Do you love all things Marvel? Here is Seth Kubersky’s review of Avengers: Endgame, plus tips on where to immerse yourselves into the Marvel world when visiting the theme parks.
After 11 years, 21 films, and more than $7 billion at the box office, the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it comes to an explosively satisfying conclusion in Avengers: Endgame, the cathartic culmination of Disney’s wildly ambitious decade-long experiment in epic storytelling.
When we last saw Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), and the rest of our comic book champions, they were still reeling from the repercussions of Infinity War, in which Thanos (Josh Brolin) snapped half of humanity out of existence. The loss of their friends and family is still fresh as this direct follow-up begins, but the usual rock ’em-sock ’em solutions provide no solace this time around.
Instead, we spend a surprisingly substantial portion of the film examining the psychological aftermath of their abject failure, which some of the Avengers have adjusted to better than others. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) has shouldered the mantle of leadership, and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) has started wearing cardigan sweaters, but Thor (Chris Hemsworth) now sports a beer belly and a Lebowski-worthy beard.
The screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely has its share of quotable quips—mostly courtesy of Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) or Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). But there’s a somber tone underlying the humor that directors Joe and Anthony Russo—originally best known for their sitcoms—are unafraid to explore.
It would be unfair to spoil the story’s many twists, but suffice it to say that the heart of the plot is a multi-pronged heist that borrows (with a knowing nod) from both Ocean’s 11 and Back to the Future Part II. This allows the filmmakers (and fans) to revisit key moments in the earlier movies from fresh perspectives—and reunite with favorite characters, including a few I never expected to see again.
Unlike Infinity War, which was structured as an ever-escalating series of action set pieces, most of Endgame is remarkably restrained and character-driven. Even the most tense moments in the middle act are broken up by eye-moistening emotional cameos. Of course, it does eventually build up to the obligatory all-out rumble, which easily outdoes the battle royal’s from both Civil War and Infinity War in velocity and volume, finally satisfying every fan’s long-denied desire to see the Avengers fully assembled.
Fittingly, the film—and the multi-phase universe it represents—concludes not with crashing explosions but with a bittersweet passing of the torch, as well as a sweetly romantic final fade-out. As the interwebs have predicted, there are fatalities to mourn—though not necessarily the ones expected—and loose ends to be tied into elegant bows. There will always be more Marvel movies, as a new wave of characters like Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) come to the fore. But as the swan song for Marvel’s original generation of heroes, Endgame gives true believers everything they could possibly ask for…except for any post-credit scenes hinting at adventures to come.
Tips on Where to Immerse Yourselves Into the Marvel World
Universal’s Islands of Adventure is home to the Marvel Super Hero Land where you can experience four rides themed after popular Marvel superheroes (The Incredible Hulk, the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, and Storm Force Accelatron).
Throughout the day, there are also plenty of opportunities to meet with characters such as Spider-Man, Captain America, Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm and Rogue, as well as Marvel Villains like The Green Goblin and Dr. Doom.
If you ever dreamed of dining with Captain America, then check out Universal Orlando’s Marvel Character Dinner at Cafe 4 at Islands of Adventure. We joined him, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, and Rogue not long ago. Here is our review.
At Disney’s California Adventure you can enjoy the Guardians of the Galaxy ride and a show taking place in front of the tower several times a day. Dubbed Guardians of the Galaxy—Awesome Dance Off! the show features Gamora, Star Lord, and even Groot dancing to classic rock music.
You can pay your respects to Black Panther, the King of Wakanda; Captain Marvel; Spider-Man; and the very first Avenger, Captain America, in Hollywood Land.
For all there is to see and do at Universal Orlando and Disneyland, check out The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando and The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland.