“Avengers: Endgame” Rocks the Box Office

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Editor’s Note: This review contains major spoilers for the movie Avengers: Endgame.

With a $1.5 billion worldwide gross in its opening week, Avengers: Endgame is undeniably one of the biggest cinematic events in recent history — and perhaps the biggest of all time. 

To start, I have to confess to being a Marvel fan. I have watched every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and am deeply invested in the characters and world. As the culminating moment of the series, Endgame has little in the way of emotional stakes for viewers new to the franchise, but excels as a finale. It has no small amount of crowd-pleasing moments and spotlights several touching new developments in character relationships established in previous movies.

From Captain America wielding Thor’s hammer, to Tony Starks’s final “I am Iron Man,” Endgame features moments that call back to emotional climaxes from previous films, pulling on audience’s heartstrings with a sense of nostalgia. This allows the film to evoke strong emotion without putting in much work in terms of actual character development, as they have already done the heavy lifting in the previous movies.

The callbacks are not limited to crowd-pleasers, though; they are also used to elicit sorrow at the passing of familiar characters. We see this in full effect with the death of Black Widow in a scene mirroring Gamora’s death in Infinity War, with a similar shot of her corpse on the ground of the planet Vormir set to the same musical motifs. The attachment the audience feels to the characters exceeds that which can be built in a stand-alone movie, and many got teary-eyed at the passing of characters they had come to know and love.

While Infinity War was a must-see movie in its own right, Endgame went one step further by putting beloved characters together in never-before-seen contexts. Further, Endgame pulled out all the stops and included almost every character still alive in the MCU, not restricting itself to just the frontliners. Watching this in a full theater surrounded by people who were also invested in the franchise made for a truly unique movie-going experience; nearly the entire theater erupted into cheers when Captain America called, “Avengers, assemble.” 

All films in the franchise take full advantage of these satisfying, crowd-pleasing moments. Their careful execution highlights the foresight that went into making the MCU. Creators chose to hold that line until this moment, in this film, rather than give it to us in 2012 with the first Avengers movie.

As much as I loved Endgame, it is not without flaws. Any movie that deals with time travel veers into dangerous territory with regards to plot consistency — and Endgame is no exception. At times the character’s decisions didn’t quite feel believable within the stakes, creating tension that felt artificial.

The area in which the film does best, however, is closure. While Infinity War left the MCU and its fans in chaos, Endgame provides a gratifying end to this arc, wrapping up both its main characters’ stories wonderfully. Tony makes the “sacrifice play” of risking himself for someone else that Captain America once claimed the Iron Man never would, and Captain America gets the life Tony was always telling him to. The film has more plot resolutions than any film since Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, but these don’t feel out of place and satisfactorily wrap all the loose ends. 

All in all, I liked Endgame — a lot. If you watched it and have seen previous MCU movies, you are likely, if not guaranteed, to have enjoyed it as well. The movie has hundreds of little moments I loved but didn’t have space to mention: Pepper donning the Rescue armor, Bucky’s line “You’re taking all the stupid with you,” and so much more. In the end, though, there is little to be said save that Endgame was a truly unique cinematic experience and an excellent end to this arc of the MCU.

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