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Avengers Endgame: a sobfest and a cocktail adventure

WARNING: This review contains spoilers so PLEASE, for the love of Doctor Strange, stop reading now!

Marvel released Avengers Endgame, the finale to its epic 22 movie series featuring Earth’s Mightest Heroes, on 26 April 2019. I’ve since seen it twice at my local cinema , Nu Metro V&A Waterfront, and sobbed my eyes out for both viewings.

Infinity War ended on a cliffhanger of note when Thanos (Josh Brolin) snapped those pretty purple fingers, encased in an Infinity Stones studded glove, and decimated half of the world’s population.

Endgame picks up in the moments after The Snap with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) – last seen in Civil War– losing his entire family and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) coming to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr)’s rescue in deep space. An emotional reunion for our heroes is followed by a surprising move, in which the Avengers defeat Thanos with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) delivering the fatal blow.

To kill the main villain this early in a three hour long movie is a gutsy move but the Russo Brothers prove they know what they’re doing, having helmed three previous Marvel movies. They’ve totally exceeded expectations by engineering a five year jump, upping the action, doubling it down with all of the fan service emotional moments we’ll ever need and introducing a Professor Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) time travel/ time manipulation theory so confusing, I’m still scratching my head over it!

image credit: me.me

Confusion around time travel aside, this mechanic allows our original six heroes; now aided by Ant Man (Paul Rudd) back from his jaunt to the Quantum Realm, War Machine (Don Cheadle), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Nebula (Karen Gillan); to return to key moments throughout the previous 21 movies to collect the infinity stones so that they can undo Thanos’s snap and here’s where the real magic of the Russo Brothers’ genius works.

Getting to see long since deceased fan favourites including Freya (Rene Russo),Thor’s mom; Gamora (Zoe Saldana); Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell); The Ancient One ( Tilda Swinton) and of course, my all day everyday Marvel bad boy crush Loki (Tom Hiddleston) again was fantastic:

Image credit: lokihiddleston.tumblr.com

A mission as big as undoing The Snap could not be completed without some casualties along the way and the first heartbreaking death comes when Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) sacrifices herself to give Hawkeye/Ronin the Soul Stone.

To be quite honest, I wasn’t a fan of this. I get the reason for it – to give the rest of the team the emotional impetus to continue the mission as Fury did by lying about Coulson’s death in The Avengers.What we end up with, however, is a sausage fest of testerone-laden fighting between the boys to determine who will wear Stark’s kickass glove and do the life-threatening snap to set the world back to rights. Don’t even get me started on the “Hulk Sad. Hulk Throws Bench out onto the lake” to show how griefstricken he is.

Hulk wins the great opportunity to wear the Iron Glove and his snap brings back the fallen. Our heroes’ happiness is short-lived as Past Nebula,whom none of the boys realised wasn’t Present Nebula, brings Daddy Thanos from 2014 back to the future to wage another planet-ending war.

At just the right moment, when it seems like our six Avengers are going to lose again, all of the returning supers pop in, courtesy of Doctor Strange’s teleportation and the action gets ramped up even higher.

Image credit: Marvel

Earth is saved but at a great cost to our heroes and it’s here where the waterworks will begin in earnest.

With both Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans’s contracts officially coming to an end, their characters’ exits were expected but how they were done was unexpected.

I’ll start with the Cap’s because Tony’s still makes me break out into tears all of the time.

Sometime after returning the Infinity Stones to their rightful times, Steve finds his way back to Peggy and lives out a long and happy life. He pops back into the main timeline long enough to hand over his shield and pass the Captain America mantle to Sam (Anthony Mackie). Which timeline he is from and how that affects his main timeline history is utterly confusing but the Russo Brothers did their best to sort of mansplain it in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Ok, I’m ready to talk about Tony…ok, no, NO, I’m not. Suffice to say that in order to get rid of 2014 Thanos, Mr Stark makes the ultimate sacrifice, leaving behind a newly returned Peter Parker (Tom Holland), Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) and… the daughter he had a vision of back in Ultron. SOB!

All I will say is:

And with that, comes the end of Endgame and the end of an era. There are no post-credit scenes. This is THE END.

My grief for my second viewing was assuaged somewhat by the Hulktini, a drink I had proudly named, following Nu Metro’s call to name its Avengers-themed cocktail range, to be served at its Scene VIP cinemas:

Scene VIP is a luxury experience one has to have and I am mightily impressed that Nu Metro continues to find creative ways to add to it. To quote Avengers creator, the great and late Stan Lee:

Avengers Endgame surpassed the R100 million boxoffice grossing figure in South Africa last weekend and is still playing at a Nu Metro cinema near you. Grab a Hulktini and watch it in Scene VIP!

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