6 out of 6 Infinity Stones
SPOILER WARNING: to review Avengers: Endgame without divulging even minor spoilers is nigh-on impossible.
There will be spoilers in this review, so if you haven’t seen it, immediately make your way to a cinema and rectify that mistake.
If you haven’t and you read on, you’ve only got yourself to blame.
Who could have predicted that in 2008, the release of Iron Man would mark the start of a global phenomenon.
In the years since Tony Stark’s armoured convoy was blown up and he was hustled into that Afghan cave, 21 Marvel Comics Universe movies have been released, from the amazing Black Panther to the quite frankly forgettable (Thor: The Dark World and The Incredible Hulk, I’m looking in your general direction).
Avengers: Infinity War marked the beginning of the end, at least of this phase of the MCU.
Heroes and people in their millions were wiped out by Thanos with the snap of his purple fingers, characters like Scarlett Witch, Dr Strange and Spider Man seemingly gone forever.
HA! You didn’t think that was really the end, did you?
If you’ve kept half an eye on the upcoming MCU schedule, well, you might have had a clue that in the MCU, and indeed comics in general, the dead don’t stay dead.
Which brings us to Avengers: Endgame.
To say the opening scene is perhaps the most effective in the franchise is an understatement.
Hawkeye, under house arrest since the Airport incident in Germany, is teaching his daughter how to shoot a bow and arrow – his wife and two sons are deciding who wants mustard, ketchup or mayonnaise (really?) on their hotdogs.
Then Clint Barton turns his back for a split second, and poof – his family is gone.
Fast forward five years – allowing a brief spot for a quick decapitation of, uh, well don’t worry, you’ll figure it out – the remaining Avengers are divided.
Steve Rogers is leading a support group trying to help people to move on, even if he himself can’t.
War Machine, Rocket and Captain Marvel are busy helping the world and the universe recover, guided by Red Widow.
Bruce Banner has fully merged with The Hulk in a move clearly inspired by Professor Hulk, while Thor has fallen into an alcoholic stupor – Thor Lebowski, if you will, just fatter.
Stark, after being saved by Captain Marvel, is living the quiet life in the woods with Pepper Potts and their daughter, Morgan.
He still holds an enormous grudge against Steve Rogers and he doesn’t have any interest in making up.
Then Ant-Man, thought to be dead, is spat out of the quantum realm – you really need to see Ant-Man and The Wasp if you haven’t already – and everything changes.
They’ve got a way to get everyone back – use the quantum realm to travel through time, retrieve all the Infinity Stones and change the snappening to the unsnappening.
This is how Avengers: Endgame morphs into a movie that is 50 per cent time heist, 50 per cent epic battle against the forces of evil – of course Thanos was going to cotton on to this plan eventually – and 100 per cent fan service.
Highlights? I hope you paid attention to that spoiler notice…
Captain America wields Thor’s hammer. Captain America fights himself. Captain Marvel beats down Thanos.
Future Nebula shoots past Nebula. Korg plays Fortnight. The ladies of the MCU team up to kick some alien butt.
All-round MVP Ant-Man/Scott Lang discovering Back To The Future is not the template for time travel we all (that’s the royal we) thought it was.
And those aren’t even touching on the biggest spoilers.
Those are the deaths. There’s two of them. Significant characters. One of them, you won’t see coming.
The other…to think about how things end, you have to think about how things began.
That’s all I’ll say.
This isn’t to say there aren’t criticisms.
Don’t look for plot holes in this behemoth of a movie, because you’ll find them and you can’t reason them away.
The time travel doesn’t make a lick of sense and leaves far too many unanswered questions.
But for a movie with so many definitive resolutions, don’t we want a couple of questions left unanswered, like how the hell did Korg survive, is Loki really dead and who is that kid at the funeral?
These may never be answered – well, that last one will be – but don’t sweat it.
Just sit back – take a cushion – and enjoy the final ride.
It’s been wild.
In fact, it’s been… super.