Avengers End Game: Celebration of the Marvel Superheroes in an epic finale

-:: S.Rajesh ::-

Avengers End Game is a fitting and epic conclusion to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Infinity Stones Saga that featured 22 movies across 11 years. The plot picks up right after the end of Infinity War where some of the super heroes are left stranded in outer space and the survivors of the Universe are mourning the loss of their loved ones after half of all living creatures are decimated as a result of Thanos’ snap. Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) who is summoned through the pager signal by Nick Fury reaches in the nick of time to save Iron Man and Nebula and the surviving Avengers come up with a plan to take back the Infinity Gauntlet.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo have chosen to focus on the emotional impact of the ‘snap’ as the Superheroes show their human side in dealing with depression after their failure to stop the mad Titan from executing his ‘snap’. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and Captain America (Chris Evans) briefly disagree before coming together. The God of Thunder Thor (Chris Hemsworth) too is not his usual self. They team up with the talking raccoon Rocket (Bradley Cooper), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and new additions Captain Marvel and Nebula (Karen Gillian) to catch up with Thanos (Josh Brolin) who is living a life of retirement after executing his plan of bringing ‘balance’ to the Universe. The Avengers appear to win an important battle against Thanos but are unable to retrieve the Gauntlet that could have reversed the effect of the Snap.
The movie then moves forward in time with the heroes coping in different ways to handle their feeling of loss as they cope with alcoholism, stress and depression. At one point even Captain America quips, “Some people move on. But not us”. Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson) tries to bind together her Superhero ‘family’ by taking up the responsibility in managing the new situation dealing with the new problems that the world faces. Ant Man (Paul Rudd) who was stuck in the Quantum Realm is released and has to deal with a vastly different world. He meets Captain America and talks to him the possibility of a time travel ‘heist’ that could bring back the fallen by getting their hands on the stones. Meanwhile Iron Man and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) settle into family life with Iron Man still trying to shake off his guilt and the loss of trillions of lives including a personal loss he suffered when he lost Spiderman (Tom Holland) whom he had mentored. You even find Iron Man washing the dishes! When the Avengers approach him to come up with a time travel plan to retrieve the Infinity Stones, Iron Man is skeptical at first. So they team up with Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) who is now a hybrid version of himself while an alcoholic Thor is living a life of recluse. This leads to some funny moments and we see a lot of quips from the others including Rocket. Meanwhile Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) is venting his fury at the world by hunting down criminals across the world but he is drafted back by Black Widow in Japan. The Avengers plan to retrieve all six Infinity Stones with different teams assigned to find it in different points of time in various locations. There are some interesting situations now as they come up with some chance encounters with their past selves and this provides an opportunity for virtually every Super hero who’s been part of the 22 movie series to make an appearance. The directors pay homage to the earlier movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with some inside jokes and pop culture references. We are even transported back to the epic 2012 Avengers battle against Thor’s brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) who appears to disappear with the Tesseract to an alternate timeline.
Thanos too comes to know of their time travel plan and he deploys a counter plan to disrupt their strategy. This leads to some confusion as future and past selves battle one other. This does give Thor a chance to bid a proper goodbye to his mom in Asgard while Iron Man has an encounter with his dad Howard Stark and he even has some words of advice on fatherhood to his father. Captain America comes across his old flame Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). Hulk manages to retrieve the Time stone after a meeting with the ‘Ancient One’ (Tilda Swinton) who is surprised that Dr Strange handed over the Time stone willingly.
The Avengers manage to get their hands on all six Infinity Stones but not before some sacrifices are made in the process. They try to reverse the effect of the snap and this leads to an epic showdown with the Super heroes battling against Thanos and his minions in the battlefield. The other super heroes making an appearance include the likes of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Bucky (Sebastian Stan), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), the Guardians of the Galaxy team that includes Star Lord (Chris Pratt), past Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Groot (Vin Diesel), Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), Valkyrie (Tessa Thomson) and Captain Marvel but their scope is limited.
The fate of the Universe rests on this battle which showcases some terrific action sequences with both sides getting their hands on the Gauntlet at different stages. This leads to a gripping and engaging conclusion where members of both sides perish in the battle. The ending also provides a closure to some key characters as they get an emotional send off. We also get to see some cameos including director Joe Russo and a final cameo from creator Stan Lee.
End Game is not without its flaws. Despite having a run time of over 3 hours, it tends to focus on a few Avengers in terms of their character arcs and there are a few plot holes regarding the time travel scenario and its alternate timelines. But End Game largely accomplishes what it sets out to do. It manages to deliver a spectacular and emotional end to the Infinity stones saga with loads of action, drama, humour, nostalgic pop culture references and it has some terrific one-liners too. The fans will leave content and satisfied with this finale and can soon look forward to the Next Phase of the MCU with new storylines as another Avenger passes the mantle as well. This is a Superhero movie with a lot of substance and deserves to be seen on the biggest screens for optimal experience as the movie was filmed entirely using IMAX cameras.

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