Everybody ok? Whew, we all made it! Although I must confess, that wasn’t THAT bad of a dead zone (January-April) as it could’ve been. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of clunkers: Us, Glass, Captain Marvel, What Men Want, Up, and Alita. I only saw Captain Marvel because I don’t like wasting time, money, or sitting with other people in mediocre or less than films. But we did get a couple of nice surprises with Shazam (Welcome back, DC. It only took you 4 films not including Wonder Woman since TDK trilogy to get respectable) and Fighting With My Family. But for now: bring the bar into your lap, keep all cell phones in your pocket, and keep all hands and feet within the cart. Hold on lady, we go for a ride!
I always circle one film on the summer calendar as my, “CAN’T WAIT” (Bart Scott impression) film. Last year was IW, this year is Endgame. Honorable mentions to Toy Story 4, John Wick 3, and Spiderman: Homecoming. This is the 2nd straight year that the “summer blockbusters” begin with an absolute megaton warhead. Last year, Avengers: Infinity War took the world by storm with an airtight plot, non-stop awe inspiring action scenes, and the snap that sent kids crying out of the theater. Thankfully, the Russo Brothers were wise enough to film both IW and EG back to back so we didn’t have to wait but one calendar year to the day to see how they wrap up the saga. So let’s get into it!
It’s a Thanos, post-snap world we’re living in. The Avengers want to get back the Infinity Stones so they can undo the mass genocide which saw friends and love ones disappear into ash like an anti-smoking PSA. They track him down and learn that Thanos has destroyed the stones so his work can’t be undone. Bogus. Fast forward ahead 5 years where we find the Avengers have split up but still keep in touch. Tony Stark has a child with Pepper Potts who is quick witted and charming as he is, surprise. Bruce Banner has found a way to become half Hulk, half Banner all the time and it makes for some pretty funny moments. Suddenly, Ant Man reappears from the Quantum World where he has a pretty big surprise: he’s figured out time travel. Hey everyone, let’s go back in time to get the stones before Thanos got them. Just one problem: Stark is quite happy surviving the snap and enjoying life as a dad, living in a log cabin. Going back in time can undo this current happiness and he doesn’t want to risk it. Don’t worry, he changes his mind so the plot can proceed. Next comes rounding up Thor, who has taken to living in New Asgard with a few buddies and a lot of extra pounds, thanks to beer and pizza. Thor is also not thrilled about losing to Thanos and reliving that memory. Don’t worry, he also changes his mind. And lastly; we find Hawkeye has also lost his family and now lives as an assassin, killing off bad guys and not wanting to do anything else. Don’t worry, he too, changes his mind. Now that we’re all a big happy family again, the Avengers all go back in time to very familiar former films to find the stones. And pay attention on how time travel is possible, they do crack a few jokes how time travel isn’t done like it is Back to the Future. I must confess, I did feel the end of the first act was dragging a little bit but right at that moment, act 2 kicks it up a few notches.
And of course, when you go back in time, you’re going to find a younger Thanos on his original quest to procure the stones. Joining him are Gamorra and Nebula who still believe in their father’s quest. Of course, they catch wind of the Avengers plan and plan to intercept them before they outfox ol’ testicle chin Thanos. What’s really cool with this second act is very Back to the Future 2 ish: the crew goes to previous films to get the stones: the Tesseract during the first Avengers film, Vormir and Red Skull, etc. It’s fun to see them not interact with their younger selves. What else is cool are the tertiary characters we’ve seen in other films also make reappearances which will bring a knowing nod or smile to your face. I won’t spoil my favorite scene with an old character and the closure that occurs but man, it REALLY goes Back to the Future-ish and is really fun to witness.
No shocking revelation here, act 3 is FUCKING INSANE. The final battle scene sent shivers right up the ol’ butthole. It is GLORIOUS and you WILL be on the edge of your seat those last 20-30 minutes for sure. I mean, WOW. This is going into the pantheon of best final battle scenes in film history. So many characters are involved and I daresay we see the best Captain Marvel stuff here vs her own disappointing film. But make no mistake, people die in this film. And I promise one of them will get you a bit teary eyed.
Endgame is just as close to perfect as you can draw it up. This film should be a lynchpin of discussions when it comes to tying up any kind of film or TV series. Every thing is buttoned up nicely and a few comic book nods occur throughout and at the end of the film. I daresay it’s time we start the conversation of having the Russo brothers of the greatest comic book film directors alongside of Christopher Nolan. Winter Solider, Civil War, IW, and Endgame…none of those films are below an 8/10. All of the reviews I’ve read had this 3/4 stars, 4/5 stars, 9.5/10, 97%. And they’re all right. IW was so good, it was going to be almost impossible to match. But Endgame does just that. This is an absolute masterpiece and unlike last year’s snub, should ABSOLUTELY be involved in the Best Picture discussion. Because we all know IW was MUCH better than Black Panther. And this year, there is no distraction for a Marvel film of this caliber to be denied. My ONLY knock is it did drag a TAD, maybe knock off 5-10 minutes and then this baby is a flawless pearl.
I give this a 9/10 and will definitely see this again in the next few weeks.