In Day Five of my Seven Day Blogging Blitz, I talk about one of the most successful movies ever made.
It’s safe to say that I wasn’t the only person waiting
for this movie, the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s third
phase. Considering that this movie has
become the second highest grossing film of all time in 11 days, a lot of people
out there are invested in these characters that we’ve grown to know, love, and
hate over 22 films and 11 years. Now
that I’ve seen the movie twice in theaters, I feel that I can talk about it and
weave my own thoughts and opinions into Marvel’s storytelling.
Let me start off by saying that I didn’t think I
was going to be able to see the movie on opening day. Endgame was released theatrically a few
minutes before midnight on April 26th, and I was at work bored out
of my mind. Most theaters were sold out,
and I had resigned myself to see it the following week. Then, my significant other sends me a text,
saying that I needed to get out of work at 11 pm. I ask why and his response was that it was
important. Taking this as a slight
emergency, I let my boss know that I was leaving early and was out in the
parking lot at 11:01 as my boyfriend rolled up to come get me. As soon as I got in the car and asked what
was up he said to me that he got us tickets to see Avengers: Endgame.
I can’t even imagine the grin that was on my face when I heard those
The first time we saw the movie, the place was
packed, and that always gives an interesting experience. When the surrounding audience has the same
reactions to the scenes that you do, it’s an affirming feeling. You think to yourself, “Yes, we are supposed
to do this thing right at this time.” It
creates a sense of camaraderie and togetherness that I really enjoy and rarely
experience in a public setting. That
first midnight showing was mind-blowing and amazing for that.
The second showing was different but no less
interesting. The theater was empty
except for me, my boyfriend, his bestie, and a couple of other randoms. This provided me the opportunity to view the
movie with a lot more nuance and carefulness that I couldn’t do in the first
one, being all wrapped up in my emotions.
This is the showing where I got to analyze the times when I didn’t have
the same reactions as the audience did in the initial viewing. In the quiet, I was able to fully coalesce
my thoughts on what I was seeing and solidify my opinion on the film.
The first scene is with Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye,
who was noticeably absent from Avengers:
Infinity War, and we now see why.
He’s living his dream with his family.
Heartwarming opening, but as the audience, we know what’s going to
happen next. The snap’s effects are tastefully
done, and Clint’s horror and despair segue nicely into the “Where are they now”
beginning scenes of the film. I find
Tony Stark’s and Nebula’s screen time together to be particularly enjoyable.
Brief aside and full disclosure: Nebula is my favorite character in the MCU
(so far). She has the best character
development in the entire series, with Thor being a very close second. The most important trait about Nebula is that
she is still learning and coming into herself as a person after having her
entire being disassembled, reassembled, suppressed, and consumed by
Thanos. She’s sharp as a tack,
pragmatic, and blunt, but in her quiet moments she is kind and thoughtful. After all she’s been through she still cares
about those around her, and I find that to be incredibly beautiful.
Back to the movie, the remaining Avengers, minus
Tony who has had more than enough, hatch a plan to find Thanos and undo the
snap. When we first see Thanos, we know
that something isn’t quite right with him.
Fully revealed, we can see the effects on his body of having used the
Infinity Stones, and I was quite shocked.
Before we even have time to register what exactly happened, the Avengers
crash through in a frenetic scene that leaves Thanos minus a forearm and
eventually minus a head. This also
leaves our heroes minus any hope once they realize what Thanos did to preserve
his homicidal legacy.
We fast forward five years to check in on
everyone, and it’s apparent that the team is not doing too well. It’s also here where I want to point out that
this is Scarlett Johansson’s best acting in a while since she hasn’t had
anything to do since The Winter Soldier.
We are introduced to our McGuffin/comic relief in the form of Scott Lang
aka Ant Man, who’s been chilling in the quantum realm all the time and was
immune to the snap. After he checks in
on his daughter, who is now five years older, he decides to head to Avengers HQ
because he’s the only one with hope and the beginnings of a plan to undo the
First stop on the list is our resident
genius/billionaire/playboy/ philanthropist Tony Stark who is revealed to have
procreated and will have absolutely none of these “time heist”
shenanigans. He also does a good job of
convincing us that the time travel rules from Back To The Future are
nonsensical, which hurt my heart to hear.
