Arts & EntertainmentOpinion

Movie Review: Endgame – The Cinematic Achievement of the Decade

An image in a movie poster created for Avengers: Endgame. Photo: Marvel Studios

This movie review does not contain spoilers, but discusses minor details from the film.

The kickoff to the 2019 summer blockbuster season is upon us, with Avengers: Endgame, making its debut. The movie became an instant hit in just a matter of days, marking what will likely be the most popular movie of the decade.

Ever since the original 2008 film, Iron Man, Marvel and the rest of the superhero genre has seen a tremendous boost in popularity, frequently showing up as the highest grossing movies of the year along with films in the Star Wars franchise. Avengers: Endgame is a prime example of the public’s interest in the genre. The movie broke all kinds of box-office records, including highest opening weekend, grossing upwards of $1.2 billion worldwide, nearly double the next most successful film, Avengers: Infinity War. This kind of early triumph leads many to believe it could be the highest grossing movie ever, earning more than Avatar and its $2.7 billion. Less than two weeks in, Endgame has already grossed $2.1 billion.

Besides financial success, Endgame also scored well with critics and audiences alike. It landed a 95% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes for critics and 90% positive for audiences, making it one of the highest rated movies of the year. Additionally, the film was rated 9.0 stars on IMDb, putting it in the top 10 highest rating movies on the entire site, among the likes of The Godfather and The Dark Knight. Marvel films have often been known to have a high floor and low ceiling as far as critic reception is concerned, so the outstanding response to the movie is quite unexpected.

What is responsible for Endgame’s massive feat? It could be the film’s clever culmination of the 21 other Marvel plots into a singular narrative. The film wastes no time setting up relationships between characters and getting the audience to care for them. Instead, the movie expects the viewer has seen other movies in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Over eleven years, Marvel laid the foundation for the exciting future storyline and continually pushed the overarching narrative movie after movie. Endgame’s style is different. Rather than continuing the story, it ties up all the loose ends and finishes the saga. It blends the ending chapter of an epic space battle with conclusions to romantic subplots and fun call-backs to movies in the series that excite seasoned fans.

The first act of the movie takes its time. The three-hour monster begins with methodical patience–– pacing that is surprising from a superhero film. Instead of jumping right into the action, the movie shows our team of heroes grappling with the effects of their decisions from Avengers: Infinity War and of prior movies. But It never dulls; the first act instead introduces a harsh reality for the Avengers to face while simultaneously setting up their plan of attack.

The movie has seen some flashbacks in its second act. This has lead to some knocks among critics for including too many moments of ‘fan service’ in which the film sacrifices logic, continuity, and plot advancement to provide fans of the franchise with fulfilling moments of actions and nostalgia-induced homages. It takes on a sort of ‘greatest hits’ feel once the Avengers’ plan to defeat the villainous Thanos is revealed. We see allusions to fan-favorite scenes, like the elevator fight from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the battle in New York from The Avengers.

Despite its long, three-hour runtime, Endgame maintains the same superhero-formula charm. The climactic battle nearing the end of the movie brings with it the full force of the franchise. There were several moments during which audiences stood from their seats and audibly cheered at the screen as if they were at a sporting event. Excitement is sure to envelop in any theater when the conclusion finally begins as Alan Silvestri’s legendary score plays one last time. The final battle succeeds by letting its characters be set free to use the full possibilities of their powers.

Avengers: Endgame is one of the most crowd-pleasing movies to come out in the past decade. It will undoubtedly entertain all those who love Marvel movies but misses the mark in trying to win over superhero skeptics. If you have enjoyed other Avengers movies, Endgame is a must-see.

Aaron Onish
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Aaron Onish has been a helpful member of Harriton TV since 2018.
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