“AVENGERS: ENDGAME” (PG-13)
This true marvel of a movie isn’t so much a film as a mammoth resetting of the Marvel universe, connecting to the previous 21 films in a way that’s truly never been done before.
And yet, it moves along so confidently with so many twists and turns that interest doesn’t lag.
And when the film is done, it has moved the narrative of the core Avengers superheroes forward in a way that will let new chapters begin.
Along the way some will die, some will be changed forever and some will go forward in ways that will let the bright minds at Marvel change the narrative and move forward.
And though the film is a long one, coming in at just one minute over three hours, so much is happening that the story never really lags.
Actually, the term there should be stories, as “Endgame” is such a well-thought-out film that it uses key pieces from every wing of the Marvel universe to advance the story.
Each character gets his or her moment, sometimes in action, sometimes in interactions and sometimes in scenes that make moviegoers laugh, scream and even shed a tear or two.
That said, there’s still time for some amazing action scenes, as well as moments when different characters get to finally say words and do things fans have wanted to see happen for ages.
And somehow, all this happens in a way that lets directors Anthony and Joe Russo still keep the main Avengers—Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, the Hulk and Captain America—at the center of the film as it moves forward.
These core players—Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and Chris Evans—are the heart and soul of the film, also the ones who are trying to save the millions lost when Thanos snapped his fingers in “Infinity War.”
There are neat moments with them all, as well as from Jeremy Renner at Hawkeye and Paul Rudd as Ant Man.
What’s most amazing about this, however, is the way the script mixes in the characters, events and connections between all the Marvel franchises.
That includes the “Guardians of the Galaxy” crew, big names and little from “Doctor Strange,” as well as characters from “Spider-Man,” “Black Panther,” “Ant- Man” and more.
And while some minor characters just get cameos, others are injected hero-deep into the main scenes of action and intrigue.
The Russo brothers do a good job of alternating action with the quieter and more introspective moments, and there are enough surprises and belly laughs to keep things moving.
But mainly what moviegoers will take away from seeing this beast is that there’s never been something like this before, a film that ties together decades of stories in a way that sets things up for decades more to come.
And yes, Hemsworth pretty much steals the movie with funny moments as a Thor who’s spent too much time imbibing and neglecting his time in the gym since the events of “Infinity War.”
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and some language. 181 min. [MC, PV, RF]