“Avengers: Endgame” a monumental conclusion to an era

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“Avengers: Endgame” a monumental conclusion to an era

Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark (Iron Man) in

Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark (Iron Man) in "Avengers: Endgame" IMDb website photo

Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark (Iron Man) in "Avengers: Endgame" IMDb website photo

Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark (Iron Man) in "Avengers: Endgame" IMDb website photo

Angel Ortega

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WARNING: SPOILERS! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SEEN “AVENGERS: ENDGAME”

Exhibiting stellar screen-writing and outstanding performances, “Avengers: Endgame” is the perfect conclusion to the Avengers series.

Following the events of the previous Avengers film, “Avengers: Infinity War,” Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) drifts in space with no food or water, and his hope for survival begins to dwindle. Meanwhile, the remaining Avengers on Earth – Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain American (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) – figure out a way to reverse Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) decimation of half of the universe’s population and defeat him from causing any further mayhem.

“Avengers: Endgame” is the 22nd installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), one of the most successful cinema franchises in history. Though there will be future MCU films, “Endgame” marks the conclusion of the Avengers series within the MCU.

As much as I enjoy most of the MCU films, it’s clear that most are similar in delivery and execution. Most films, especially the origin story films like “Captain Marvel” or “Black Panther,” carry predictable plots, decent dialogue and some visually appealing action sequences.

But at the same time, there are also films that have an emphasis on drama and a cohesive narrative, like “Captain America: Civil War” or “Avengers: Infinity War.”

However, “Avengers: Endgame” was different than any other MCU film, in a positive sense.

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo, aka the Russo Brothers, put any and every resource into making this film the best that it can be, and it shows.

Not only did this film not have a predictable plot, it defied my expectations of the film by having a rather significant event (I’ll go more in depth in the spoiler section) take place just within the first 20 minutes of the film. By leaving a sense of ambiguity of upcoming events, it builds suspense that is felt throughout the duration of this film.

Superhero movies tend to have a problem with balancing action and drama. This trend is best seen in the DC Comics Expanded Universe, specifically with films like “Suicide Squad” and “The Justice League.”

Yet with “Avengers: Endgame,” the opposite is true. There is a nice blend of drama, humor, melodrama and action without compromising the narrative. These mood changes help whenever the film needs to convey melancholy in a poignant scene or amplify the intensity in an action sequence. Essentially, this film is perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

Going off on action, it should be noted how the choreography in the fighting and action sequences was beautifully crafted and delivered. A lot of the time, the focus of these films and their success goes to the directors and big-name stars of the film, but rarely are all the other people who worked on the film acknowledged, especially the stunts-people.

The final battle is one the most intense and epic that I’ve seen in cinema, and I believe credit should especially be given to the choreographers and the stunts-people who made that battle come to life.

Often, having too many characters in one film can make it feel quite congested. With the proper writing, though, a film can have a dozen characters and never feel bloated, and that is the case with “Avengers: Endgame.” The cultivation of 11 years’ worth of films led to all these Marvel superheroes coming together in this final Avengers film and it never felt claustrophobic.

Though this is in part due to the excellent writing of the film, credit should also be given to the actors. Every actor, when given their role, truly embody and embrace the personalities of their respective character. When I see Iron Man, Captain America and Hulk on screen, I don’t see Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans or Mark Ruffalo. I see Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner because these, and all the other actors in the film, are masters of their craft and can give convincing and compelling performances. I even forgot that Rocket, the genetically-engineered raccoon from the Guardians of the Galaxy, was Bradley Cooper because Cooper gave to his role what he could never do in his previous film, “A Star is Born.”

SPOILERS

To continue with Downey Jr. and Evans’ performances of the film, I think both of their character arcs had the most satisfying ending for each of their respective characters.

With Tony Stark, he is a successful business man, scientist and an esteemed Avenger. Naturally, this also makes him become one of the most arrogant and conceited characters of these films.

As with Steve Rogers, he is a much-charismatic, yet endearing character who would, at times, put the well-being of others before his because he is a righteous hero.

So to see Stark, a self-centered man, sacrifice everything, including his own life, for the sake of humanity, and Rogers, a selfless hero, finally taking a break and give himself the chance to live with the woman of his dreams and be human for once was truly a tearful and touching end to their characters. And if that isn’t character development at its finest, then I don’t know what is.

Coming back to my point about the film defying my expectations, seeing Thor decapitate Thanos in the first 20 minutes certainly made me throw any of my anticipations out the window, and left me on the edge of my seat throughout the film, not knowing what to expect.

END SPOILERS

It’s hard to believe that it has been eleven years since the MCU began. I remember being a fourth-grader and seeing “Iron Man,” the first film of the MCU, back in 2008, Now, I watch the end of an era as a 21-year-old college student. I, like many others, grew up watching these films.

As all these heroes and characters overcome new obstacles, take on new endeavors and grow as people over the years, so did I. So, seeing the end of the Avengers felt like I was saying farewell to a part of my childhood and adolescence.

I usually find one flaw in every MCU film, but with this film’s writing, cohesive narrative, and having a run time of three hours without dragging or having a dull moment makes “Avengers: Endgame” the best superhero movie since Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

Angel Ortega can be reached at [email protected] and @AngelOrtegaNews on Twitter.

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