Avengers: Endgame

I solemnly promise the first half of this review is 100% spoiler-free. I would never want this film spoiled for me, so I will NOT do it to you. Let's dive right in since we've been waiting 21 movies and over 10 years for this!

There has never been anything like this movie and there probably will never be again. It's impossible to explain to people who aren't invested in this universe, but this movie was made with so much care and love for the fans. It's an emotional ride from start to finish. You will laugh, cheer, cry, and smile until your cheeks hurt.

The humor of the movie is perfectly balanced with the emotional heaviness you'd expect after the events of Infinity War. Those laugh out loud moments are, for me, what sets the MCU apart from all who have dared to try this kind of epic superhero storytelling before... not to mention the insanely brilliant character development that has taken place over the last decade.

This was an incredibly satisfying end to an unbelievable journey we're so lucky to have been a part of for so long. I was thoroughly engaged for every minute of the 3+ hour run time. The pacing felt just right throughout. Amongst the anticipated action sequences, we were still given our moments where the emotion needed some air to breathe. All of our OG Avengers surviving the snap got their moment to shine. It was a well-crafted conclusion to a truly epic story.

Brit's Spoiler-Free Tip: There are no mid- or post-credits scenes, but I will recommend staying through the first part of the credits, as it's a beautiful tribute to all the actors who brought these characters to life for so many years. Once the credits start rolling, feel free to run to the bathroom! After all, it's been 3.5 hours (with previews). Oh, and bring tissues... it's a lot of emotion to handle!

Now.... WARNING! WARNING! Spoiler content after the photo. I mean ALL the spoilers! Come back AFTER you've seen Endgame. Scroll down with caution!

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Seriously.... if you haven't seen the movie LEAVE NOW!

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Last chance! I mean it!

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Okay, if you're reading this, you've seen Endgame and I'm giving you the biggest virtual hug. We really went through it, huh? Let's dive into this incredible final chapter of our 22-movie saga.

We start by seeing Clint back at home with his family, as seen in the trailer. I had speculated that that little clip we saw would end with his family disappearing leading to a Ronin reveal... which turned out to be true. Also, I think we all predicted was that the quantum realm was going to play a key part in the time traveling required to undo the effects of the snap. Nat's hair in the trailer led us to believe we had a time jump and that we did... five years! The rest of the plot, however, didn't see it coming and I'm thrilled.

I didn't expect Thanos to destroy the stones. It makes sense, but I just didn't even consider it. I thought we might get some clips from the previous films through some time travel, but never in the way it played out. Those extended moments from our beloved movies from before were so perfect and entertaining. I was afraid the time travel would get messy, but I just loved how we got those nostalgic little moments from the recreations. I particularly loved the Cap vs. Cap fight, the SmartHulk pretending to Hulk out, the elevator scene from Winter Soldier (Hail Hydra) and the little moment we got with Loki. Speaking of Loki, let's talk about Thor for minute.

Chris Hemsworth took this character to a whole new level I didn't think was even possible after Ragnarok. His comedic chops were on full display again, and I loved every minute of it. Truly never expected to see a fat Thor. I honestly CACKLED at that reveal. (Shout out to Korg for being hilarious as always.) And while we're sidebarring: Mark Ruffalo as SmartHulk was such a pleasant surprise.

Okay, back to the search for the stones: The second Clint and Natasha showed up on Vormir for the soul stone, I threw my hands over my face while shaking my head. I knew one of them was doomed and I quietly said to myself, "Oh no, Nat." I knew we might lose some heroes this movie, but damn if they didn't pull at our heartstrings HARD in this scene. Some of Jeremy Renner's best work to date as Clint. RIP Nat.

I also really appreciated both scenes with the parents who had passed on. I thought they balanced each other beautifully showing Tony reconnecting with Howard and Thor with his mother, Frigga. They were written and executed brilliantly while continuing to drive these characters we've known so long forward even further.

Nebula really got a wonderful character arc in this film that I was completely surprised by. The way they used her memory projecting to drive the plot was very clever. And, of course, the way the relationship holds with her sister, Gamora, throughout the film is really poignant. Those two came a long way and I'm happy to see them play such a large role in defeating Thanos.

Which leads us to that final battle where all our fallen Avengers come back... with a vengeance. See what I did there? This scene was undoubtedly wild as we have almost too many of them to give their appropriate moments. One of my few complaints about this movie is that some of the action in this scene was so fast and chaotic that it lost some of its impact. But that being said, this battle gave me one moment that I'll never forget. I let out the most visceral and involuntary screams that has ever left my mouth when Cap wielded Mjölnir. I mean, I actually threw my hands in the air and kicked my feet. My theater also gave our guy Peter Parker a resounding ovation at his return. His and Tony's reunion was so touching... Tom Holland continues to prove he's far and away the best Spider-Man.

I really loved seeing all the ladies in action, even the, albeit a bit cheesy/forced, scene where we have some serious girl power come together. (Wanda, Valkyrie, PEPPER!, Shuri, Okoye, Wasp, Mantis, and of course Captain Marvel who was surprisingly barely used...) I can't help but think this was Marvel's way of telling us that the future of the MCU is going to be a little less white male superhero, and I'm pretty excited about it.

There are so many little wonderful moments between our heroes that I can't wait to watch again while I'm less awestruck at the magnitude of seeing this all happen for the first time.

Now let's talk about the bigun... that moment we shall NEVER say aloud to anyone who has not seen this movie. Tony Stark. Goodness. What a scene. We thought Peter turning to dust in Infinity War was a gut punch, this was a soul crusher. Peter and Pepper's goodbyes to Tony were so touching yet deeply upsetting, I admittedly had tears rolling down my cheeks. I heard audible sniffles around the theater, so I know I wasn't alone. They didn't stop throughout Tony's funeral. Every character got their moment to say thank you and good bye to Iron Man. It was a fitting end for such a remarkable character... the one who started it all. We love you 3000, Tony.

But we don't end there! We get our final scene with Captain America who has the task of putting all the stones back where they found them. Instead of coming back 5 seconds later, an aged Steve Rogers sits on bench not far away from the time portal. Sam goes to greet him and we learn that he's decided to live his life out instead of continuing down the path of Captain America. He's wearing a wedding ring and I think we all knew in that instant that he went back for Peggy (confirmed later). Steve passes his shield and his duty as Captain America on to Sam, which is nice, but honestly... no one can replace Steve Rogers. I had always pictured Steve reuniting with Peggy and getting that dance he always wanted, and I'm so content with us seeing he finally got it as our last scene. I'll miss him.

So, our journey through the Infinity Saga has ended and I am emotionally zapped. I needed the full credits just to pull myself together enough to walk out of the theater. It has been one hell of a ride. I hope all the MCU fans, including yourself, enjoyed the ride as much as I have. I'll be re-watching these many more times through, and I continually feel so lucky to be a fan. Until we see each other again in Phase 4... Avengers assemble!

Brit's Spoilery Tip: I'm using my tip space to shout out to some hilarious moments I just have to mention: Thor being called The Big Lebowski and then him just totally leaning into it with that sweater; all the time travel movie references; Ant-Man's taco spillage; America's Ass (seconded); Korg and Miek playing Fortnite; Tony threatening to keep Cap's shield if he loses it again HA!; the SmartHulk scene at the restaurant with Ant-Man... oh gosh there are too many now that I've started! As for the real tip: Since you've presumably already seen this movie, go see it again. That's all!

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