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Avengers: Endgame is worryingly endless

The epic and worryingly endless Avengers: Endgame marks the closing of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s old testament, 22 films that started with Iron Man in 2008 and finish with this three-hour follow-up to last year’s cliffhanger, Avengers: Infinity War. That one was good, but this one reminds that the best movies in this network of superhero films haven’t had “Avengers” in the title – the supergroup ensemble efforts might have rocked louder than the solo albums, but they haven’t been as memorable.

Infinity War certainly had an unforgettable ending: cosmic supervillain Thanos eradicated half of all living things in the universe, including various Avengers newbies. Which means only one thing will bring them back: time travel. Somewhere at Marvel Studios, there is a giant whiteboard that explains the story’s chronology loops better than the movie does, with the surviving squad beamed back to some previous MCU flicks. It can make this feel as if you’re watching the whole franchise on fast forward for a very long time.

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But the best bits of Endgame are character based and seeing where the likes of such long-timers as Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor have ended up. They get moments that are touching and funny (especially from Chris Hemsworth’s space viking) and a good deal of that running time is devoted to extended curtain calls. They don’t make for a great movie, but they make for an enjoyable extended farewell to the folks who got the mega-franchise this far, at least.



Video: Marvel Entertainment

This article was first published in the May 11, 2019 issue of the New Zealand Listener.