Describing the massive destruction he causes for the Avengers series, bad guy Thanos proclaims: "I am inevitable." And given the cliffhanger finale for last year's entry called "Infinity War," the financial success of its "Endgame" follow-up falls in the same category: inevitable.
Good, bad, or indifferent, the Avengers franchise boasts enough fans for "Endgame's" unquestioned financial success. Sure enough, the movie broke more than a dozen box office records, including making more than one billion dollars in less than a week. All the bad reviews in the world wouldn't stop that, but it turns out the movie manages a ninety-six percent positive rating and happy red tomato on a popular critics' website.
That may not translate into a rash of Oscars, but it might encourage multiple viewings by fans who appreciate the movie's satisfying entertainment value. This goes beyond the usual scale. While the Marvel Studios producers regularly recognize the rewards of using talented performers, this time the team goes all out with just about every famous star who ever participated in an Avengers film, among them Robert Downey, Junior, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brie Larson, Samuel Jackson, Michele Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Tilda Swinton, Lupito N'yongo, Chris Evans, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Washoe County's own Jeremy Renner.
Special effects live up to the term, but even better comes a script that adds dimension to characters, partly by adding humor to the mix. Much of the film plays funny, and even its serious moments avoid getting bogged down in too much solemnity. For all these positives, "Endgame" maintains what I consider two basic flaws in the Superhero genre. One comes with the here we go with Thanos again inevitable battle towards the end. No matter how long it takes, I always find that last mass of explosions and fireplay always seems about twenty minutes too long.
The other genre problem for me happens because its fantasy and time-travel elements undermine the impact of death. After all, time travel means nothing feels final. Add an element of the world we live in: money. When those characters make a billion dollars in less than a week, their eventual return to once again quote Thanos "is inevitable."
This review was originally aired on 5/2/2019.
You can listen to it online at https://www.kunr.org/post/endgame#stream/0