The reviews are in – and the Russo brothers have done it, with critics hailing Avengers: Endgame as a – largely – roaring success and a fitting conclusion to the long-running franchise.
The final chapter in the current phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was previewed for press last night ahead of its full UK release (at some cinemas) tonight.
And it appears that fans are in for a satisfying – if occasionally overwhelming – ride.
But clearly at pains to keep spoilers under wraps, many critics also refer to the ‘poignant goodbyes’ that we’ll also have to cope with too.
The film has already been rated Fresh by reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes where it currently has a rating of 96% positive reviews, out of 111 tallied so far.
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw gives it the full five-star treatment, writing: “I have to admit, in all its surreal grandiosity, in all its delirious absurdity, there is a huge sugar rush of excitement to this mighty finale, finally interchanging with euphoric emotion and allowing us to say poignant farewells.”
In another five-star notice, Empire magazine writes: “Sure, there’s a touch of Return Of The King syndrome creeping in at the end. Sure, the plot has a particular breed of logic hole that you could drive a bus through. You won’t care. We’re never going to object to another five minutes in the company of this company.
“A victory lap that moonwalks through the best part of the MCU back catalogue and emphasises emotion as much as action, this is an intensely satisfying piece of blockbuster filmmaking.”
In The Daily Telegraph, Robbie Collin says: “I can’t recall a film in this cinematic universe or any other that works as relentlessly and ingeniously to keep delighting its audience than this.”
Mashable’s Angie Han writes: “This is Marvel flexing, building on over 10 years and 20-plus films of careful groundwork and intricate planning to show us what it can do that no other movie franchise can. As such, it’s an immensely satisfying finish to this era of the series.”
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Other reviews came with a few more caveats.
“As Endgame sputters to the finish line, it leaves the impression of witnessing a Marvel Movie Marathon compressed to three hours – and 58 seconds, but trust me, they’re disposable – of unbridled fan service,” writes Indiewire, rating it with a grade of ‘B-‘.
Notes Entertainment Weekly: “The movie largely delivers, splashing its ambitious three-hour narrative across a sprawling canvas of characters, eras, and not-quite-insurmountable challenges.
“With nothing less than the fate of the free world (or at least approximately 50% of it) at stake, there’s an expected urgency to it all, but an underlying melancholy too — not just for everything that’s been lost, but for what won’t be coming back. After 11 years, 22 films, and uncountable post-credit Easter eggs, the endgame of an era has finally come.”
Others were less charitable still.
Forbes magazine, in a mostly positive review, notes ‘disappointing action’, but Slate magazine gifts it just 1.5 stars (out of four), pointing out: “Every serious narrative beat in the film is ultimately undercut by pro-forma storytelling, or by faux-improvised humor.
“Even the glow of movie stardom is dimmed by the supernova that is the Marvel machine’s at best competently produced weightlessness.”
But the more downbeat takes on this cinematic behemoth are in the minority.
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Bradley Cooper and Josh Brolin, Avengers: Endgame is out nationwide from tomorrow.