Marvel has assembled a fitting release for the biggest hit of all time
No introduction is really needed. Avengers Endgame is now the highest grossing film ever, supplanting James Cameron’s Avatar and setting a number of other box office records in the process. The film not only had to deal with the final dark events of Infinity War, but also serve as the capper for the 10+ years of films that have built up this story. Endgame succeeded in both respects, and its Blu-ray release this week is packed with a serious amount of special features.
“After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins due to the efforts of the Mad Titan, Thanos. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers must assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’s actions and restore order to the universe once and for all, no matter what consequences may be in store.”
So it turns out Ant Man wasn’t going to be the only heist movie in the MCU. Yep, as speculated after Doctor Strange’s words and actions in Infinity War, time will play a key to not just defeating Thanos, but undoing his actions. Five years after the snappening, the remaining Avengers come together to carry off a plan, with multiple teams plunging into their own past, to collect the Infinity Stones and use them in the present to undo what has been done. Past foes and problems return, while past-Thanos himself becomes aware of their maneuvering and looks to follow them back to the future and ensure his vision remains intact.
Temporal mechanics can often be confusing, so it’s a testament to the Russos and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely that they so deftly dip into time travel and fuse it to a fun trip down memory lane. Especially with the dark, brooding backdrop that is Earth and its inhabitants 5 years after half of all live was turned to dust. Fan service, delightful character moments, emotional reunions, and redemptions — it’s all crammed into a hefty runtime that just zips along, blending fantastic action with emotional beats. The sprawling cast of Infinity War often made for some heavy lifting, so here, with the pared down cast and focus on the longest serving heroes of the MCU, they get the denouement many of them deserve. A fitting end to years of effort, organic growth, and some wonderful chemistry between these characters, while still kindling excitement for what comes in Phase 4.
Disney/Marvel know how to deliver these releases, and Endgame doesn’t disappoint. Detail and definition impress, colors pop well; it’s a clean, textured visual presentation. They’ve also gone all out with the extra features on this release, spread over two discs:
- Remembering Stan Lee — Filmmakers and cast honor the great Stan Lee in a fond look back at his MCU movie cameos: A very sweet tribute to the man and his various cameos in the films that spun from his imagination.
- Setting The Tone: Casting Robert Downey Jr. — Hear the tale of how Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark in the original “Iron Man” — and launched the MCU: A short but effective retrospective on Downey’s contribution to the MCU.
- A Man Out of Time: Creating Captain America — Trace the evolution of Captain America with those who helped shape the look, feel and character of this compelling hero: A nice complementary feature to the Downey piece. Again looking back at his appearances, adapting the character for film, and the work of Chris Evans in bringing America’s Ass to life.
- Black Widow: Whatever It Takes — Follow Black Widow’s journey both within and outside the Avengers, including the challenges she faced and overcame along the way: The third focus piece, revolving around the former Russian spy and Scarlett Johansson’s work.
- The Russo Brothers: Journey to Endgame — See how Anthony and Joe Russo met the challenge of helming two of the biggest films in cinematic history … back-to-back!: Builds on their previous work for Marvel and how they built towards this massive undertaking.
- The Women of the MCU — MCU women share what it was like to join forces for the first time in an epic battle scene — and be part of such a historic ensemble: There’s finally enough women in the MCU to have a featurette like this. More please, Marvel.
- Bro Thor — His appearance has changed but his heroism remains! Go behind the scenes to see how Bro Thor was created: Thor’s arc is explored, with a focus on bringing to life the Lebowski-esque incarnation seen in Endgame.
- Six Deleted Scenes — “Goji Berries,” “Bombs on Board,” “Suckiest Army in the Galaxy,” “You Used to Frickin’ Live Here,” “Tony and Howard” and “Avengers Take a Knee”: Some of these are pretty moving actually, but with the length of the piece, you can see why some were excised.
- Gag Reel — Laugh along with the cast in this epic collection of flubs, goofs and gaffes from set
- Visionary Intro — Intro by directors Joe and Anthony Russo: Just a few minutes in length, basically touching on the weight upon the pair in terms of wrapping up the Infinity arc as well as their relationship with Marvel.
- Audio Commentary — Audio commentary by directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely: Undoubtedly the highlight of the extra features. The gang take us not just through the film, but other versions of it too. The difficulties in answering lingering plot questions, filling in plot gaps, being true to various character traits and arcs, abandoned ideas, reshoots, and more.
- Digital code — Movies Anywhere with Bonus digital featurette: “Steve and Peggy: One Last Dance”
The Bottom Line
Avengers Endgame is a rousing success, wrapping up the events in Infinity War, delivering events and interactions long awaited by fans, while also providing an emotional trip down memory lane for these characters and their tales over the past decade. This Blu-ray is more stuffed than the vaults of Asgard and sure to please fans.
Avengers Endgame is available from August 13th, 2019.