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‘Avengers: Endgame’ is epic conclusion to Marvel universe

Eleven years ago, “Iron Man” blasted onto the big screen and a cinematic universe was born. Now after 22 movies later, the MCU delivers its rousing conclusion with “Avengers: Endgame” and it proves to be an exhilarating, highly emotional, and epic swan song.

As you can imagine, “Endgame” is emotionally intense yet thoroughly satisfying with powerful resolutions coming one after another.

We pick up the events five years later after the fallout from “Infinity War” when Josh Brolin’s “Thanos” character disintegrated half of the universe with a simple snap.

Now the remaining Avengers, Robert Downey Jr.’s “Iron Man,” Chris Evans’ “Captain America,” Mark Ruffalo’s “Hulk,” and Chris Hemsworth’s “Thor” cone together to devise a plan to reverse the damage.

They’re also joined by Scarlett Johansson’s “Black Widow,” Jeremy Renner’s “Hawkeye” and Paul Rudd’s “Ant-Man” by using time travel to go back in time to retrieve the Infinity Stones before Thanos can claim them.

Most of the movie looks at previous MCU films from a different angle which at this point in this long-running franchise feels more like a greatest hits compilation than a new album. But, hey, the scenes work well, so crank out the hits.

All of the cast delivers first-rate work: Downey, Evans, Hemsworth,  Ruffalo, Brolin, and a host of others give their all and their performances help carry this movie through and help make it feel like the finale it should be.

As someone who loves the MCU, I could only figure out bits and pieces of what the characters were trying to do in their individual efforts, but “Endgame” brings everything full circle with a minimal of confusion.

I relished every pleasant surprise. I felt the pain of every devastating blow. Fists will be pumped. Laughter and cheers will be loud. Tears will be shed.

After 11 years and 22 movies later, Marvel has managed to pull off the impossible in spades. This is not only a great Marvel movie, but simply a great movie. Period.

Grade: A

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