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7/10 After over 20 films and a decade, the 3rd phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe climaxes with this film. Like “Infinity War”, this is a good movie that every Marvel and superhero fan should see, but it comes with its flaws and problems. Let me get the negative aspects out of the way and also warn that unlike most of my reviews, this does contain mild spoilers for the film so read at your own caution. One of the biggest flaws is Thanos in this film compared to Thanos in “Infinity War”. In “Infinity War” he instantly became one of my all-time favorite villains (some would consider him the hero) in the sense that he was extremely fair and unbiased. He even sacrificed what he loved (his daughter) to prove that his goal was greater than his own personal relationships. Yet by the end of “Endgame” he is reduced to a generic, “everyone on Earth must die” villain, which seems so below him and generic. Bring back the old Thanos. I also loved that they brought back so many characters yet hated how they had Natalie Portman in the film for 5 seconds to sit up in a bed and walk away. She didn’t have a single line or moment with Thor. They even used recycled footage of her from “Thor: The Dark World”. It was a complete waste of her and I wouldn’t have even put her in the film if she wasn’t going to do anything. They could have alluded to getting the Infinity Stone from her without showing her OR what they should have done is shown her and given her some lines/interaction with Thor or Rocket. There were also a lot of inconsistencies with Thanos’ powers. Sometimes he is super strong and fighting off Captain America, Iron Man and Thor with no Infinity Stones and other times he has Infinity Stones and is getting his ass whooped. In “Infinity War” they made a huge deal and an entire subplot of the film about having to travel to a specific planet and basically harvest the energy of the sun to make the Infinity Gauntlet, yet in “Endgame” Tony Stark craps one out in his workshop lickity split. He must have one powerful 3D printer or something. Thor’s mental breakdown while on his mission also seemed a bit out of character for him but more on him later. There are so many badass, empowered females in the MCU so the heavy handed, eye rollingly forced girl power moment when (despite being spread out all over the battlefield), every female character comes together to sync up cycles or something and prove that they don’t need no man. They are badass and I love them but that forced shot was too much. I also think it was a mistake to pass the Captain America mantle to Falcon and not Bucky. Cap and Bucky go way back all the way to childhood and Bucky is a super soldier. Falcon and Cap haven’t known each other super long and Falcon is just a normal guy who could easily be killed. How they brought back Ant-Man with the rat was maybe the dumbest part of the film and Captain Marvel being the deus ex machina was predictable and uninspired. Time travel also always creates difficulty and confusion in films and this is no exception. When the Avengers base gets blown up by tons of missiles near the end, there is no way the human characters like Ant-Man and Hawkeye would have survived all that. There are more flaws and nitpicks to be found but that is the main brunt of it. If it sounds like that is a lot of complaints for a film with a 7/10 rating, know that most of those are pretty minor and the positives that I am about to list off more than make up for all of those flaws. First off you have to hand it to the Russo Brothers for taking on such a monumental task. Having to wrap up such a culmination of an extended universe this vast has never been done before and the sheer scope of this daunting undertaking is to be applauded. I loved that there were many aspects that surprised me or that I didn’t see coming. Thor’s introduction, not just using the Time Stone to reverse time, what happens to Thanos near the beginning of the film, flashing forward five years, how the Hulk looks now, who lives/dies, etc. A lot of these superhero films can become repetitive and predictable and “Endgame” does a great job at subverting expectations. The visual effects are definitely Oscar worthy and I predict will go up against “The Lion King” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” (along with two other films) for Best Visual Effects at the Oscars. I loved that we actually got closure with most of the original Avengers and they didn’t give a cliffhanger ending to tease us. The strongest element to me was the emotional weight behind it all. We’ve grown up and grown to know these characters over the course of the past 10+ years and the ones who passed on have very emotional farewells. I know I cried at several points in the film, as did several people around me at some of the three viewings I went to. There were no cheap emotional ploys, just real and solid emotion built up over time. Not forced or rushed. Having the Avengers go back in time to various points was really fun to not only see past versions of themselves but it almost felt like a “Marvel’s Greatest Hits” in returning to previous films and I loved that. Although a couple lines fall flat, the humor does mostly work in this film. Unlike “Infinity War”, most of the characters all have something to do and don’t get shafted. One who does is Captain Marvel but that is a good thing because she is far too powerful of a character and if she would have been central in the film, the film would have been over in under an hour. It will be interesting to see how they use her going forward since she is far superior in terms of power to every hero we have seen in the MCU thus far. Her absence was the right decision. There are also two amazing moments that really give you goosebumps and make you want to stand up and cheer, which almost never happens to me anymore at the movie theater. One moment involves Captain America and a particular tool and the other is right before the final battle begins. The final battle is absolutely epic and having all of these characters on screen at once is going to be extremely hard to surpass moving forward. The opening scene was a perfect start to the film with Hawkeye and his family and the ending scene with Captain America was the absolute perfect way to end the film and this chapter of the MCU. For a three-hour film, the pacing was great and I was entertained the entire time. Some people complained that the first hour was slow but I didn’t think so. It set up the story and was very emotional so I enjoyed developing things before getting thrust into the main plot. Despite me not totally buying the character development that they did with Thor, I do like that they basically gave him PTSD from his brother’s death (amongst other things) and the moment where Thanos’ name is mentioned in front of him and he gets emotional was quite powerful. Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr. give the film’s strongest performances. Hemsworth is actually really great going comedic and alternating back to serious and I think since we have seen Downey Jr. in this role so long we take him for granted but he kills it in this performance. Overall it is hard to decide how this compares to “Infinity War” since I like and dislike things about both films and I gave both of them a 7/10. “Infinity War” has a more contained, focused plot with Thanos being the best villain we have seen in an MCU film and “Endgame” has an epic finale, extremely high emotional stakes and wraps up everything so well. By now you (and 95% of the world apparently) have already seen this film and it is indeed worth seeing. The MCU has pulled off the impossible and it will be interesting to see where the future of the MCU goes. Despite not being perfect and having the occasional bad movie, I am loving this franchise 3,000…

#TheStarkKnightRises / #ThorRagnarokyRoadIceCream / #AsgardWithAVengeance / #NightmareOnQuantumRealmStreet / #ThanosHandsOfFate / #SnapOutOfIt

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