Clocking in at just over three hours, Avengers: Endgame,
the second installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Avengers finale, leaves ample room for fans to bid their superheroes farewell.
And thanks to the strategic ensemble culling at the end of Infinity War —
which I'll presume everyone has seen —
the script and its intricately enmeshed storylines have room to breathe. It opens everywhere Thursday, with screenings well into the early morning. (Valley View, for example, has a screening at 3:45 a.m.
This is the finale fans crave. While Infinity War
focused centrally on the supervillain Thanos and his quest for the six infinity stones, Endgame
follows the Avengers themselves as they grapple with, and ultimately seek to undo, the world Thanos wrought.
Critics have been cautioned against spoiling anything at all about the film, and to even outline the plot in broad strokes — how the Avengers endeavor to get back at Thanos; who is and isn't involved in the scheme — would be to give away key twists. One significant development occurs very early on, and I'm grateful I didn't have it ruined for me.
(Thought it's superfluous to state in this day and age, fans would be advised to steer clear of their mobile devices and screens of all kinds until they've seen the film this weekend. There are significant developments in the film, up to and including deaths, and plots will likely be inadvertently conveyed on social media. So watch out!)
Note only that the principal characters are lovingly handled and given sendoffs that fans should overwhelmingly appreciate, (Return of the King
vibes notwithstanding). New haircuts, body types and even personalities are all on display. Some of these are more effective and believable than others. While the major action sequences are perhaps a shade less spectacular than the showdowns of Infinity War,
a deeper gravitas — these are final
encounters — is stitched into them here. I actually cheered with glee more than once.
You're going to see it this weekend. Probably more than once. It's going to break all kinds of box-office records. 2019 has been an absolutely abysmal year thus far for major studio releases, so it's a balm in that respect. Local directors Anthony and Joe Russo deserve mad kudos for their remarkable work on these finales. They are triumphs of logistics as much as they are triumphs of storytelling.
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