Avengers: Endgame

Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo

Avengers: Endgame poster

Starring Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, and Josh Brolin

Backstory

Well, here we are. 11 years and 22 films comprising the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it all comes to a close. Last year’s Avengers: Infinity War became a pop culture phenomenon, with one hell of a cliffhanger ending not seen since Han Solo was frozen in carbonite. So the question, as always, is how will our heroes recover from this?

Plot

After Thanos used the power of the Infinity Stones to snap half of all life out of existence, the remaining Avengers regroup at Avengers Headquarters. The newly-arrived Captain Marvel suggests they just take on Thanos head-on, take the Infinity Stones from him, and use them to undo the damage. But, they’re too late, as Thanos has already used the power of the stones to destroy themselves. Five years later, most of the Avengers have gone their separate ways, and are wallowing in various degrees of self-pity. But then, the newly -returned Ant-Man shows up, and the key to his re-appearance may hold the key to undoing what Thanos has done. This begins a new journey for the Avengers as they travel across time and space to re-gather the Infinity Stones. Will they succeed? Or will history repeat itself?

What I Liked

Everything. “Avengers Assemble.” Been waiting the whole franchise to hear that line, and when it’s finally spoken it is a payoff that brought me to tears. The focus comes back to our original six Avengers, and they all have really nice character arcs that bring their stories to an end. And I hope you did some kind of marathon of the Marvel Cinematic Universe going into this, because there are a ton of callbacks to the other films.

What I Didn’t Like

Seriously, I can’t think of anything

Final Verdict

Eleven years of filmmaking ends in one of the most satisfying conclusions ever. Truly a fantastic film.

4 Nibs

Shazam!

Directed by David F. Sandberg

Starring Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Granger, and Djimon Hounsou

Backstory

Well, it’s nice to see that Warner Brothers is starting to delve into the DC back catalogue a little more and give Superman and Batman a rest. With the recent massive hits that were Wonder Woman
and Aquaman, Warner Brothers now turns to the Big Red Cheese, their Captain Marvel, Shazam. I’ve always had a soft spot for this Superman clone, and approached his film with mild excitement. Will the movie lead up to the legacy?

Plot

Billy Batson is a 14-year old orphan, ever since his mother mysteriously vanished at a carnival. Constantly running away from his foster families as he searches for his mother, he now finds himself in a group home, and with his new roomie, Freddie Freeman. After helping Freddie fight off some bullies one day, Billy is whisked away by an enchanted subway car to the wizard Shazam. All Billy has to do is speak Shazam’s name to become a superhero…in a grown-up body. With these new powers, and Freddie’s help, Billy becomes a viral sensation. But, there’s trouble a brewing. Dr. Thaddeus Sivana was rejected by the wizard Shazam when he was a boy, and his spent his life trying to get powers of his own. Now allied with Shazam’s greatest enemies — demonic personifications of the seven deadly sins — Dr. Sivana is out to claim Shazam’s powers for his own. Will Billy finally rise to the occasion and defeat Dr. Sivana?

What I Liked

Zachary Levi is delightful as Shazam, the boy trapped in a superhero’s body. He brings such a boundless enthusiasm to the role. In fact, it’s quite a colourful array of characters, given Billy’s foster family. Freddie Freeman, in particular, is quite the scene-stealer. Mark Strong, as always, makes a great villain.

What I Didn’t Like

Well, as I’ve been saying for a while now, I’ve seen one too many of these superhero films, and I can see the big plot twists coming from a mile away. And speaking of colourful characters, would have been nice if we got to know the rest of Billy’s foster family.

Final Verdict

Shazam! is good, but not great. Another satisfying, if run-of-the-mill superhero film.

3 Nibs