Sunday, April 28, 2019

Avengers: Endgame

Movie Name: Avengers: Endgame
Year of Release: 2019
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Karen Gillan, Don Cheadle, Brie Larson, Tom Holland, Tilda Swinton, Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Evangeline Lilly, Chadwick Boseman, Tessa Thompson, Rene Russo, Elizabeth Olsen, Danai Gurira, Sebastian Stan, Hayley Atwell, Natalie Portman, Dave Bautista, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Anthony Mackie, John Slatery, Marisa Tomei, Angela Bassett, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, William Hurt, Cobie Smulders, Winston Duke, Linda Cardellini, Gwyneth Paltrow, Alexandra Rachael Rabe, Samuel L. Jackson, Ty Simpkins, Robert Redford, Angela Basset, Letitia Wright, Jon Favreau, Taika Waititi, Frank Grillo
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5
View Trailer

Synopsis and Review:
Following the immensely successful "Avengers: Infinity War", directors Anthony and Joe Russo are back, with the continuation and conclusion of the "Avengers" plot-line (at least the one surrounding the series of films around this team, which started in 2012 with Joss Whedon's "The Avengers"). The plot resumes right after the events of the last feature - the alien Thanos, snapped a finger and decimated billions of people across the Universe. The remaining Avengers go on his pursuit, though once they find him, getting the stones and undoing that dramatic occurrence is impossible to be done. That is until Ant-Man emerges finally from being lost microscopically, and devises an idea to basically build a time machine of sorts, which will allow the team to retrieve the stones, before Thanos ever gets a chance to use them. By the time this happens, 5 years have gone by and the team has scattered, and are trying to cope with the devastating effects of those losses, as well as they can. The whole team has to go to different moments in time, retrieve the stones and bring them back to their present time, in the hopes of saving not just humanity, but the universe itself.
"Avengers: Endgame" is of course another film from the well oiled production machine from Marvel/Disney, which this year alone has already released the very successful "Captain Marvel". These films, as much as their different directors try, are starting to look and feel like the result of a production factory, where entertainment value aside, what typically occurs - narratively speaking - is very standard and formulaic (and that's always been, to a certain extent, the reason of their immense popularity). This time around, the directors and the writing team, having decided to place the story at a mortal crossroads on the previous episode, move in the direction of introducing time travel in order to satisfyingly bring back most of the characters to the fold. Narrative coherence aside, the film manages to exhibit some nuance in the manner of how it handles the aftermath of a destructive occurrence and the effects that it has on some characters and to a larger extent, the inhabitants of Earth. However, subtlety has never been one adjective associated with Marvel, and even in the grief there's a series of cliches the characters have to exhibit, namely the change that occurs in Thor. As the film picks up speed and the plot is set in motion, everything and everyone in the Marvel films pantheon makes a comeback, making for a jumbled mix of timelines and styles (Joss Whedon's style, mixed with James Gunn's among others). By the time the climactic big battle comes along, there's a hyperbolic curtain call of all these characters, in a Marvel rave/greatest hits sort of situation, where no one necessarily makes an impact, save for the remarkable visual effects. The film manages to score some heart and drama with the performance of Robert Downey Jr., though most of the remaining characters, in particular the female ones, once again have nothing much to do (even Captain Marvel, who sort of shows up momentarily, only to once again disappear). It's an entertaining film with impeccable production values, a diverse cast (who doesn't really have much to do), but that ultimately doesn't really shift how these films are built, both narratively speaking and even visually/aesthetically (where the most thrilling one in the series so far continues to be Scott Derrickson's inventive "Doctor Strange"). On to the next.