Avengers: Endgame (AU - M/UK - 12A/US - PG-13)

In A Word: Excelsior! 

Avengers Endgame

The surviving Avengers in their final quest to save, well, everything.

 

"The brilliance of this plot is that it delivers the ultimate fan service to those who have watched and re-watched the previous 21 films. Scenes, moments and characters from throughout the saga are weaved seamlessly into this new adventure. Rarely has a series rewarded their most devoted fans like this with iconic scenes and beloved characters making a reappearance that evokes both nostalgia and excitement."

After 21 blockbuster films over 11 years, anticipation for Avengers: Endgame is at a fever pitch. High demand for pre-sale tickets crashed ticket selling sites and opening night tickets have sold on eBay for up to $US15,000 dollars a pair. Could any movie live up to such high expectations? Astonishingly, the answer is a resounding yes. Avengers: Endgame delivers an emotional and exhilarating conclusion to one of the most ambitious endeavors in cinematic history.

Infinity War left the Avengers - among them Iron Man (played by Robert Downey, Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) - in a state of defeat. Their nemesis, Thanos (Josh Brolin), had succeeded in destroying half the population of the universe and now the survivors are dealing with the consequences of their loss. This opening act of Endgame injects a deep dose of drama and emotional investment into the characters. The different ways each of the heroes deal with their failures ranges from poignant to tragic and sometimes humorous. In itself, this could have been a fascinating study of the human condition, but this state of failure merely forms the launch-pad for a greater adventure.

As the heroes struggle to adjust to the new reality, a glimmer of hope is discovered to undo the damage inflicted by Thanos. The remaining Avengers assemble once more on a critical quest that takes them through time and space. The brilliance of this plot is that it delivers the ultimate fan service to those who have watched and re-watched the previous 21 films. Scenes, moments and characters from throughout the saga are weaved seamlessly into this new adventure. Rarely has a series rewarded its most devoted fans like this with iconic scenes and beloved characters making a reappearance that evokes both nostalgia and excitement. 

The most diligent of viewers will also notice that catchphrases from the earlier films are scattered throughout this final chapter. Phrases like “I can do this all day”, “On your left”, “I am Groot”, “Hail Hydra”, “Avengers Assemble” and “I am Iron Man” are given a new context and spoken with such perfect timing that fans will at times cheer, laugh and even choke up with emotion. 

Aside from the dedicated fan service, Endgame keeps upping the excitement with every turn of the plot. What begins as a nostalgic “time heist” turns into all-out war on a scale never before seen in the series. It is a war that is not without great sacrifice. And this time the sacrifices are felt powerfully because of the emotional foundation laid at the start of the film. 

Avengers: Endgame is the crowning achievement on an extraordinary collection of films. To thread together seamlessly all the many characters and plot lines over the years is a testament to the great writing, visionary leadership and the remarkable performances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film succeeds in an almost impossible task: to provide a satisfying conclusion to so many beloved characters while providing a new beginning for others in the future.

Stan Lee created many of these heroes as characters to inspire and lift us higher. His life’s motto was “Excelsior!” which meant “upward and onward to greater glory". I think he would have been proud to see his legacy achieve this lofty goal. The Avengers have redefined this generation’s vision of a hero and given us role models that are resilient in defeat, hopeful in failure, bold in love and brave in their sacrifice.