Given the nature of the final instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3, there’s little to mention without giving the (end)game away, so this review will be short. But saying this, it isn’t an overstatement to say that the Russo Brothers have brought the first decade of Marvel cinema to a close with an epic, action-packed climax worthy enough to lift Mjolnir.

After the shocking conclusion to last year’s Infinity War, the stakes are high for our heroes, who are mourning their missing loved ones as well as their winning streak. It’s fitting that this film should take us back to where it all started, with original Avengers (and some various fan-favourites who survived the snap) suiting up once again to battle an intergalactic foe – because as Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) said all those years ago, if they can’t protect the Earth “you can be damn sure we’ll avenge it.”

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However, in the parallel of seeing the original six side-by-side once more, we also see just how much each of them has changed since the Battle of New York. Together, the have evolved from simply a “group of remarkable people” to a family, albeit somewhat battle-hardened and weary, but still driven to do “whatever it takes” to leave this world in better shape than they found it. Through wins and losses, friendship and fighting, it has all led to this film, this battle, this chance to set it all right – and to do it together.

Endgame is every bit for the fans, there’s no getting past that. Interwoven through this final story are moments that fans have been waiting and hoping for, executed with finesse, but accompanied with a keen sense of pathos that reminds the audience that this is building to a finale for many of our favourites. Which is not to say that the film is maudlin, or overly focused on “the end” of something, but rather the delivery on a decade-long promise. The team behind the camera have worked hard to achieve a near-perfect balance between humour and heart, although there are certain running jokes that lose their charm as the story unfolds.

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The curtain falls on the Marvel trailblazers in spectacular fashion, with a finale that’s far from predictable, but allows each to play to their strengths and sees them all find a kind of resolution to their journey. And although there are moments that sow the seeds of what’s to come in the MCU, Endgame is what the title suggests – a conclusion, and none of these nuggets draw away from the overarching farewell to the ones who started it all and allowed for this universe to become the cinematic titan that it is today.

All in all, as Thanos demands your silence, Endgame demands more than one viewing, as your first watch will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout for fear that no one is safe. Think Infinity War x10.

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