Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

A big, fun, comic-booky premise that still breezes through its 3 hour runtime on a second viewing. It's a reward for those who have invested so much time and emotion in these movies. I mean...who could have thought that they'd make Thor: The Dark World essential viewing for the biggest Avengers movie of all time? No matter what you think of that movie, you've got to love that the Russo brothers went all in on the dedication to their premise. No reference, no cameo is off the table as long as it fits the story, and it's a blast.

On top of that they pack in some of the most crowd pleasing moments of the entire series in addition to some of the most emotional beats. Tony's death may be the gut punch of the movie, but Cap's send-off will always hit me harder. The Russo's swing for the big emotional pay-offs, and they hit the mark because they understand the journey these characters have been through up to now.

But perhaps one of my favorite things about this movie is its dedication to sweeping character changes. In those five years after the Snap, some of our heroes go through life-altering arcs, and although the Snap itself is reversed, the toll of those five years remains. Thor is still fat, a more sober character than before. Hulk is still Professor Hulk, with no sign of his old duality in sight. Gamora is a completely new character, the Gamora we knew gone for good.

In any other series there would be pressure to reset the status quo, and although the characters end up in a better place before the credits role, the movie allows the weight of these changes to stick, paving the way for new dynamics. Now I'm even more excited for a Guardians of the Galaxy movie including Thor. Now I really want Valkyrie to headline her own Asgardian adventures. Now I can't wait for the next Captain America movie with Sam...and I simultaneously want one more Steve Rogers movie showing us his life and adventures in his alternate timeline with Peggy.

I don't expect Marvel to follow through with everything on this wish list of mine, but the fact that we're in a place with so much potential on the table excites me, and I can't wait to see what they come up with next.

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