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Movie Review: From Avengers: Endgame to Eternity

Avengers: Endgame | Buena Vista Pictures
Avengers: Endgame | Buena Vista Pictures

Avengers: Endgame is a milestone in filmmaking. This movie, as an artwork, is one that will be revered in history books for ages to come. Simply put, it is among the most extraordinary creative works ever made. And it’s a lot of fun to watch.

But not everybody should see it, or see it right away. Because of the immense popularity of the series, this culmination to the 22-film franchise will be a massive hit. So when is the right time to go and see it for yourself, if at all? That depends mainly on what kind of moviegoer you are.

The film’s story is a wrap-up of all Marvel plot lines in the Avengers saga that began with Iron Man back in 2008. More directly, it is the immediate continuation of last year’s spectacular Avengers: Infinity War.

In the aftermath of Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) horrific plan for the universe, the remaining Avengers must design to plan to reverse the damage he's done. When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) reluctantly finds a breakthrough, the team assembles one last time to pull off a different kind of superhero mission.

First and foremost, the collection of characters, plots and ideas that have been gathered to tell Endgame’s story is a brilliant concept. It’s nearly impossible to describe specific moments or components without spoiling most of what happens.

What can be said (from a limited pool of information that is risk-free) is two things. One, there aren’t so many shocking moments of surprise as there are smart moments of suspense where multiple things could happen. That means most of the fun is watching and waiting with bated breath to see precisely what is going to happen next.

Secondly, this is not the movie you will be expecting to see. The three hour runtime can be intimidating to some, but worry not. The entire three hours moves at lightning speed so there’s no time to dawdle, and the creative events chosen to finish the Avengers story is a satisfying change from the ordinary and predictable. All three acts offer radical surprises.

The cast’s formidable chemistry, however, does continue from the likes of previous Avengers movies. They fit so seamlessly into the world, and there’s never a serious moment where you question the reality of the science fiction playground.

Every meticulous detail is exceptional. The set decoration and production design brings dozens of worlds to life. The visual effects really make the fantasy elements come alive like it were truly happening here today. And did we mention how dedicated the cast is?

It's an emotionally satisfying end to an enormous story

While Infinity War was very much a war film, there are several genres that bounce around the three-hour epic. The genres of the conflict thankfully don’t clash, and instead they work peacefully to make a cathartic and balanced story.

An easy compliment would be to reference the dozens of moments where audiences laugh, cry, and gasp together. But in Avengers: Endgame, they really do happen. The moments are so striking and deeply rich in characters formed over a decade its hard not to be fully invested.

Which brings us back to the central question: when is the right time to see it? The Thanos-sized crowds will be flooding theatres this weekend for sure, but also the next few weeks to come. If you want the most engaging and adrenaline-pumping thrill from the movie, it is worth the hassle to see it as soon as possible.

The other benefit to this strategy is the minimal risk of the many spoilers accidentally finding your ears. If you’d like some tips on how to have a pleasant visit to the cinema on their busiest days, you can read all about those tips here.

On the other extreme, you may be someone who doesn’t enjoy superheroes, science fiction, or Marvel films in general. Maybe you just happen to have not seen them. If you have no context for the action, or don’t like these genres, stay far, far away from Endgame. This will be a nonstop roller coaster of confusion.

Most audiences will likely find themselves somewhere in-between. I’d still recommend going to a busy screening to enjoy the emotional intensity with as large an audience as possible. While 3D adds almost nothing, the IMAX screen is definitely a good investment for some scenes.

Avengers: Endgame feels more like the season finale to a television program than a stand-alone movie. But maybe that’s because that’s exactly what it is. The awestruck scope and scale of the adventure is so much larger than what anyone thought could be possible.

The stakes couldn’t have been higher either for the filmmakers or the characters on screen. But Endgame will be a cinematic work, whether you can follow each detail or not, that will be remembered for all eternity.

It really is a spectacle unlike anything you’ve ever seen. If you have even the smallest inclination or interest in the superhero saga, you’ll be at the edge of your seat. And you’ll come out of a tail about perseverance ready to assemble your own team of heroes.

Avengers: Endgame
3 1/2 out of 4 stars

PG, 3hrs 2mins. Superhero Science-Fiction Fantasy Epic.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner.
Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP. Also in IMAX.