- Review by Kaya Savas - May 10, 2019
After 10 years, Avengers: Endgame arrives as the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to offer us some actual resolution to the infinity stone storyline. The film has already broken every box office record and has cemented itself as the most popular studio blockbuster of all-time (as of this review). Alan Silvestri returns to finish the journey, and in the process delivers a spectacularly intimate yet heroic action score that may be the best part of the film.
When it comes to Marvel films, there isn’t much to analyze. These films are designed for anyone from 8-years old to 80-years old to enjoy. Marvel found a formula that truly appeals to all ages, races, genders and nationalities. Which makes for great popcorn escapism. But as a film, it’s still a very simple good vs evil story, where good always triumphs. They tried to stray from the formula of every other Marvel film with a time-travel plot, but by the second act it returns to same path. This entry does hold probably the most emotional weight of any of the films thus far because we are seeing several key characters depart, and that’s where Silvestri’s talents shine.
Silvestri has nothing to prove at this point in his career, he has already cemented himself as one of the greatest film composers of all-time. Yet he is still able to take something that could have been very generic and forgettable, and make it not forgettable. His Avengers theme, while simple, has managed to be the most powerful and lasting theme in all of the Marvel films. None of the other films can really touch what he was able to accomplish with a few simple notes.
The film has a lot of music in its 3-hour runtime, and never at any single point do you feel Silvestri overbearing on you. The score is able to craft scenes extremely well, and gives the big characters enough breathing room to allow the performances of the actors to shine. When it comes to action, Silvestri is able to give sequences a pulse of life and a shot of grandeur. He fills the cup right to the rim without ever spilling over, making sure the music fills in where it needs to.
Now, my gripe with Marvel’s films, is that the music hardly ever steals the spotlight. And in my opinion it’s why most of Marvel’s scores are extremely well-done and fun in the moment, but ultimately are forgettable. There are a few exceptions such as Captain America: Winter Soldier, Black Panther, and of course Silvestri’s trio of Avengers scores. But in the end, I always wanted music to play a bigger role. Avengers: Endgame is a well done all-around action flick, and its held together because of Silvestri’s efforts. Thankfully Silvestri gets the spotlight on a few occasions, but I also felt there were moments where the score was mixed way too far down. Now, with the film’s long running time and somewhat messy time-travel storyline, it was very easy for this to be messy but it wasn’t.
Avengers: Endgame is not a game-changer, or anything close to that. It’s just really fun escapist entertainment. There isn’t much character depth, there isn't any showcasing of jaw-dropping cinematic techniques, and there isn’t much commentary beneath the surface either. It’s a fun superhero movie where the good guys defeat the bad guys. Silvestri’s score is the true heartbeat of the film though, and because of the music I was able to feel more things from Endgame than all of the previous Marvel films combined. With some actual stakes and actual consequences here, Silvestri was able to craft something both entertaining and emotional.