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Avengers: Endgame - DVD Review

Avengers: Endgame

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

THERE are going to be plenty of opinions delivered on the epic conclusion to the first Avengers series of films, from those who accuse it of being self-indulgent and not making sense, to those who applaud its celebratory atmosphere and bravura approach.

But whether or not you’ve seen any of the preceding 21 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there is one undeniable fact. Avengers: Endgame is a cinematic achievement unlike any other. And it is a gift… a thank you to those fans who have taken the journey.

And for every single one of its 181 minutes (or three hours, plus a minute), it engages: whether exhilarating when it needs to, adopting a more sombre tone than Marvel is more commonly associated with, revisiting past hits, or tugging at the tear-ducts. It has a little bit of everything.

The story picks up in the wake of the devastating Thanos finger click that ended Infinity War, as the surviving Avengers – led by series stalwarts Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) – regroup, lick their wounds and try and find a way of undoing that tragedy and bringing back their fallen friends. Needless to say, things don’t quite go as planned and there’s much playing around to be had in the quantum realm, most of which involves time travel.

To say anymore would be doing the film a disservice. The less you know, the better. But Endgame is a film that delivers plenty of rewards.

What cannot be underestimated, however, is the emotional depth of a film that unfolds on such a big scale. For while epic in several of its battle scenes, and funny in a lot of places, this is a bittersweet experience in many ways. And the emotional pay-off is huge.

And therein lies perhaps the MCU’s greatest achievement. We genuinely care about the fate of all of these characters. So, whether it’s small victories, heart-breaking reunions or selfless sacrifices, Endgame makes you care from start to finish. And as much as you may be laughing and applauding a lot of the time, you’ll also be wiping away the tears at others.

Co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo deserve an immense amount of credit for the way in which they have delivered a finale that delivers vast spectacle without ever losing sight of the characters. It’s why the film is allowed its indulgences.

Avengers: Endgame

Here, Downey Jr and Evans get the bulk of the emotional heavy lifting, as expected. But they are allowed the room to breathe and to complete worthwhile and even fitting character arcs.

But there’s room for everyone of the key players. Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye are equally notable, while Hemsworth’s Thor and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk/Banner manage to juggle a heavy comedic element with some subtle nuances of their own. And Karen Gillan’s Nebula also boasts a surprisingly affecting arc.

The Russo brothers also get the balance between the film’s tones right, too, giving things a light-hearted lift if they ever threaten to become too dark, or dropping in those spine-tingling ‘wow’ moments to offset some of the heavier emotional stuff. And they set up some intriguing possibilities for the future.

If there’s a minor criticism, it’s that some of the film’s science probably doesn’t make sense (as the use of time travel as a plot device tends to). But, again, in aiming to please the fans, the creative forces behind Endgame and the MCU in general have earned the right to some leeway.

Taken as a whole, the MCU is an incredible achievement on so many levels and Endgame is a fitting denouement to this particular phase. Whether it can ever be topped remains to be seen.

But perhaps most impressive of all is the way that Endgame serves as both a celebration of what has already been achieved and a new starting point for the future. It is the gift that keeps on giving.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 181mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: September 2, 2019