Avengers: Endgame: the latest by the Russo Brothers, Anthony and Joe, is more than simply a movie, or even the second half of a story started a year ago; it’s the apex of a series (or cinematic universe) that includes over 20 movies and a couple of TV series. It’s therefore hard to judge it by itself, but it’s also necessary to simply check in the cynicism at the door, and not judge this film on the series’ worst mistakes (paraphrasing a line of dialogue in the film). And, truth be told, this is one entertaining and emotional ride, assuming some previous engagement with the characters exists. The story is once more focused on just a few characters (underlining the flaws of the previous Avengers film, both in storytelling and plot points); that, plus the extended runtime allows the main characters to have their emotional journeys. The film is long, but because of that doesn’t feel so (kudos to editors Jeffrey Ford and Matthew Schmidt). The enormous cast is one of good old pros who played these characters many times, and they manage the darkness the film calls for quite well; Chris Hemsworth confirms he deals well with comedy and is the highlight; Josh Brolin’s calm and low-key delivery makes his uber-villain even more terrifying. Needless to say the production values are quite good; the exception is the climatic conflict, which happens in murky, unattractive light, and turns out to be a tad too visually confusing.
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