de facto film reviews 3.5 stars

After the devastating loss at the hands (fingers?) of Thanos (Josh Brolin) that turned half of all living creatures into dust, we find our heroes desperate and reeling from the biggest loss imaginable. 

Just to start things off, nothing I say will impact your decision on seeing this film. You know if you’re going to see “Avengers: Endgame” and if you’re not sure; you’re probably not a fan anyway. I will keep things vague and I won’t even touch on any plot elements that take place after the first 5 minutes. Just know that “Avengers: Endgame” is a thrilling and emotionally rewarding conclusion to this chapter in the MCU.

“Avengers: Endgame” has plenty of exciting and downright epic moments that will leave any fan of the saga giddy in their seat, but what stands out the most is just how thoughtful and reflective the story is. 

From the somber opening moments, directors Joe and Anthony Russo restate the fact that The Avengers lost. Half the population around the galaxy is no more. We witness our heroes struggle to cope which provides some of the heaviest themes in any superhero movie to date. 

Given the 3 hour runtime, you may be surprised to see the film takes it’s time — juxtaposing the rapid pace from last year’s “Infinity War”. “Endgame” masterfully lays the groundwork for whats at stake, showcasing some of the finest storytelling in modern blockbusters. 

Every actor gives some of their strongest work to date. Chris Hemsworth still gets to flex his impeccable comedic timing, but also some legitimate tragedy. Scarlett Johansson gives her finest performance to date with an arc that finally lives up to the characters potential. Same goes for Jeremy Renner whose Hawkeye is given perhaps the darkest treatment of the main ensemble. The two performances that truly stand out are both Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans. As the two favorite characters in all the MCU, its only fitting they respectively deliver the strongest performances in the franchise. 

It’s a true achievement the Russo brothers have managed to pull off. Along with Marvel head, Kevin Feige and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the Russo’s have delicately crafted a massive story that could’ve gone wrong so quickly, yet it never does. Some moments teeter on overkill, but they’re few and far between. 

The conclusion to Endgame feels closest to “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”. It’s grand, epic; draining and rewarding in the all the finest ways. The term “fan service” gets thrown around in a negative light, but Endgame properly services the fans of this 11-year saga. The moving climax feels genuinely earned and never cheap. 

“Avengers: Endgame” has just about everything you could ask for. It has the jaw-dropping moments that will have cinemas around the world roaring with cheers. It has the grandiose scale that feels heavy and larger-than-life. It has the emotional impact that will have damn near every audience member reeling for tissues. However, at its core, “Endgame” is a thematically dense and sometimes beautiful film that stands among the best in the superhero genre.