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‘Avengers: Endgame’ sends this version of the Marvel movie universe out with a huge bang!

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A lot of people labor under the assumption that movie critics are supposed to do their job completely free of bias. I’m here to tell you that is a bunch of hooey. Your film knowledge, your emotional state, the kind of day you’ve had and so much more influence how a movie hits you. Heck, the very act of popular film criticism is an exercise in subjectivity. Any film critic who won’t admit as much is lying.

I’m putting this out there because I knew going into “Avengers: Endgame” that I was going to like it. The question was “How much?” It turned out that I didn’t like it at all. I LOVED it.

“Endgame” finds our favorite Marvel heroes trying to deal with life in the wake of Thanos’ universe-altering snap at the end of “Infinity War.” When an opportunity arises, the Avengers remaining from The Snappening charge into battle, hoping to reverse the effects of The Snap and vanquish the big lilac-skinned menace for good.

If this synopsis seems a little more vague than usual, it’s because I really can’t dig too deep into the plot without divulging spoilers. And I really don’t want to ruin any surprises.

That being the case, I thought I’d just list a few of my favorite things from “Endgame” in as general of terms as possible. These are just a few of the reasons I think this movie is worth heading out to the theater to see.

  • The Writing. This movie may not have the sheer number of characters that “Infinity War” but it has much more of an emotional load to bear, and balancing it out between the characters takes skilled writing. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely do a beautiful job of giving our heroes the space they (and we) need to feel the weight pressing down on them.
  • Robert Downey, Jr. This movie saga started with RDJ’s fantastic take on Tony Stark, and “Endgame” gives him the most emotionally complex arc to play. The guy crushes it! Wiser people than myself have said that the prestigious awards will always shun acting that comes with capes (or awesome metal robot suits) attached. But RDJ deserves some recognition for this.
  • Hawkeye. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Clint Barton (a.k.a. Hawkeye) in one of these Marvel movies. He certainly makes up for it here. Jeremy Renner is on heartbroken point as Barton and his stuff with Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson) is excellent.
  • Thor. Thor has always been a character that can come off as a bit one-note, and here he mostly gets played for laughs. But underneath the humor are undercurrents of crushing loss and fear of failure that give the character layers. And Chris Hemsworth plays the heck out of them. He’s probably a better actor than he gets credit for being.
  • The last scene. I’m not telling you what it is, but it’s a payoff that’s been years in the making. And it made me that awesome kind of snot-nosed, teary-eyed happy.
  • The entire third act of the film. The enormous final throwdown in this movie is the kind of massive action set piece that it feels like every filmmaker tries in every major comic book movie, but rarely delivers. But “Endgame” delivers. Big time!
  • The direction. I can’t end without mentioning directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who have been with Marvel since “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” They know these characters inside out yet still find ways to make them deeper, more complex, and even surprising. They balance everything in this movie so well and even throw in some of the most visually stunning visuals in the Marvel movie universe. Bravo, guys!

“Avengers: Endgame” often feels like an assemblage of moments more than one cohesive story. But what moments! This flick delivers the pulse-pounding action, the humor, and the character moments that have made the Marvel Cinematic Universe the biggest movie franchise in history. Along the way, it throws in a heaping helping of heart and emotion. It may clock in at over three hours, but it FLIES by. I wasn’t ready for it to end.

5 Indy Fedoras out of 5

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Thanks to Fat Cats in Rexburg for providing screenings for movie reviews on EastIdahoNews.com.

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