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Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame (Spoilers)

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  • Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame (Spoilers)

    We’re past the moratorium date on spoilers for Avengers: Endgame… so it’s time to talk about what might be the greatest movie ever created. I don’t say that lightly and there is context to that comment. While head to head there arguable could be better movies, you have to take into account the 21 other films that were basically set up for this one. When Falcon says, “On your left”, it means so much more to the people who have seen Captain America: Winter Solder. The film also makes Thor: The Dark World, one of the least popular films in the franchise, into a very important cog in the universe.

    There are absolutely spoilers in this review… It’s your choice to keep reading.

    I’m not going to do a recap of the film because after making $2 Billion globally, I think it’s safe to assume that most of you have seen it. I’m going to focus more on the important beats, like the opening. It’s been a year since Infinity War and the filmmakers wanted us to feel that heart-wrenching sorrow from watching the heroes fade away. But instead of just showing us the same footage again, we got reminded of it by watching Hawkeye lose his entire family at once. It shows us what he had been up to and gave us the feels all over again.

    From there we get to see the desperation of Tony Stark and finally his rescue and return home. Then we get to see the team being Avengers and going after Thanos, only to discover that there is no easy way to undo what he did. And we see Thor trying to make up for his mistake by taking of the Mad Titan’s head. Then we jump five years, which is probably one of the biggest shocks to the audience. Not only did they fail, but it stuck and changed the world. I have three knocks against the film and one of them is right here. As important as it was to show people trying to move on with their lives, they took a little too long here. Which is interesting in because they only show us the heroes’ reaction, but none of the loved ones. How did Aunt May deal with Peter not coming home? What about Pepper and Happy? I’m not even sure the whole hologram scene was necessary other than to talk about the underwater earthquake and hint at Namor.

    My second issue was from this part as well, the utter randomness of Scott Lang returning from the micro-verse. A rat just happened to walk across the right button? There were better ways of doing this. For example, Luis gets his van back with all the gear in it and just feels like Scott isn’t gone, so he takes it to the new public Professor Hulk to look at who turns it on and brings back Ant-Man. To have an entire film hinge on such a random moment seems kind of ridiculous. From there we have the getting the band back together scenes and I love Tony’s interaction with Morgan. But I also like that he is motivated by the loss of Peter to make the time travel idea work. I have mixed feelings about the Professor Hulk move, but I understand why they did it. Lebowsky Thor on the other hand was interesting for a while, but carried on a bit long. While I enjoyed Thor: Ragnarok, I don’t like the character played for laughs constantly. At some point he should have gotten serious.

    From here the movie hits it’s stride. The time travel scenes are great both for the story and for the nods to the previous films. Giving both Tony and Thor one last chance with one of their parents was a nice touch. The young Michael Douglas appearance was great and the fight between the Captain Americas worked so well… and the elevator / Hail Hydra scene was worth the price of the ticket by itself. The Hawkeye vs Black Widow scene was a night nod to the first Avengers and also is a good emotional beat to remind us that the movie has consequences. But the whole having to go back to the 70s was necessary to remind us about Peggy Carter and set up Cap’s ending.

    I loved that once they got back and Hulk did the snap, there was only a pause long enough to tell us it worked using Hawkeye’s wife’s call, before all hell breaks loose and Thanos from the past shows up. This launched what every comic book fan has dreamed about since they were a kid… this was the battle we all imagined with out action figures. Almost every hero introduced in the MCU gets their moment and there are call back after call back to the last ten years. The two biggest “hell yeah” moments being Cap wielding Mjolnir and then all the heroes returning. This was a scene that only works because of the 21 other films showing us why we care about Falcon showing up or Cap calling Spider-Man “Queens”. And to have Tony Stark end the fight with the gauntlet and the line, “I am Iron Man” could not have been more fitting.

    It can be said that the film is a bit self-indulgent with all of the inside jokes and call backs. That it went Lord of the Rings with the extended ending, but after 10 years and 22 films I think they deserved it. Rarely does the ending of something live up to the hype. This does and then some. It wraps things up nicely but still leaves enough threads for us to wonder what is next. What will Sam Wilson do as the new Captain America? How will the world survive without Iron Man? What is the future for Thor? How can there be a Black Widow movie if she’s dead? (Prequel most likely) What about they Wanda and Vision series on Disney+? (I’m betting it involves time-travel and Dr. Horton’s Synthetic Man from the First Avenger). And the biggest question may be, how much is Spider-Man: Far From Home the end of Phase 3 and how much does it set up Phase 4?