It feels like it’s been a long wait since last year’s Infinity War, with only Captain Marvel and Ant-Man and the Wasp to satiate our MCU cravings after the fallout of Thanos’ snap. With this much hype and this many questions around how on earth they’re planning on fixing this one, it would have been easy for Endgame to fall short of the mark.
But fears of disappointment seem to be unfounded, with Jack awarding Endgame five out of five stars and labelling it an “epic close to the biggest cultural phenomenon of our time… a resounding triumph for Kevin Feige.”
But what did the rest of the team think of the biggest cinematic event of the decade? We asked them to throw in their two cents.
Calum – 5/5
This is messier than Infinity War, the inevitable symptom of the writers having to extricate themselves from a corner and move us towards a working conclusion. That they achieve both is miraculous, even if, in a weird reflection of events from both films, they sometimes have to sacrifice narrative logic to get there. But that’s kind of the magic: this Part XXII of an ongoing blockbuster saga is so unprecedented as to almost defy normal critical approaches. The film is not perfect, but the cast is, and everything here is designed to deliver profound emotional reward – a truly satisfying success.
Tori – 4/5
Avengers: Endgame proves, yet again, how adept Marvel Studios has become at juggling dozens of intertwining plotlines, most of which were years in the making. As always though, the crazy levels of hype can raise expectations to unsurpassable heights. Some plotlines – like Captain America’s and Iron Man’s – are quite predictable, but it doesn’t make them any less bittersweet. If anything, Endgame serves as a reminder of RDJ’s excellence in this role, as well as his justified position as the hero that launched the franchise. Fat Thor was quite the surprising gem, although more Loki would, obviously, have been welcome.
Carmen – 3/5
Despite opening on Infinity War’s tragedy, Endgame revels in irreverence and wit, celebrating 11 years of superheroics while looking to the future of Earth’s mightiest, most beloved heroes. The one-liners fly thicker, faster, and more metatheatrical than ever, and the final fight is outstandingly executed.
Three hours, however, is still not enough to do all characters justice; even some with decent screen time are sold short by lazy storytelling choices. The setup’s apocalyptic stakes and collective heartbreak lack gravitas as many emotive scenes are rushed. A messier, darker, less perfectly polished corporate conclusion might have ended the saga with a greater poignancy.
Joni – 5/5
How do you follow through on the snap, reflect on a decade of franchise free-for-all AND give several beloved heroes their curtain call? Endgame’s solution: three hours, three movies. First, a devastating deep-dive into how Thanos shook the world; second, a chuckles-aplenty victory lap, showboating through time for unexpected reunions and gleeful self-gratification; and, finally, a hell-for-leather action-figure mashup that only wealthy 10 year-olds could hope to replicate. Across all three, Endgame makes time for every OG Avenger, each arc unique and heart-warming. Like the MCU, it is long, unwieldy and stumbles occasionally, but a home run for everyone involved. Bravo.
Alexandra – 4/5
The Russos have pulled off a finale that serves up both bucketloads of fan service and plenty of surprises. The snap-reduced cast makes for touching intimacy, unexpected humour and a lot of conversation alongside the action with little slack. RDJ somehow raises his game yet again, though Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man threatens to steal some glory from the original Avengers. If some arcs wrap up in unsatisfying ways (and they do), there are other gems to choose from. And there are a few odd choices – not least the sludgy production palette – but as one character incredulously comments, “you wanted more?”
James – 5/5
After all Marvel’s innovations in cinematic storytelling, they’ve somehow raised the bar again. This feels like a true first: not merely bringing one franchise to a deeply satisfying conclusion, but several. Endgame is superior still to the mind-boggling success that was Infinity War and feels more complete as its own film. The pace is less breakneck, allowing character moments to come to the fore. And those core characters, ones we’ve followed and loved for a decade-plus, are truly done justice. Add in a good half-dozen moments that elicit audible glee and you have exhilarating, emotional, exceptional filmmaking. An astonishing achievement.
Tom – 4/5
After 21 films of world-building and slow-burn character development, Endgame is first and foremost a victory lap for the MCU’s original Avengers. Each of them reaches the end of their arc in one way or another, leaving the battlefield clear for the next generation of heroes.
While its nostalgic bent makes this probably the most entertaining Marvel film yet, the end result feels like fan service for better or worse. After Infinity War toppled the apple cart so emphatically, seeing it returned to near perfect condition is a thorough but expected disappointment. After a first hour punching with the power of actual consequences, what a shame to see them snapped away, just… like… that.
Marie-Célia – 5/5
After a decade of MCU, Avengers: Endgame had one impossible task – easing an army of fans into bidding farewell to some of its most iconic characters – and the bet was won. Thanos’ infamous snap required a grandiose, glorious and heartbreaking followup, and that’s exactly what Endgame provides, with spectacularly explosive battle scenes, a hint of humour and some touching sequences, allowing us to explore our favourite heroes’ most fragile, then strongest, sides. Clearly, some superheroes steal the show, but a cohesive screenplay helps balance everyone’s screen time with high precision. With great emotion, Endgame takes us to the end of the line – and doesn’t disappoint.
David – 4/5
Avengers: Endgame is a tremendous achievement for Marvel, and a milestone for blockbuster filmmaking. The word that best describes Endgame is satisfying, as it ticks all the wishes and hopes any fan could desire for this epic conclusion. Surprisingly different in tone from Infinity War, the first hour may feel uneasy, or even unwelcome, as this finale sets up shop. It’s a sizeable outfit, so with due patience, the film rallies hard, and the last hour delivers truly emotional and stirring victories for the cast. It’s unlikely we’ll see a spectacle of this grandeur and grounding for years to come.