Avengers: Endgame ★★★ ½ ☆ | *SPOILERS* Movie Review


We're in the endgame now... the culmination of 11 years of cinematic offerings from Marvel. Infinity War left us in a devastated heap in cinemas across the world as Thanos snapped his fingers and blinked half of pretty much everything out of existence, and Endgame is here to... probably devastate us some more.


I'm not really sure where to start with this so settle in for a ride. I've tried to avoid major spoilers but some of the things I've written might give away or hint at events in Endgame so please don't read this until you've seen it at the cinema.

We were left forlorn in the wilds of Wakanda after Thanos' snap in Infinity War. 50% of every living creatures on the planet, on every planet, wiped out of existence. Thanos has set off in his retirement while our heroes are reassembling. What's left of the team is trying to get back to a normal life, saving the world, saving each other. Some are moving on, some are stuck on the past, all are lost.

I wrote more notes for this than I've written for any other movie. It was so much of a problem that I condensed the original and then recondensed them into collected topics. I'm vaguely going to go in chronological order, let's do it!

We open with Hawkeye. The scene was simple and effective to help line up the change in him, but it wasn't the tone I expected for the beginning of the film. You have to start it somehow, and I don't know how I thought they would but tonally it didn't say "Marvel" to me. In the trailers we see his darker side coming through, after seeing the film I can't help but wonder if they needed to do this to him. It felt a little like they were just doing it to use for one scene. Clint is a stand-up guy, he would have been there for them regardless in this situation.

As we recap on what's happening in the wake of the snap we find Nebula and Tony attempting to return from Titan on the Guardian's ship. For me, Nebula was the best bit of the whole film. The scenes with Tony are wonderful and touching, she's able to make a connection that she's never really had before and her transformation through the film is a delight.

Something at this point that I feel I should bring up is the partnership that we witness. Tony and Nebula, Nebula and War Machine, Rocket and Thor. We're given lots of different Marvel Mash-ups with great results. Nebula, in particular, shone through in these. Watch out for her with Rhodey.

Steve, Cap, is very much in control throughout this movie, in leadership as well as of his emotions. He still has his positive outlook on life but even when it wanes he's determined. Visually they've left you no room to wonder on whether he is the first Avenger, he leads into a room and he gets a lot of shots that frame him perfectly. But he has changed... on more than one occasion I found myself going "Language, Steve!" I was unsure about his support group in the trailer and after the full scene it felt like it was just there to set up occurrences towards the end of the film. You'd be forgiven for thinking this was actually a Captain America film, it felt much more like one than Civil War did.

Before coming to Endgame one of the things I had been thinking about was how Scott was going to return from the quantum realm. What happens kind of feels like they had no idea how they were going to do it, and it was frustrating and leaves you with questions about what happened in the five years since the snap. There's also a potential horror movie spin-off teased in Scott's walk through San Francisco, he encounters a kid on a bike... classic horror movie moment in that scene.

Nat gets to flex her leadership muscles in the post-snap world trying to keep a new band of Avengers together. Still based in the Avengers complex she's coordinating with members around the world and out in space. We finally see some genuine raw emotion from her as they search for Hawkeye as he's off on his... well what is it? Redirected revenge? She's always had a trusted position with Fury and it seems like his dusting has pushed her to step up.

Carol is back after her recent debut... I still don't think we can call her Captain Marvel when no one else does. I still don't like her, I can't help it. She's cocky and she doesn't seem to have any desire to actually work with the team. If there's anything that I got from this film it's that Black Widow should have had her own film already rather than introducing Carol at the last minute. She's not really a massive feature of the film and her inclusion feels almost like they needed to a solution to a problem and she was the quickest way to fix it.

Now we get to the point where I had some major upset. In my opinion, Marvel have done wrong by Bruce/Hulk and Thor. I saw a spoiler on Twitter for Bruce that I hoped was fan-inspired, but when we get to him in the film I sat in annoyed silence as those around me murmured with excitement. As far as Thor goes, I can see why they made the choices they did with him but it felt like they just turned him into a joke, and that didn't sit right with me at all. Just one small step back from what they did and they would have nailed it, but it felt like they just went for the cheap laugh at his expense.

So it's time to talk about time travel, I think we all knew that we could expect to see it in some way or another in Endgame. Tony and Bruce obvious have a big hand in this one, and it was nice to see them acknowledging the "normal" person discussion of time travel with film references. Outside of that though they threw a lot of complicated script at it, it felt like a very random step away from how they usually deal with technical things in the universe.

From the one hour point of the movie(ish) everything starts to pick up, up until then I wasn't loving the film, and that was upsetting to me. What follows from the quantum suit walk is a lot of fun. There are a lot of nostalgic moments that brought humour and a fun layer to the older films and we get what is probably the most satisfying moment of the entire MCU.

Visually this is one of the better films in the sequence. Shots weren't overly cluttered and so busy that you couldn't see what was happening, and there were a lot more poignant visuals. There are however a few that make me think they had to be reshot because you get very specific angles that give you the back of someone's head and the audio sounds slightly off to the rest of the scene.

Two things left to specifically mention...

The women of Marvel. For so many films we had very few female heroes, certainly none that got their fair share of coverage until The Wasp, Captain Marvel and an excellent female ensemble in Black Panther. I'm all for more female characters but I think Endgame went too far. There is one scene near the end that felt more like they were worried they hadn't had enough women on screen and they really packed them in, it felt awkward rather than awesome.

Stan Lee's cameo. It wasn't the usual fun we're used to. Fleeting and forgettable. Stan deserved better, this just didn't feel right. I even briefly wondered if it was actually him.

For me, Endgame wasn't the finale that we deserved. It wasn't better than Infinity War but I don't think that it could have been because of how much it had to bring to the table. I went and saw it twice because I like to see the 3D and 2D when they come out, it was actually one of the better 3D films I've seen on a regular screen.

I probably would have given this 3 stars, while I had fun watching it I came out both times feeling kind of "meh" about it. Nebula, America's ass and the epic moment in the finale, as well as a few other amusing moments, bumped it up slightly. I sadly found that first hour rather challenging and couldn't get on board with some of the character choices that were made.

What you should do

Let's face it, you're going to watch it if you've invested time in watching all the Marvel movies and I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I'm aware I'm in a minority with my feelings about this, but not everyone can feel the same way about everything. What a world it would be if we could.

Movie thing you wish you could take home

I'd still like an infinity stone... but I don't know which one.