘Avengers: Endgame’ successfully wraps up a franchise

Brian Lang

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Don Cheadle, Robert Downey Jr., Bradley Cooper, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, and Karen Gillan in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Marvel has finally done it. After 11 years and 21 movies, the Russo brothers and producer Kevin Feige have made a near perfect culmination of hundreds of hours of superhero drama. “Avengers: Endgame” is set to make box-office history and is the must-see movie this spring. Without spoilers, let’s talk about some highlights.

“Endgame” picks up right after the events of “Infinity War” as the remaining Avengers are left to pick up the pieces of their shattered team. After a short-lived superhero team up, the film jumps forward five years, showing how the Avengers and the world as a whole are coping with the loss against Thanos and trying to rebuild. The normally confident heroes are left to grapple with their failure, feeling at fault for the disappearance of trillions. It’s a melancholic tone for the first hour, a mood that’s not usually used for “Earth’s mightiest heroes.”

As the team builds a game plan, they start to reignite their old camaraderie. It feels good to see the original six Avengers together again with Ant-Man, Rocket and Rhodey tagging along. Despite all that this team’s gone through, there’s still the same teamwork that was built in the first “Avengers” film.

It’s hard to talk more about “Endgame” without spoiling the plot, but it’s a great reflection on the history of the team, filled with Easter Eggs for the avid Marvel fans. The Russo brothers do a great job of moving the story to a satisfying conclusion while still remembering where the characters have come from and the challenges they’ve overcome. The plot feels much more focused than last year’s overstuffed “Infinity War” and it just goes to show that the Avengers are at their best when the team isn’t saturated with heroes.

The runtime for “Endgame” is a notorious three hours long, but it flies by easily after the first hour is spent setting up the storyline. While there’s a lot of great fan service here, the best moments are in the final battle scene, when both the preceding two hours and 11 years of films finally pays-off in an epic standoff between good versus evil.

It feels like the team has figured out their mission and is set to hand the reins to the next generation of rising heroes as they complete their character arc as both a whole and individually, which is bittersweet and handled well. While there are several emotional moments, “Endgame” balances them well with plenty of action and laughs.

The biggest problem with “Endgame” though is its many plot holes. Normally, plot holes don’t bother me very much, but there’s too many here to ignore. Time travel is a big component of the Avengers planning, but it’s explained poorly and the team seems to break their own time traveling rules constantly. It’s frustrating to see so many awesome moments paired with poor, cobbled-together excuses for the scenes to take place.

At the end of the day, it’s hard to make everyone happy, and there are always complaints with the handling of a franchise this big and well-loved. It’s fascinating to read other reviewers takes and theories about the film and what it means to them.

“Endgame” gives plenty of awesome moments to its fans and uses some of the franchises best characters in great scenes. I wouldn’t recommend this to new fans of the Marvel franchise, simply due to the vast amount of assumed knowledge the Russo’s expect their audience to have, but for those already enveloped in the Marvel culture, it’s a great finale to a 22-chapter saga.