A dozen superheroes from 22 films come together for the last Marvel installment.
By Andrew Warrick
Photo via Marvel Studios
It’s all been leading to this. The 22 films that compose the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” (MCU for short) all come together in “Avengers: Endgame,” an action-packed culmination of over a decade of storytelling. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo faced a tough challenge with this one. It threads together a dizzying number of plot lines and has to balance practically a dozen heroes in the process.
“Endgame” succeeds, for the most part. It packs a mighty punch, providing a satisfying conclusion to the massive “Infinity War” story while still planting the seeds for future installments to follow. Its soaring visuals and charismatic, diverse heroes make what could have been a bloated misfire into a thrilling journey through time and space. It’s a sci-fi romp mixed with fantasy — think “Doctor Who” combined with “Return of the King.”
Never has a film tied together 22 other stories, let alone with such aplomb. As someone who has seen nearly every movie in the saga, I followed it with relative ease, and the movie did enough to fill in the blanks for characters or plot points I was not familiar with. However, not everyone has seen the majority of Marvel movies, let alone a single one. That is one of the only drawbacks to “Avengers: Endgame.”
Clocking in at over three hours, it needs some dedication and more than casual interest to be fully engaging all the way through. Because of all the characters, history and worldbuilding that previous movies have established, the viewer needs some familiarity with the material to fully enjoy “Endgame.” It’s like a college course that requires some prerequisites. There is enough of a learning curve, and running time, to make it befuddling at best, or a slog at worst, for the average viewer.
“Avengers: Endgame” was made for the fans, though, and who would expect otherwise? The MCU has an immense fan base all over the world, many of which have been waiting for this since 2008. It satisfies even the most rabid fan’s craving, and then some. The movie throws everything, kitchen sink and all, at the wall, and most of it sticks. The finale is impressively epic, even chill inducing. If you have seen even one of the previous movies, and enjoyed it, there is surely something in “Avengers Endgame” that will bring a smile to you face.
“Endgame” is not anything new, at least in the sense that it follows the comedic, adventurous tradition of the previous movies. People who don’t like the preceding 22 won’t find this any different. In fact, their qualms will likely be amplified. It has the most jokes, the most action and the most characters of any Marvel, or for that matter any superhero, movie. It lives up to its promise, though, and gives fans a memorable ending to a decade’s long adventure. That alone is a historic achievement.
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Andrew Warrick is a student at the University of Michigan. He is majoring in creative writing and history, and is a part of the Residential College. He also leads the RC’s Creative Writing Forum. When not watching movies, he loves hanging out with friends, especially in the spectacular Ann Arbor, becoming addicted to novels, and listening to Bowie records. Some of his favorite movies are “Cloud Atlas,” “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” “Twin Peaks: The Return,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Alien.”