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The recent movie Avengers: Endgame, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo—the Russo brothers—revolves around the end of the Marvel multiverse. The film is based upon its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War (2018). When we last left our heroes, Thanos had gained the infinity stones and destroyed half of all life across the universe—leaving the Avengers, who had lost several loved ones, appearing broken throughout the film.

Avengers: Endgame takes place five years in the future, where the Avengers have beheaded Thanos in an attempt to find the stones. Hulk has managed to balance his powers perfectly—which was a usual sight for many—and the once strong and sexy Thor has become overweight, growing out his hair and beard; a result of his depression following his mother’s death.

Realising that he can travel through time by minimising himself into the quantum realm, Antman and the rest of the Avengers travel back to 2014—when the first instalment of the Avengers was released—and attempt to gather the stones before Thanos does. As we experienced with the loss of Gamora, the process of collecting the soul stone requires one to lose the person they love most, and so we are forced to goodbye to a beloved Marvel character forever.

Unbeknownst to Nebula, her interface connects to her former self, leading Thanos to detect the Avengers’ plan. He travels to the present and nukes the Avengers base, resulting in an all-out battle between our Marvel superheroes and Thanos’ army.

This revolutionary battle sees characters realising powers they never knew they had and forces us to part ways with another cherished member of the Marvel family: an outcome that, as Dr Strange stated in Infinity War, is one in 14 million different timelines. When the battle ends, so too does the Marvel universe—a sad moment for us all.

It was also refreshing to see so many female characters in powerful and active roles within Endgame. Captain Marvel (Brie Larsson) played a pivotable part in the final action sequence, with Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) taking revenge after the loss of a loved one. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) also joins the fight, making an iron suit for herself and taking action.

Often criticised for being a male-dominated genre, this film gives the ‘super-hero movie’ a new and much-needed refresh; female characters are plentiful, dynamic and strong. Although I am sad to see the Avengers franchise go, I am glad they left on a good note.

Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely did well to incorporate a good mix of humour, drama, and sadness, making the film so enticing that its three-hour length seems irrelevant. The CGI and costumes were also top filmic elements, making aspects like time travel and powerful, mystical weapons feel believable. Heather Armstrong was the film’s specialty costumes-manufacturer and did an incredible job transforming the Marvel superheroes you see today.

With Stan Lee’s final cameo—following his death in 2018—Endgame brought tears to the eyes of many. Although this marks the end of an almost 60-year career in making Marvel content, I am sure that Stan Lee’s creations will be admired for generations to come, as I and many others have fallen in love with the Marvel universe.

I cannot recommend this movie enough, I would only suggest that you free up a whole day (it’s three hours) and go to the bathroom beforehand.

Avengers: Endgame is in cinemas now!