“Avengers: Endgame” May Not Be A Perfect Film – But It Is A Perfect Conclusion (NON-SPOILERS)



Despite what legions of mouth-foaming superfans may say, Avengers: Endgame is not a perfect film. It’s not even the best Marvel film (a title that still belongs to 2012’s The Avengers). In all honesty, it’s kind of messy – scratch that, really messy.

Without venturing too far into spoiler territory, Endgame takes a highly creative yet ultimately problematic approach to its main story, thus generating numerous structural and storytelling issues that simply weren’t present in the original Avengers or Infinity War.

And about structure – as some of you may know, Endgame bears a whopping three-hour runtime. Was it appropriate? Well, yes, but also no. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo do an unnaturally competent job keeping our attention for three-hours straight, but don’t entirely make use of those three hours.

The first-act is largely spent dillydalling; little is accomplished by either the heroes or the antagonist(s). The lack of progress in that opening forty-five minutes or so was obviously to create a sense of atmosphere, to showcase the in-universe effect of the events in Infinity War. But it’s just poorly executed. A post-snap world (don’t you dare call that a spoiler) isn’t well realized whatsoever; the Russos never convey the post-apocalypse environment that most of us hoped they would.

Character problems aren’t entirely nonexistent, either. They’re admittedly scarce, but present nonetheless. As the film’s marketing suggested, Captain Marvel is back and, unfortunately, she’s not much improved. Brie Larson gives a marginally better performance, but is just too underutilized to make any sort of positive impact. Some other characters aren’t exactly well-done either, but I’m not going to say who for the sake of spoilers.

So, to summarize: Avengers: Endgame is hardly the best Marvel film. It’s messy, has some noticeable structural issues, and a few poor character choices. It’s definitely not a perfect film.

But it is a perfect conclusion. Endgame was produced with the sole purpose of concluding the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it serves said purpose brilliantly. It’s such a masterfully appropriate ending to the franchise that it makes those problems worth it. It makes all of those films, those twenty-one films in the franchise worth it.

Endgame is the modern-day Return of the Jedi. I’ve said that since the film was announced. And I couldn’t be more right: both are slightly incompetent yet ultimately impeccable conclusions to the films that came before it.

And like Jedi, Endgame is chock-full of payoffs. Events set into motion literally a decade ago pay off here, evoking great excitement and above all else, satisfaction. Nearly every major character gets a payoff – even some minor ones.

I said earlier that the film has some character problems. However, those problems are easily outweighed by Marvel’s best renditions of their main ensemble cast yet. Every major Avenger is done complete justice, both in writing and performance.

In fact, each major character is done so well that it’s genuinely difficult picking an MVP. If I had to pick one, I’d say either Captain America or Iron Man, but my mind could change at any moment.

And the effects? A bit iffy at times, but largely well-realized and rendered. It’s not, say, Infinity War good, but certainly not far from it. The outer-space scenes are especially well-done.

In the end, Endgame really is the most appropriate conclusion to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Like it’s parent franchise, it’s a bit rough around the edges; has its fair share of problems. But in the end, it’s all worth it – and with that, I say thank you, Endgame. Thank you not only for putting an end to these films (at least for a while) but also for delivering one of the most satisfying conclusions in cinema history.

It really has been one wild ride, Marvel.

Ratings Key:

★ – Bad (e.g., Godzilla ‘98, Pixels, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Justice League)

★★ – Mediocre (e.g., Incredibles 2, Watchmen, Alice in Wonderland, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle)

★★★ – Good (e.g., Creed II, Batman, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Pretty In Pink, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective)

★★★★ – Great (e.g., Jurassic Park, The Empire Strikes Back, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Social Network)

★★★★★ – Amazing (e.g., Dr. Strangelove, The Terminator, The Dark Knight, Back to the Future, Skyfall)