- Joe and Anthony Russo
- Run Time
- 3 hours and 1 minute
VP Content Ratings
- Sex & Nudity
- Star Rating
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
How can the remaining heroes overcome the cosmic defeat by Thanos that concluded the previous Avengers film, Avengers: Infinity Wars? When the power mad villain gained possession of all six of the powerful Infinity Stones, half the population of the universe was wiped out, as well as numerous superheroes. And will some or all of the latter who were killed or disintegrated be brought back to life somehow by those who survived? I must admit, those questions have not haunted me this past year, but I am well aware that for millions of MC fans these have been discussed and discussed during the time leading up to the new movie’s release.
Having seen this new epic, penned by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and directed by brothers Joe and Anthony Russo, I can say that it is answered in a spectacular way. I didn’t always understand what was going on, especially during the time travel mumbo jumbo talk, and there were moments when a somewhat familiar face reappeared, when I wondered, “Now who is this?” There are so darn many superheroes conjured up by thr MC writers in the 22-film series! However, I was always thrilled and, on numerous occasions touched by the quiet moments when we were shown the humanity beneath the superhero.
I won’t try to go into the complicated, sometimes verging on the ridiculous, plot, but the characters and their interactions are compelling. And there are the expected instances of the Marvel humor, such as the following exchange when Captain America rejoins the group:
Steve Rogers: You know, I saw a pod of whales when I was coming in, over the bridge.
Natasha Romanoff: In the Hudson?
Steve Rogers: Fewer ships, cleaner water…
Natasha Romanoff: You know, if you’re about to tell me to look on the bright side – I’m about to hit you in the head with a peanut butter sandwich.
Steve Rogers: Sorry, force of habit.
Then there’s those incredible special effects. When I was a zealous science fiction fan in the 50s I loved the covers of such magazines as Amazing Stories that colorfully depicted huge machines and spaceships and futuristic cities teeming with flying cars and such. By comparison most Hollywood films then with their crude special effects were disappointing, but no longer. Thanks to computers the special effects are awesome, with the final battle scenes of ships, hideous monsters and thousands of warriors rushing at each other. And yet there have been so many such fights in which heroes and villains pound and hurl each other all over the place that I sometimes felt a sense of deja vu. After watching our heroes and villains get back up so often after falling from a great height or hurtling through windows and walls with scarcely a scratch, I find myself longing for a realistic film.
The 22 films in this series all pay homage to brute force, with Thor’s mighty hammer being a good symbol of this underlying philosophy. Although the films do espouse a lot of good values—love of family, friendship, loyalty, courage, even self-sacrifice–the foundational value is redemptive violence. It’s a brute force universe out there, and if there are any other gods besides Thor, they too believe that violence is the best way to fight evil. Can you imagine Gandhi watching this film for more than five minutes? The very name “Avenger” would raise his hackles.
So, I admit to enjoying the film, but still believe that a thousand of these films are not worth one If Beale Street Could Talk or Hacksaw Ridge. Of course, I know I am in a minority—there are predictions that this epic will be the first to take in a billion dollars this first weekend.
If you need a primer on the Avenger characters click here. https://marvelcinematicuniverse.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Avengers:_Endgame_Characters
This review with a set of discussion questions will be in the May issue of Visual Parables.