Since Iron Man first massacred those Afghans back in 2008, all manner of phenomena have come and gone: The DC Universe. Star Wars. Brexit.
The MCU has survived them all, culminating (for now at least) in Endgame, which I’m reviewing without spoilers or puns. To reCap (OK I was lying about the puns), Thanos (Josh Brolin) turned half the gang to dust in Infinity War. Intent on bringing back the Dustice League, the surviving Avengers and their afrienders reassemble, including a man who can go really small and doesn’t age (Paul Rudd), a raccoon who sounds like Nadia from Russian Doll (Bradley Cooper), and a woman who talks to water (Gwyneth Paltrow).
That all this sounds so ridiculous but feels so high-stakes is a remarkable accomplishment by Anthony and Joe Russo, turning a desperately Stark scenario into another funny and satisfying feature. Endgame has a lot of work to do, multiple trilogies to wrap up and arcs to resolve, which it accomplishes in a stunning synthesis of 21 other films. The ambitious plot and strong characters mean the action is the least interesting thing about it, rewarding viewers as thoroughly as DC punish theirs.
This is a brilliant end to the saga that made a hero of Robert Downey Jr., a villain of Brie Larson and leaves you wondering where they can go next. Since Disney owns Fox now they could do Avengers vs. Predator, or The Simpsons vs. Thanos. That’s my pitch: Dusty Springfield.