via Cnet

Rating: 5 stars

It’s been 11 years since “Iron Man” first hit cinema screens in 2008. From there, Marvel Studios proceeded to release hit after hit with films like “The Avengers,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Black Panther” and most recently, “Captain Marvel.” Altogether, the Marvel cinematic universe is composed of 22 films, all of which have been critical and commercial successes. What these movies, and these characters, have done is unprecedented in cinema history. 22 films, all of them connected, and all of them successful. This week, “Avengers: Endgame” releases in cinemas and is promised to be the epic conclusion to those 22 films. The big question is, was it worth it? Did Marvel Studios stick the landing and deliver a truly satisfying finale?

The quick answer is: Yes. It’s everything you want and more.

Picking up immediately after the events of last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” when Thanos used a fully assembled infinity gauntlet to wipe out half the universe, “Endgame” sees the surviving heroes take a final stand in the hopes of bringing everyone back and stopping Thanos once and for all.

The best word to describe this film is: epic. “Avengers: Endgame” has the daunting task of wrapping up this massive saga and it does so with surprising ease. The film is, for the most part, well paced and doesn’t feel like a three-hour movie at all. On top of that, the plot and the characters don’t feel rushed or shelved whatsoever. Every character and every story beat is given its due. With a film this long, it can be easy to experience slow moments but that isn’t the case with “Endgame.” You will never be bored while watching it. The music and cinematography are also impressive, more so than in any of the other films.

The true core of this film is definitely the characters. It’s obvious that the cast brought their A-game for this, particularly Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. If you’re someone who’s been following the films and the narrative from the beginning then this will definitely feel satisfying for you. There are so many moments in “Avengers: Endgame” that will take your breath away and have you cheering with excitement, especially during the third act.

The only minor critique of “Avengers: Endgame” would be that its second act may feel a bit overstuffed for some people. It really depends on how invested you are. There are a few things that happen that may feel too convenient, as well as other things that may feel drawn out. Overall, there’s a lot going on and a lot of things that require you to pay close attention which may hinder the enjoyment of those who aren’t up to speed with the other movies. For those who are up to speed, you’ll absolutely be rewarded.

At the end of the day, “Avengers: Endgame” is a cinematic masterpiece. It’s everything that fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe want it to be and so much more. It has the emotion, it has the action, it has the story and it has that monumental and epic scope only seen in a handful of films. It is more than a movie, it is a cultural event that will no doubt go down in history as one of the biggest films of all time. A truly epic finale, 11 years in the making.