You failed to do your duty.
You failed the foe to thwart.
Are heroes those who do their best
And still come up too short?
The world could not be rescued.
Accepting that is key,
But afterwards, a hero asks
What forward path they see.
Perhaps the end is final;
Perhaps the race is run,
But if there still remains a chance,
The fight is not yet done.
MPAA rating: PG-13
This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the big payoff for the monumental cliffhanger that was the end of Avengers: Infinity War, the movie that twenty-one other films have been building up to over eleven years. To avoid unnecessary buildup on my part, I’ll just say it: Avengers: Endgame is awesome! The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had its ups and downs over the years, but Endgame is the culmination for which ardent fans like myself have been wishing.
I had to see Endgame on opening weekend (and then again the next day), but I’ll be sensitive to those who may not have gotten around to seeing it yet. I won’t mention how that one character ***************, or how awesome it was for ***************, or that heartbreaking moment where *******************. Nope, I’ll avoid major spoilers, but just know that I’m still buzzing over Endgame’s best elements.
Given that spoiler caveat, I’m obviously limited in how much I can say about Endgame, but for anyone wondering if it delivers the proper payoff for Infinity War, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” The intergalactic warlord Thanos (Josh Brolin) left a lot of damage in his wake, snapping half of the universe out of existence and leaving those who weren’t dusted with much to avenge. The likes of Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) all deal with the grief of the situation in different ways, with Hawkeye’s loss in particular sending him down a dark road of vengeance, but hope is renewed when Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) returns with a pitch for saving everyone with a not uncomplicated time travel mission.
Yes, there’s time travel, which makes me a happy fan. The opportunities this plot device allows are numerous, with many references to Back to the Future and many scenes revisiting past moments of the MCU, not unlike Back to the Future Part II. It’s a nerd’s delight, but these reminiscences are dwarfed by the all-out action spectacular at the film’s finale. It is hands down the most bombastic, exquisitely awesome sequence the MCU has fashioned to date, with huge stakes and Marvel fan service galore, which some have criticized but please, these movies were made for the fans and we/I loved it! Watching it again also allowed me to pick up on a host of tiny but smile-inducing references to past films, some obvious, some subtle. A small one that I noticed but haven’t seen anyone else mention involves one character simply calling another by name, where one stated in a previous movie that he didn’t care to be acquainted. The acting is beyond fault as well, and it was neat to have a double Lost alert with both Evangeline Lilly and Hiroyuki Sanada.
Of course, it’s not perfect, and I can’t completely disagree with some of the negatives I’ve heard. My VC loved it but wished certain plot directions hadn’t been abandoned, like the budding romance between Black Widow and Bruce Banner. Other opinions have found fault with the action-light slowness of the beginning, but this at least gives room for the characters to react realistically as the weight of the situation sinks in, and there’s still that trademark Marvel humor to keep things from getting too heavy. I do sort of wish they had offered some religious dimension to the loss, and I could have done without the somewhat more frequent profanity, even from the once clean-mouthed Captain America. And of course, as with any time travel story, there are plot holes, tons and tons of plot holes, some of which open up the potential for a multiverse of alternate time lines, some that feel like the characters didn’t think things through, and some that are likely meant to fuel fan theories and made me say, “Now, this only works if such and such actually happened.” (Oh, I wish I didn’t have to hold back, but maybe that’s for another post. Though, there are plenty of YouTube videos with such theories too.)
Even with these negatives, even if one of my friends referred to it as “a big glorious mess,” Avengers: Endgame is everything you could want in a big superhero finale, allowing for future storylines but tying up others in a climactic and usually satisfying way. It’s already broken box office records left and right, and after it recently passed Titanic for overall gross, I’m rooting for it to surpass Avatar too. This deserves to be the highest-grossing film of all time, and if Avatar and Black Panther can do it, I’d like to see it earn a Best Picture nomination too. Perhaps it will be a Return of the King situation where the finale gets the real reward. Even if it doesn’t, though, I can tell that Endgame was made by Marvel fans and for Marvel fans; the worst part is that it’s hard to imagine Marvel’s future offerings ever matching the new high bar it has set.
Best funny line: (Tony Stark, to Rocket Raccoon) “Honestly, at this exact second, I thought you were a Build-a-Bear.” (Rocket) “Maybe I am.”
Best serious line: (Tony) “No amount of money ever bought a second of time.”
Rank: List-Worthy (joining Infinity War)
© 2019 S.G. Liput
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