Journey to Conclusion is the Thrill of ‘Avengers: Endgame’

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CHICAGO – When it comes down to this, and the creators do it right, there is no more satisfying conclusion than “Avengers: Endgame.” Admirers of this magnificent Marvel (Studios) Universe story will get everything they want. It is the “Gone with the Wind” of superhero epic films.

What is comes down to is the investment in character. The Marvel stable of superheroes have always have brought in conflicted philosophies to their roles of protection, and as you see this progress take place through the actors they chose to portrays these masked “Avengers,” it relates on a very human level. For all the pomposity of CGI film effects, good-versus-evil battles and flashy super powers, it all comes down to the relationships of family and friends that provide the value of this series. All the box office money in the world can’t buy that feeling.

The mystery of the disappearing people in “Avengers: Infinity Wars” – both world citizens and superheroes – is explained in the first ten minutes of this story, and there is seemingly no way back. Five years pass, and through a quirk of fate, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) is thrust back into the present day situation. As he learns about the destruction of population by Thanos (Josh Brolin), he thinks he has a solution.

Avengers Assemble! The Superheroes of ‘Avengers: Endgame’
Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures

This means the assembling of the Avengers who are left, including Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and an extremely reluctant Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). It will take all of their somewhat depleted energies to come to accomplish the task.

Those folks who have followed the whole series are the main audience (massive in number), but even those who have never seen one of the films will come through “Endgame” with a bit of understanding why these films are so popular. Heroism is a combination of strength, resolve and intelligence, and the Marvel Studios have treated these icons with the respect of those traits, adding in the humanity of self doubt, anger, sadness and ego. If you don’t see some part of yourself through them, in either your greatest joy or crisis, then you’re not looking close enough.

The characters also resonate through the actors who have portrayed so intuitively through the years, especially of course Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America. They are opposites in personality to one another, and Downey has the brash Man of Iron down to perfection at this point. Evans is like the Elvis of Superheroes, the epitome of the American ideal. But he lives in a conflicted and cynical age, and must overcome his own righteousness to prevail. It all comes together inherently through their cooperation.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans) in ‘Avengers: Endgame’
Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures

There are so many treats in the film (including awesome cameos), but most of them come from the connection of familiarity with the characters and their relationships. So much care goes into this part of the Marvel Universe, that it doesn’t matter if it’s a blue creature, a tiny creature or a space creature, they have to connect with others to succeed … spiritually, they have to come together. The enemy they ultimately have to defeat is within their own souls, and this becomes the truth of the endgame.

The Marvel Universe shall move on, on the heels of the death of their iconic creator Stan Lee and the conclusion of this chapter in its story. We will move on as well, to face our own battles, but in the background knowing that there is this bit of escape at the movies that makes facing those battles that much easier. That’s what it’s all about.

‘Avengers: Endgame’ opens everywhere on April 26th, in IMAX, RPX and regular screenings. See local listings for format theaters and show times. Featuring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd, Josh Brolin and Gwyneth Paltrow. Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. Rated “PG-13” senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

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© 2019 Patrick McDonald,

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