"Avengers: Endgame" review with spoilers — who lost and who lived?

Avengers: Endgame dir. Joe and Anthony Russo 2019

It's here and it's time for an Avengers: Endgame review with spoilers.

It's been a long journey, but it's finally time to approach an Avengers: Endgame review with spoilers. For so long, Joe and Anthony Russo's mammoth blockbuster has been subject to speculation, but now we've finally learnt its secrets; some of them predictable, some not quite so much. It's the culmination of over a decade of superhero cinema, rounding off the infinity saga, concluding phase four and offering somewhat of a conclusion to a story which began with 2008's Iron Man. Characters died, safe in the knowledge that great emerging heroes will take their place once they're gone.

The fourth Avengers film is without a doubt the most ambitious MCU effort to date and it's honestly difficult to imagine them achieving anything bigger than this. It's highly likely to become the highest-grossing film ever made and fans hopes couldn't have been higher — yet, it's already proven a roaring success on immediate arrival. 

Picking up pretty soon after Avengers: Infinity War left off, the surviving fifty per cent of the population are left mourning the loss of the other half. Certain scenes in the first act echo something like The Leftovers, a TV show which boasts a similar concept. Although plagued by feelings of guilt and disbelief, the heroes descend upon Thanos' farm and take him out incredibly early in the narrative. The rather shocking scene provides one of the film's greatest highlights, as after Infinity War it was hard to imagine it going down so easily. However, as we've grown to expect, nobody ever truly dies, do they?

Arguably this is the problem; characters receive grand, dramatic deaths only to return by fantastical means. The ending of Infinity War was moving because of the way it was handled, but those aware of how these things tend to play out weren't exactly convinced that they'd never return. The Russo's true skill was in encouraging the audience to suspend disbelief and live in the moment with these characters, even for a brief moment. Endgame, on the other hand, needed to have concrete deaths, and to their credit, the brothers absolutely delivered. 

For a three hour blockbuster, it's surprisingly never dull. It's an incredibly well-paced film and perhaps even more so than Infinity War, but in its ambition - unlike the latter - it does fall into some difficulties. With the characters manipulating the benefits of time travel, courtesy of the quantum realm, things do become a little curious.

Tony Stark cracks the code five years after half the population has been severed, and he does it in the space of an evening after a visit from allies much less intelligent than himself... it's hard to believe that he didn't exhaust all options in the wake of the previous film; as a eureka moment, it feels particularly flimsy. However, it's definitely not worth looking too much into it when it's so entertaining to simply let yourself get swept in.

As mentioned, it's best not to get too picky. What do most people want from a film like this? Of course, it's entertainment, and all in all Avengers: Endgame is a popcorn flick at its boldest, ballsiest and perhaps best. The action sequences are phenomenally choreographed, and the last act will surely deliver MCU fans the payoff they so deserve for their loyalty over the years.

The performances are terrific, particularly from Robert Downey Jr., who provides the film with its emotional centre. It all began with him, and here the fans - and characters - bid a fond farewell to the man that saved it all. It's a maturely handled moment, but possibly one which could have lingered a little more.

Honestly, if you leave a three-hour film feeling that it could have benefited from another half an hour, then it's definitely a brilliant success. Avengers: Endgame will undoubtedly go down in history. 

In other news, could Avengers: Endgame dethrone Avatar?

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