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Arts & Culture, Broward

A Marvelous Saga Comes to a Finale – Avengers: Endgame

In the movie theater auditorium, there’s a buzz of excited talk. The lobby over at Cinemark Paradise 24 is swarming and fast-moving. Children standing on their tiptoes stare at the popcorn machine and tall Marvel’s Avengers cups. They grin for their salty snacks and sip their sodas. A man who walks as if he is wearing a heavy diaper seems to be sneaking in snacks in his oversized combat pants.

A woman with blue hair wearing a blue Captain America shield shirt snagged her favorite seat while hugging her family-sized popcorn. She allowed herself slurps of soda pop during the trailers, but other than that she just waited.

April 26, 2019 – 6:45 p.m.

‘Avengers: Endgame’ – Cinemark Paradise 24

The finale of the movie is action-packed and the screen owns everyone’s eyeballs from start to end. Muscle-bound superheroes battle, suits of armor take flight, and weapons that would make a commando drool. The trailer for ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is to the movie what Willy Wonka’s bubblegum was to eating – small but satisfying. The trailer lived up to the hype.

With some cheers come fists in the air and eyes flung wide. The roar of the crowd is electrified, awake, soaring to new heights of emotion.

The cheers erupt like an auditory volcano. It is all quiet one second and then deafening the next. Rising to the crescendo and then finally to a trickle before the same nervous tension commands silence once more. The cheers are like a faulty firework, slow to the start and rising to a weak explosion before petering out completely.

Silent.

Nervous.

Faces fell faster than a corpse in cement boots. Eyes were as wide as they could stretch. They sat, engrossed, barely noticing the popcorn that failed to make it to their slack mouths.

My heart rate rises and only when it ends do I notice my muscles are tensed. It takes a moment to digest such compressed drama.

Set after Thanos’ catastrophic use of the Infinity Stones to randomly wipe out half the universe and Earth’s population in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, Marvel Studios is back with their 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is once again directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, and with 11 years and 21 movies that make up the MCU, this is an entertaining film that’ll leave fans emotionally invested.

The last Avengers film was exactly released one year before Endgame. The last Avengers movie was built up as the most must-see blockbuster for all moviegoers. Even if they haven’t been keeping up with the MCU and Marvel characters such as Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the latest movie ‘Captain Marvel’ starring actress Brie Larson. Now with Endgame, this is the ultimate fan-service follow-up film.

After Infinity War, these characters are desperate to do something. Anything. To bring back their lost loved ones after the snap heard around the world by the villainous Thanos.

What you take away from ‘Avengers: Endgame’ will be how much you’ve truly invested into the MCU. That doesn’t mean you have to have seen every Marvel Studios flick to enjoy Endgame. Even casual viewers can get a kick out of this. An example of this would be you do not really have to see ‘Captain Marvel’ for instance to fully understand the plot or other characters for Endgame. However, if you have been keeping up with these movies, the small details will make you enjoy it more.

One fan that truly enjoys the film is Hulk fan, Travis Scott Remillard. Wearing Hulk hands and face paint that resembles Hulk from the film ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, Remillard was all about the epic ending. “This ending was epic and it’s been ten years into one epic fight scene,” said Remillard. “I literally screamed at the top of my lungs, “Let’s go! And nobody had a problem with it.”

Remillard, who even bought early tickets, believes the movie goes into a different turn than what most fans are predicting. “I was expecting the Hulk to get the gauntlet and truly have that one-on-one with Thanos, but the best fight scenes of 2019 go to Cap,” said Remillard.

The Marvel character Hulk holds a special place in Remillard’s heart. “I’ve been down with Marvel since Iron Man one, since the beginning. I even have Hulk statues everywhere, Funko Pops and my girl does too,” said Remillard. “Hulk is the strongest and his strength pushes me when I go to the gym. That inner strength inside him is a reminder to me and it’s inspirational.”

When asked what Remillard believes the future holds for the MCU, Remillard believes, “I think the Young Avengers will be the next phase. We’ve been introduced to the kid from ‘Iron Man 3’, Ant-Man’s daughter, and Hawkeye’s daughter. I may look like a big-ass jock, but I’m on my nerd game strong.”

