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Review by Rich Cline |
dir Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
prd Kevin Feige
scr Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
with Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Josh Brolin, Karen Gillan, Don Cheadle, Bradley Cooper, Brie Larson, Tessa Thompson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tilda Swinton
release US/UK 26.Apr.19
19/US Marvel 3h01
There's a lot of fun to be had with this blockbuster behemoth, especially for those who have avidly followed the franchise. It's not particularly well-directed, the effects aren't seamless and some design work feels lazy. But the plot is a rollercoaster with big highs, emotional lows and cool surprises. And it wraps up the Avengers saga with a series of finales that are properly satisfying.
After Thanos (Brolin) snapped half of life out of existence, the surviving Avengers consider their options and, well, avenge humanity. Five years later, Scott (Rudd) finally escapes from the quantum realm with an idea that time travel can reverse history. With Steve (Evans) as leader, Tony and Bruce (Downey and Ruffalo) work out the scientific details and the gang (Hemsworth, Johansson, Renner, Cheadle, Gillan and Cooper) suits up for action. In teams, they head back to three specific points in time to stage a series of elaborate heists that don't quite go as planned.
With time travel involved, most characters from previous Avengers movies get a cameo, and some have more to do than that. Again, the Russo brothers adeptly juggle a large number of people and plotlines, never losing the central narrative while offering welcome moments that are quiet or funny in between the intense action and some very bleak darkness. This approach adds oomph to the characters, earning a couple of misty-eyed emotional scenes.
Downey and Evans assume the lead as men who have had their friendship sorely tested along the way. Both take extreme action here, changing their lives in the process. Johansson and Renner also have particularly strong moments this time around. The comic relief comes from Hemsworth's hilariously out-of-shape Thor, although he also has dark demons to deal with. And Ruffalo gets to add another wonderful new take on Hulk. But the surprise star of this film is Gillan, as Nebula becomes pivotal in the epic plot.
As usual, the film has little directorial style other that corralling the obviously digital chaos into something logical and even exhilarating. The massive climactic battle takes place in the usual dully apocalyptic grey wasteland, livened up by whizzy action mayhem that adds both humour and suspense. But the Russos also remember that the characters make the Avengers memorable, and each one gets to do something important that forces the audience to catch their breath. It may be overwrought and overcrowded, but few movies are this thunderously entertaining.
R E A D E R R E V I E W SStill waiting for your comments ... don't be shy.
© 2019 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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