By Brennan Atkins
Assistant arts & features editor
By Noah Barnes
It finally ended.
Pack your bags, your Hulk hands, and Spider-Man T-shirts.
Good ol’ Anthony and Joe Russo direct “Avengers: Endgame,” featuring Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and a plethora of returning actors from throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The plot takes place five years after “Avengers: Infinity War,” having to deal with the consequences of Thanos achieving his ultimate goal – erasing half of the universe from existence.
Civilization is intact, but struggling, and the broken remnants of the Avengers are set on finding a way to undo “The Snappening.”
They need a solution. They need the Infinity Stones.
First off, this movie completed its objective in concluding the first successful cinematic universe arc in a way that satisfied fans, both old and new. They catered toward storylines from throughout the series, from as far back as “Avengers” and as recent as “Captain Marvel.”
No other company has even scratched the surface on a project nearly as big, containing a total of 22 films, and now, with Endgame, the most successful box office weekend in history at a humble $1.2 billion worldwide.
There are some interesting concepts inside certain narratives, some shameless fan service in the best way possible, and some heartfelt moments.
The action, while not too prevalent, is satisfying. It’s impressive to see what the highest echelon of the film industry can do with CGI, and once again, they’ve shown how real they can make these imaginary worlds look.
Some characters are actually better in this movie than their original films. We found that Ant-Man felt more like a character beyond just Paul Rudd in spandex.
But what do the Couch Boys think of Endgame as a movie, rather than an experience?
The plot is, for lack of a better term, messy. Each act felt as if it were almost from a different movie, and while each isn’t necessarily bad, together, it felt like orange juice and Lucky Charms.
“Avengers: Infinity War” exceeded expectations. “Avengers: Endgame” filled the quota.
There are many parallels that can be made between these two films, obviously, but deeper than just themes and characters, there are certain plot details shared between both that “Avengers: Infinity War” seems to pull off more effortlessly, and at the time, was original.
Perhaps the magic of Infinity War was in having the narrative focus on the antagonist, Thanos, rather than the Avengers themselves, as it’s something we’ve come to expect. It’s the classic “subversion of expectations,” but in the structure of the movie rather than a twist.
Following that logic, perhaps this is why Endgame was somewhat disappointing as a movie. It follows a very similar structure to the majority of other MCU films – the “risks” taken were ones they already took in other movies.
In this film, Thanos feels like a one-dimensional character – not having as much motivation as in the last film. It felt as though he was forced in because the Avengers needed to fight a bad guy. The anticipation for the final battle felt as if this was what the Avengers were made for, while Thanos was just there.
While some of the Marvel movies have pretty high quality humor, others aren’t so good – looking at you “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Endgame seems to have reached a happy medium with some funny scenes, but some equally horrible jokes. It sometimes clashed with the serious tone that was set when half the population was wiped out.
Most people are going to watch this movie as an experience, akin to our moviegoer brethren viewing and anticipating Marquand’s “Return of the Jedi” for the first time. This movie seems so big, it feels like a special occasion, and to some, it’s the epitome of what Marvel means to them.
While the Russo Brothers successfully wrapped up so many individual stories in one film, it’s astonishing that it wasn’t messier in certain departments. With so much to cover in only three hours – which isn’t that long for a movie – it’s a fitting conclusion to the first ever cinematic universe.
Or until “Spider-Man: Far from Home” comes out.