Year Released: 2019
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner
(PG-13, 182 min.)
Genre: Action and Adventure, Drama, Science fiction and Fantasy
“Part of the journey is the end. I’ve made this journey before. Everything’s going to work out exactly the way it’s supposed to.” Tony Stark (Iron Man)
They do this one right, paring down the characters to an essential few and exploring their emotional depth. Avengers: Endgame takes risks and surprises us, mostly with its return to high quality acting and writing.
The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios' grand conclusion to twenty-two films, Avengers: Endgame.
What had morphed into a predictable “painting by the numbers” franchise, bloated and manipulative (Avengers: Infinity War ), now returns to its bold roots.
One of the wisest choices is to concentrate on the Avengers not annihilated by Thanos with the snap of his fingers in the most recent film. The writers put them in a whole different place this time, the brash superheroes for once have lost it all, or at least half of it, since Thanos has wiped out 50% of the earth’s population, and the super heroes and their loved ones are no exception.
How they cope with their losses is unique to each person – one finding a measure of peace in a post-superhero life, another utterly lost but eager to get back in the game, another fueled by an unquenchable thirst for vengeance, and another who has let himself go and spends his days guzzling beer and playing video games. – Richard Roeper (You will have to see the film to match these with the right super heroes, of course.)
Time travel plays a big role here, and half the fun is dealing with the theories of how it really works, with a lot of lines devoted to that classis, Back to the Future:
Scott Lang: Not if we strictly follow the rules of time travel. That means no talking to our past selves, no betting on sporting events…
Tony Stark: I’m going to stop you right there, Scott. Are you seriously telling me that your plan to save the universe is based on Back to the Future?
Scott Lang: No.
Tony Stark: Good. You had me worried there, because that’d be horseshit. That’s not how quantum physics works.
And I might even forgive Pepper Potts, the creator of the softer, gentler Tony Stark, who had became a little too domesticated and PC for my tastes in the 2012 first Avengers release. She seems to have matured in this final film.
Tony Stark: No, I can’t help everybody.
Pepper Potts: It sort of seems like you can.
Tony Stark: Not if I stop. I can put a pin in it right now, and stop.
Pepper Potts: Tony, trying to get you to stop has been one of the few failures of my entire life.
Tony Stark: Something tells me I should put it in a locked box and drop it at the bottom of a lake, and go to bed.
Pepper Potts: But would you be able to rest?
Other payoffs from the time travel focus, besides the humor, are the Characters’ encounters with their former selves and those they loved. One of the best is between Tony and his dad, who is anticipating the birth of his son and has no idea he is talking to the grown version right in front of him:
Howard Stark: My old man, he never met a problem he couldn’t solve with a belt.
Tony Stark: I thought my dad was tough on me. And now, looking back, I just remember the good stuff, you know? He did drop the odd pearl.
Howard Stark: Yeah? Like what?
Tony Stark: “No amount of money ever bought a second of time.”
Howard Stark: Smart guy.
Tony Stark: He did his best.
Howard Stark: Let me tell you, that kid’s not even here yet, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him.
Another favorite time travel encounter is Thor’s conversation with his mother on the day she will die.
Frigga: You’re no idiot. You’re here aren’t you? Seeking counsel from the wisest person in Asgard.
Frigga: Idiot? No. A failure? Absolutely.
Thor: That’s a little bit harsh.
Frigga: You do know what that makes you? Just like everyone else.
Thor: I’m not supposed to be like everyone else, am I?
Frigga: Everyone fails at who they’re supposed to be, Thor. The measure of a person, of a hero, is how well they succeed at being who they are.
The final battle scene is jam-packed and will thrill those who thrive on all the action. Like the rest of the film it is full of moves and counter moves and peppered with enough reversals to take your breath away. But it is those quiet moments post battle that resonate the most.
They won over this reviewer, who had vowed off all comic/super hero films earlier this year. The Avengers franchise is like the ending of a great symphony – Beethoven’s Fifth comes to mind. It revisits all the early themes, but they are not quite the same. Familiar tunes are rendered with a deeper resonance and depth as well as a touch of melancholy.
An early taste of summer for the whole family. Not to miss.
Like Tony Stark, the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is one the characters who changes the most over the course of the Avengersfranchise. The inhuman killing machine becomes one of the most human and compassionate of all the Avengers. Her role in this film is substantial and she carries a lot of dramatic heft.
So raise your classes to this lovely redhead one more time with this terrific concoction.Simple yet elegant.
The Black Widow Cocktail
1 tbsp (1/2 oz) Torani Grape Syrup
2 tbsp (1 oz) vodka
1 cup (8 oz) soda water
Pour ingredients over ice into a Tom Collins glass and stir gently.