Endgame calls back to so many Marvel flicks with callbacks to other characters and even lines of dialogue. You may not catch these references in a first time viewing. However, you’ll definitely catch a couple of nice ones and even if you don’t, you’ll be fine with following the plot.

The film is easily one of the darkest tones we’ve seen for an MCU movie. On the other hand, the film offers a good balance between action, drama, and comedy. There are some laugh-out-loud moments here and those laughs come from Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, and Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo. We’ve grown to expect Ant-Man, played by Paul Rudd to bring the laughs, which he does. The film takes a look at other characters and gives them some comedy gold to run with. After ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, it seemed like they were pushing Thor into more comedic territory. Endgame continues that and now that Hemsworth has signed a new contract with Marvel studios, I can’t wait for him to bring more laughs. Chris Evans as Captain America even gets in on the laughs. There is a joke that deals with Cap having a perfect ass. “America’s Ass” as Ant-Man politely phrased it

One thing I truly respect here is that Endgame feels like a movie for fans, yet made by fans. The Russo Brothers have truly brought the comic book feels and artwork to the big screen. There are multiple scenes that resemble comic book legends Jack Kirby or Alex Ross illustrations come to life.

Even though Infinity War did its very best to juggle around an enormous roster, unfortunately, some characters don’t get their time to fully shine. Brie Larson as Captain Marvel isn’t the almighty savior they advertised her to be. Her character still feels a little monotone and it seems as if she is still trying to get a hold of this character and her traits. I believe Captain Marvel and Thor are in the same boat. By that I mean, Thor started out a little lackluster and some fans have even called his films the worst of the MCU. Now, people love Thor and consider him to be one of the best. Much like Thor, Captain Marvel may have that experience of fans eventually embracing her after the writers give her more depth in her personality.

Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner, does get more time to shine in this movie than in any other film. He is going through some drama and he becomes Ronin. Ronin is from the comics and to sum it up, it’s as if Hawkeye became The Punisher. However, this is more of a nod to comic fans, and they don’t make the most out of Hawkeye’s new attitude. However, Renner proves to be a quality actor and you feel for him and his loss. He portrays facial expressions alone that make you feel sad for him. The moments between Hawkeye and Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johannsson, are amazing. The two of them have a chemistry that goes together hand-in-hand. We saw this in ‘Captain America: Civil War’, but in Endgame whenever these two share a dramatic scene, it is some of the best acting in the movie.

But fans of the holy trinity of Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America will find plenty of the iconic moments. Especially with Iron Man and Captain America, because much like Hawkeye and Black Widow, Iron Man and Captain America have had perfect chemistry since the first Avengers film back in 2012.

Jordan Dennis’ favorite film was ‘Captain America: Civil War’, that was until he saw Endgame. “Civil War was my favorite because it gave me that feeling of separation and it made me feel that our heroes really might not make it out as friends,” said Dennis. “But the film did a fantastic job of interweaving all of the characters and we get a decent conclusion for each character’s journey.”

Dennis, who is a film studies major, believes that these types of films have the power to represent everyone and open diverse doors. “Because of today’s politics and society views, I think we will see more representation for heroes to go along with people,” said Dennis. “I think we’ll see more female and gay characters come into play to represent those in our society that have not been represented before.”

Endgames biggest accomplishment is definitely the climax and it deepens our understanding and appreciation of the movies that came before this. It’s a saga that comes to an end yet feels fresh as if it is starting a new era. Even though the MCU will continue with sequels, prequels, and television shows, the last 11 years have been fascinating. Marvel Studios has developed the blueprint on how to do a cinematic universe. I highly believe that another cinematic universe will not be this well polished and planned out for years if not decades. This saga really is a part of cinematic history and something that hasn’t been done before.

‘Avengers: Endgame’ may be the last Stan Lee cameo he appears in. But thanks to these movies, his creations will live on and his legacy is in good hands with films like this.

Rating: 9 out of 10!

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