April 24, 2019 – Vinz Lamorena
Epic. Overwhelming. Emotive. Befitting. Majestic.
There can only be a few words that can describe the magnitude of greatness “Endgame” turned out to be. We can do a mental search of adjectives to match the intensity of praise it requires and deserves, only to find ourselves with the most common phrase to tell all its fans: You have to see it for yourselves.
Now we can’t exactly say the Russo Brothers have outdone themselves, but they did hit every expectation every fan had going into the cinemas. “Endgame” is the only Avengers film where they have complete command of one’s attention and emotion with every single scene they have set on the screen. In a screwed up sense, Thanos’ snap did bring balance. “Endgame” brings forth the proper culmination a decade’s worth of films needed—finally.
The anticipation “Endgame” drew from the world is actually one that it deserves. It wouldn’t be owing its blockbuster numbers just because it’s some monumental piece—a celebration of a cinematic universe—much like “Infinity War” did. That one felt too much like a calculated move to bring every known hero together, a jumble of frustrating scenes only meant to be a setting piece.
Sure enough, the Avengers film that came before it gave its viewers thrilling and visceral action, and undeniably handed its fans devastating losses. But the thing is, it was meant to only give us exactly that—and did so only at the latter parts of that movie. It was made to be a cliffhanger and nothing more.
The gravity and core the story Marvel has patiently built lies in “Endgame.” Here, we become witnesses to every fiber of humanity our heroes have (left) in them (except, of course, for Carol Danvers).
“I keep telling people to move on. Some do, but we don’t,” Captain America (Chris Evans) tells Natasha Romanoff (Scarlet Johansson) after half the population of Earth vanished. Loss lingers longer than we imagined. “Endgame” does not fail to explore how Thanos’ act affected the lives of those who survived it. Time has made one Avenger a drunk, and the other, a vigilante. The mix of guilt, grief, regret, and hunger for justice aren’t just part of the story, it is the story itself. It explores our heroes’ helplessness and the tone is bleak for the most part.
But that’s exactly why this movie thrives: It actually turns the focus on its characters. The interconnectedness of the realities to which they belong to is no longer the emphasis of the story. It dedicates itself to emotion, which covers new grounds that make us understand exactly what our heroes are made of—their insecurities, fears, and what they value.
The very essence of this film is to wield the emotion that brings into balance the action “Infinity War” has shown. But that doesn’t mean “Endgame” doesn’t pull out one heck of a final battle. It does and it’s unlike any we’ve seen before—it’s pure heart-racing majesty on screen. Viewers are latched onto every character’s struggle to win and survive at all costs. It is a battle we’ve been groomed to be emotionally invested in all these years—it’s a movie that makes their triumph ours to claim as well.
Each discovery is climactic. Every part of it is as momentous as its end. Marvel even attempts to blend all the genres it has experimented with, retaining the humor we’re familiar with thanks to films like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Ant-Man,” and “Thor: Ragnarok.” And perhaps these slapstick moments may be the only scenes that don’t bring you into tears.
In a way, “Endgame” is a lot like the movies we’ve already seen: Hope is taken when it is most needed, and brought back by the most likely of circumstances. But “Endgame” is everything a fan had hoped it would be: A great narrative that carves itself a place in the history of reels, and makes a home at the heart of contemporary pop culture.
“The Avengers” have gloriously gone full circle, where the beginning is only as meaningful as the end. Yes, by that we mean Tony Stark.
Photos courtesy of Marvel Studios. “Avengers: Endgame” is showing in cinemas nationwide.
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