“It’s the end of the world as we know it,’ sang R.E.M, some 30 years before directors Anthony and Joe Russo caused millions of Marvel fans’ jaws to drop at the end of Avengers: Infinity War as beloved comic book characters were turned to dust by an evil purple dude named Thanos (Josh Brolin).
And those American rockers were right – Avengers: Endgame picks up the story right after fifty percent of the world’s population have disintegrated and it’s immediately very clear the world is never going to be the same again.
There are, thank goodness, some Avengers who survived – Steve/Captain America (Evans), Tony/Iron Man (Downey Jr), Natasha/Black Widow (Johansson), Thor (Hemsworth), Bruce/Hulk (Ruffalo) and Clint/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) among them – but they’re not handling the fall out of recent events all that well, either.
Don’t worry, this is still an edge of the seat comic book adventure at heart, but in the early section Endgame also touches on grief and loss (no, that’s not a tear in our eyes, it’s some Thanos dust), trust and forgiveness for past deeds. Can the Avengers – even Steve and Tony who are barely speaking since Captain America Civil War – work together and even – whisper it if you dare – come up with a plan to get their friends (and the rest of the world) back?
Their plan is just one gripping thread of a plot that spans not just three hours running time but also encompasses all 22 movies from the Marvel Avengers universe that have gone before as old friends reunite, pasts are explored and plans are hatched, ultimately leading to a frenetic battle that has so much going on you’ll have to watch it at least twice to catch every piece of action and line of witty dialogue.
It’s a visual and emotional treat for Marvel fans as some characters get more screen time than you’d expect or could have hoped for (of course, a few get less but you can only squeeze so much into 182 minutes), while others – we mean you, Chris Hemsworth – show a joyous comic side, and surprises for many of our screen favourites abound.
There is the occasional fumble – a ‘girl power’ moment late in the day feels shoehorned in – but this movie is mostly about bringing this phase of the Marvel universe to a spectacular and moving close, and the Russo brothers do it brilliantly. There are happy scenes and gut-wrenchingly sad ones, hints of intriguing new beginnings as well as a satisfying ending to more than one hero’s story.
Yes, Avengers Endgame may be the end of the world as we know it, but you know what – we feel fine.
Is Avengers: Endgame suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Like the previous Avengers movies, this is a 12A certificate in the UK and is aimed at adults and older children.
There is a battle sequence that may be too dark and scary for very young children, and they may also be upset by Thanos and his alien army.
There are quite a few dark and sad scenes in the movie that may be unsuitable for very young and sensitive children.
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