The first indication that “Avengers: Endgame” is an iconic cinematic masterpiece was finding myself having to park at the mall in spots that only see cars the day after Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas. With a $1.2 billion global box office total and $350 domestic take between last Thursday and the weekend, “Avengers: Endgame” shattered all ticket revenues records held by 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the “Endgame” table-setter from last year: “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Finding parking is worth it for diehard Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, who won’t have much to complain about from this three-hour action adventure.
The 22nd chapter in the MCU superhero story book, “Endgame” picks up as after last year’s “Infinity War,” with many of our favorites either dead, dying or in mourning. Irresistible bad guy Josh Brolin returns as the Titan thug Thanos, imposing his will after collecting the series of all-important Infinity stones and causing a universe-worth of trouble and seemingly defeating the Avengers.
Brilliant filmmaking brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, both whom directed “Infinity War,” continue their Midas touch on this continuation saga. Aside from a relatively lackluster and drawn out first hour to start, this action thriller gains unstoppable momentum for the remaining time. Delivering deadpan humor are two of the most unlikely cast members, Bruce Banner as The Hulk and the always likeable Thor. Both throw shadow on the more playful, funny heroes in the collection, such as Tony Stark’s Iron Man and Peter Quill’s Star-Lord.
Eleven years of Marvel storytelling culminates in several tributes to the most successful film journey in modern film history. Many characters and situations in “Endgame” acknowledge scenes from previous Marvel movies in paying homage to their personalities and background. The film’s attention-to-detail is also a tip of the hat to the fans who’ve helped carry the Marvel torch of success into the record books. Parents, kids and family members of superheroes are seen for the first time in this pinnacle MCU film.
Arguably the largest pool of mega-star talent ever assembled on the big-screen, “Endgame” does an adequate job of passing the Marvel crime-fighting ball amongst our favorite action figures. Creatively, the Russo brothers spread the love around each character except for the still awkward Brie Larson, who plays Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel). Otherwise, the screen time matches the set-up established from “Infinity War.”
I have two significant downgrades for this movie, both of which could easily go unflagged by rabid Marvel faithful. First, the film’s first hour is monotonous and lacks suspense or the emotional connection “Infinity War” left us with. Second, three hours pushes moviegoers into a hydration routine that rivals camel survival techniques found in the Sahara.
The bottom line, though, is that “Avengers: Endgame” has a formidable chance to be the most watched film in history. That alone makes this a movie not to be missed.
“Avengers: Endgame” is not rated PG-13 with a running time of 3 hours.