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'Avengers: Endgame' review: Ending on a high

An Avengers fan in costume arrives at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood to attend the opening screening of "Avengers: Endgame" in Los Angeles, California, US. Reuters photo

Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, and Josh Brolin
Score: 4.5

“Part of the journey is the end”. This is one line said by Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame. It is meant more, perhaps, for the audience than it is them to whom he addresses the message to. The end comes, it is inevitable, and this time, no one is prepared.

The story begins on an ominous note, with Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye suffering from Thanos’ snap in Infinity War, and from there it jumps from one time to another, creating a culmination of everything so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It is a truly exciting mixture as the entire timeline of the franchise is revisited.

The movie’s greatest strength is its direction. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo play with a 1-against-14,000,605 possibility of the Avengers winning against Thanos, but they tie together everything that has been in a runtime of 3 hours. It may seem long, but with the kind of things happening in this film, that is a challenge not many can meet.

Thankfully the Russos are not the “many”, and they meet their challenge with almost an artistic grace. Everything that occurs in the film has a purpose, from the initial assault on Thanos – who has become a farmer, not surprisingly, to the time travel aspect. Many characters in the film rightfully question the entire strategy of the surviving Avengers, but thankfully the plot is tightly written enough to not fall into the trap of creating arbitrary alternate realities to explain the actions of the characters. There’s even a gag around the whole time travel concept.

Beyond the directing, however, lies the script, the acting and the execution of the whole event. Make no mistake, Avengers: Endgame is an event film, but calling it a mere tentpole would be an insult to what is happening on the screen.

The script is practically watertight in both writing and execution. As with the directing, almost nothing about the script can be flawed. People will come up with theory after theory to explain the movie’s use of time travel, but when the dust settles and the theories end, the fact that the film uses time travel perfectly, right down to carefully subverting whatever paradoxes that could occur, is impeccable.

The acting and action is beyond words. All the surviving cast show their own, very human portrayals of shock and horror at what transpired in Infinity War and deal with it their own way. Hawkeye, for instance, becomes a vigilante, killing criminals around the world, while Tony begrudgingly moves on, unable to forgive himself for his failures (something that is echoed by Thanos, both metaphorically and literally). His character is the lynchpin of the entire film, and everything that happens falls upon him. This is the same Tony we saw in Iron Man way back in 2008, obsessed with fixing what he feels is his burden – only this time, the burden is shared by others like him.

As for the action, it would be better not to speak of it, for words cannot do it justice. By the time the third act rolls in, the movie has created such an intricate web of events that it is impossible to hold back the cheerful yells and claps. It gives everyone something to do, and there even is a little bit where the women of the film get an incredible chance to shine, and boy, do they shine.

Avengers: Endgame is more than a film; it’s a celebration of everything the Marvel Cinematic Universe has given to the world in the past decade and more. The studio could not have made it more perfect if they tried. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will cheer, because if you’re in a movie hall, sitting with hundreds of others who are doing the same exact thing, you know you’ve been there from the beginning. This is the end, but it is also a new start to a new future, a new universe

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