“Avengers: Endgame,” A-

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Jeff Turner
CONTRIBUTOR

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

Jeff Turner is a Runner at the Alamo Drafthouse at Midtown. Special thanks to the Alamo for screening “Avengers: Endgame” for Jeff in advance.

It will be interesting to talk about “Avengers: Endgame” because so much in it could be held as a ‘spoiler.’ So, during this review, we will cover material already shown in the trailers and perhaps vaguely allude to other happenings in the movie.

It’s good though, y’all.

A challenge for me has been to separate the theatrical experience from the movie itself. There’s a certain hype getting there for this thing that’s going to make a giga-billion dollars and seeing it with a crowd of excited people a day before everyone else. The hype behind the theatrical experience for “Endgame” is very real, while it is unlikely this review would dissuade the faithful in any capacity, they should feel reassured knowing that this is an event.

The main thrust of “Endgame” follows the surviving Avengers five years after Thanos (Josh Brolin, still excellent) snapped half of humanity out of existence. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) has developed a method of time travel, and all the Avengers believe they could use this to get the Infinity Stones before Thanos and bring everyone who died in the snap back to life.

Time travel movies have major plot-holes. That comes with the material, and there will be more than a few think pieces picking apart the plot-holes in “Endgame” for clicks once the opening weekend rush has settled down. The movie warrants clemency on this front; yeah, there are holes in the film’s time travel logic, but it doesn’t matter, so get over it.

That does not mean that “Endgame” is perfect or even great. There are issues with the movie that would constitute spoilers, but there are also pacing issues (the big CGI battle at the end is about twenty minutes too long), and one specific character choice felt contrived to move the plot along.

There is a scene where one of the main characters would have almost certainly been killed by the villains, but they aren’t. There’s no real reason for this other than to move the plot along. Details have been omitted because this is technically a spoiler, but it is hard to believe people won’t notice this specific moment.

What works in “Endgame” is most of the cast, with specific emphasis on Robert Downey Jr. and Jeremy Renner. This is possibly Downey’s best performance in his entire nine-film run in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while the ensemble is strong throughout the 181-minute-run time of “Endgame,” he dominates every scene he is in.

Renner comes in as the film’s second-best performance, entering the film having been transformed by the snap into John Wick-esque assassin ‘Ronin,” and he is more alive than he has been in a long time. His early scenes feel plucked from a hard-edged thriller, and with any luck a Hawkeye solo film might finally happen. Renner definitely has the chops to carry a solo effort.

Attention must be paid once again to Thanos, who, as with “Infinity War,” is the glue that holds “Endgame” together. A great villain matters quite a bit.

The MCU should have collapsed in on itself like a dying star a long time ago. Some films have been ‘pretty good,’ some have been ‘OK,’ most have been mediocre, but for those who sat through all of them, “Endgame” is undoubtedly satisfying.

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