A fantastic drama where you join the cast in saying goodbye to characters who succeeded over the years in grabbing a piece of our cinematic heart.
Avengers: Endgame is likely to be the highest grossing film in history, and it deserves that honor. However, before going further, let me address an important issue concerning bathrooms that many of you will face in a movie that lasts 3 hours and 1 minute. It may not be as long as Gone with the Wind (1939, 3 hours, 58 minutes), Lawrence of Arabia (1962, 3 hours, 48 minutes) or Gandhi (1982 3 hours, 11 minutes), but when nature calls you must oblige.
In any event, I had a friend send me a column from a guy who made a valuable recommendation, particularly for aging male patrons. He simply said that while there is not a bad scene in this film, look to hit the head 44 minutes into the movie when a scene flashes to Tokyo in a rainstorm. Dialogue takes place that lasts for four minutes, and you can easily get back to your seat and miss nothing significant. After advising a laughing young couple sitting next to me of my game plan, the female elbowed me when the rainstorm appeared onscreen and whispered, “Your time has come!”
While there is no way that it would be fair to identify which of our heroes live or die, I have not seen any movie rival the conclusion of Avengers since the last film in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. If you recall, everyone on screen had to say goodbye to Frodo Baggins when he was forced to sail with Gandalf to another dimension given that he was poisoned by his close contact with the Ring. You will experience the same thing during the last third of this film where important characters embrace a moment where you feel that they are saying farewell to each other and the audience.
Ironically, Directors Anthony and Joe Russo’s film actually involves a simplistic plot that increases the tension felt both onscreen and off. Many Avengers characters died when Thanos (Josh Brolin) obtained all six Infinity Stones in Avengers: Infinity War which allowed him to destroy half of the population in the universe. The survivors, Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) unite to find a way into the past where they can confront Thanos and hopefully restore their dead comrades to the living.
Though there is not a bad performance in the film, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo are memorable for different reasons. Iron Man has now started a new life where he is married (Gwyenth Paltrow as Pepper Potts) with a devoted daughter and he knows that joining the Avengers’ journey into the past may result in his never being able to return to a family he loves.
As for Mr. Hemsworth, he is funny beyond words playing an incredibly obese, laconic Thor whose only remaining desire is to make sure he can find a cold beer. Hemsworth dominates the screen with his magical performance and it helps make this movie an incredible artistic success.
Yet Ruffalo’s Hulk is a central character in this remarkable movie. Bruce Banner has now merged into his alter ego, resulting in the Hulk becoming a thoughtful, eye glass wearing leader that is no longer angry at the world.
Ironically, while there are expected battle scenes, this film actually devotes itself to exploring the meaning of friendship and love. It allows you to embrace a multitude of characters ranging from Don Cheadle as The War Machine, Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange, Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Tom Holland as Spider-Man, Zoe Saladana as Gamora and Anthony Mackie as the Falcon among others. And as expected, Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon adds icing to this cinematic cake.
The net effect by the Russo brothers is to paint a cinematic canvas that will go down in history as one of most monumental emotional films ever made.