There are no spoilers in this review. I even had someone else check it over for me, just to be sure.
Once upon a time, about a decade ago, a movie studio took a big chance. They made a movie about a character largely unknown outside comic books and a few cartoons, and cast an actor with a troubled past as the lead. There was an end scene that, according to legend, was a combination joke and a faint hope. That turned into something amazing: one of the most profitable franchises ever, with, in my opinion as both fan and a writer, some of the best-connected storytelling ever.
Once upon a time, about a year ago, the characters of all those movies (except for two) came together in a huge, epic story against a hugely powerful foe who became virtually omnipotent after collecting a series of artefacts. It was a huge, amazing struggle on a few different worlds. In a major cliffhanger that shocked audiences all over the world… the heroes lost. Badly.
Now, as Dr. Strange put it, we’re in the Endgame. It opens with one of the two we didn’t see last time, and it’s a brutal, heartbreaking scene. From there, things launch into a wild ride. There are surprises, ups, downs, reversals, stunning developments, and some truly phenomenal action. We get back some of what we lost, lose some of what we had, and there are wild spins I never saw coming. A few times they seemed to be recreating some iconic scenes from throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and they did some very clever things with them. There are reasons for things happening when they did. There are reunions, and farewells, and some things are both.
These are not spoilers, but will make more sense when you see it. Among some key moments: Hammer Time (although that doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it does), Girl Power, a light goes out, a torch is passed, and a life is gotten, cosmic keepaway. Some rumors I heard about what happened in this movie are categorically false, and others had something to them.
What I liked: Just about everything. It was wonderfully well written, there was amazing action, some wonderful development. The losses are staggering, but none of them felt like they were there just to shock. There was great humor, but nothing that really made a character look overly foolish. There’s a big gathering near the end, and someone included you can’t really identify at the time. Once you do (and you have to look it up, the character isn’t identified within the scene, nor is there a way to), it’s a brilliant nod to the past and makes me, at least, wonder about how much we don’t know.
What I didn’t: The losses made sense, but I hated to see them. there were one or two minor things I wanted to see that didn’t happen, but those are miniscule complaints.
I’m giving this a 5 out of 5. That’s amazingly rare for me.