Ups the ante (Reviews)

Deepa Gahlot
Friday, 26 April 2019

Avengers: Endgame
Language: English 
 Director: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Brie Larson and others
Showing at: CityPride, Cinepolis, E-square Carnival, Inox and others 
Rating: ****

Marvel Studios and Disney’s three-hour epic, Avengers: Endgame is not just a movie, it is an event. The last of the 22 films in the franchise, in which a line-up of superheroes battle mighty villain Thanos (voiced by Josh Brolin), has to be special. Just like a film series can begin only once, there can be only one farewell (though that can change), which is why the release of this gargantuan film is also huge — multiplexes in India too are going nuts scheduling extra shows. For fans, who have followed and dissected every film in the Avengers universe, of course, this is a momentous movie. Non-fans may have trouble keeping up with the characters and the convoluted plot (why the heck don’t dead people stay dead!!), but it is a dazzling thrill ride anyway, directed with inexhaustible energy by the Russo Brothers.

Avengers: Infinity War, which was released last year, was a massive hit -- the fourth highest-grossing film of all time. This one, seems all set to break that record. Of course, there are misgivings about turning every superhero film into a marketing exercise, and raking in the millions; this film aims unashamedly at success.

It would be as pointless as it is tough to encapsulate the plot of this film (scripted by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely), but for those who might not have followed the adventures of the Avengers, Thanos has destroyed half the population of Earth, because he has the powers bestowed on him by six Infinity Stones he collected over the last film. He believes (and many would say he is right in a perverse way) that humankind deserved to be decimated.

The team of superheroes has the seniors like Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), right down to the relatively new Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), ready to fight Thanos. The major characters have had their own individual films, but it is fun to see them together, in a crazy time-travelling escapade, that manages to be action-packed, wise, funny, nostalgia-inducing and melancholy (because it is the end of the road for some characters) in the right measure. It is also as imaginative, extravagant and spectacular as a CGI-driven, comic-book inspired film can be. Avengers: Endgame is a proper crowd-pleaser, that makes the audience realise once again, that even though Hollywood is rolling out too many superhero movies, they do often manage to surprise, awe and entertain.

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