Tony’s a no-go, so the team must move on to the next big brain who the
audience finds out is a perfectly melded Bruce Banner/Hulk who took the time to
actually work on himself and embrace his Hulk alter ego. While he admits time travel isn’t his
expertise, he’s still willing to help.
After we’re treated to some time travel ha-has, Tony
comes back into the fold with the answer to the time travel problem as well as
some bolstering from Pepper. I always
love scenes with Tony and Cap because they have the most complicated
friendship. They’re family, really. They don’t necessarily like each other all
the time, but they love each other, and they both realize that they aren’t at
their best without the other. With the
reunion out of the way, the rest of the team must be gathered, and it is here
where my feelings split heavily from the overall consensus of the theater and
rest of the world.
Black Widow goes and collects a mass murdering
Hawkeye, and Bruce and Rocket go to recruit Thor, with a quick shout out to
angry girl Valkyrie. When Thor is
revealed, the audience in my first viewing laughed because he gained
weight. I did not laugh. Every single one of these characters has
experienced PTSD in some form or fashion.
Cap’s emotionally stunted, Black Widow threw herself into work, Hawkeye
kills people to fill the void, and Thor turned to food. That’s not funny. It’s sad, and I wish that this wasn’t played
for laughs because there was an opportunity to have a serious discussion about
depression and emotional eating that could have reached a massive audience.
Despite my long side eye, the movie rolls along.
We get our teams situated, our times situated, circumstances
understood, and off we go to…New York in 2012…because that’s where three
Infinity Stones are at in one point in time, with very little explanation as to
how that happens but alright, fine. This
is also ground zero for the initial Chitauri invasion of The Avengers but it’s
okay because time travel! Bruce goes to
retrieve the Time Stone, meanwhile Tony, Cap, and Ant Man attempt nab the
Tesseract/Space Stone and Loki’s staff/Mind Stone. The audience is also introduced to America’s
ass, and I’ll tell you right now readers, that is definitely America’s ass
right there, no elections needed.
I have to also mention a huge plot hole here. When Bruce is discussing with the Ancient One
(Hi Tilda) about how not returning the stones creates an alternate reality for
the present that the future has come to, they did just that when Loki managed
to get his sexy fingers on the Tesseract/Space Stone and teleport away. This is never addressed or spoken of again,
and it could very well impact the rest of the film as well as the universe.
But, we’re not going to worry about it because time travel! So, Tony remembers that they’ve got one more
shot to get some more Pym Particles, i.e. the substance that enables the time
travel, and the Tessaract/Space Stone in one go by travelling back to 1970, and
they do just that with a couple of cute scenes with Tony talking to his dad and
Cap gazing longingly at Agent Carter.
Meanwhile, we hussle over to our next team
consisting of Thor and Rocket who are in Asgard to suck out the Aether/Reality
Stone from Jane when she was infected with it in The Dark World, otherwise
known as the worst movie in the MCU. We
won’t talk about that, but we will talk about Thor having a heart-to-heart with
his mom Frigga, played by the ever fabulous Rene Russo. I didn’t realize how much I missed her until
I saw her. It was also nice to see that
Thor, despite all of his trials and tribulations, is still worthy of Mjolnir
and takes it with him, creating a beautiful plot hole but we won’t worry about
it because time travel!
Finally, we’ve got War Machine/Nebula and
Hawkeye/Black Widow on Morag in 2014 to retrieve the Power Stone before Peter
Quill does. This team splits up, and Hawkeye/Black
Widow then travel to Vormir to grab the Soul Stone, and we know how this is
going to turn out from Infinity War. In
a silly fight of “I’m going to jump off this ledge first,” Black Widow…wins
(?)…and sacrifices herself so Hawkeye can get the Soul Stone. I can’t lie to you, readers. The first time I saw this, I was sad to see
her go, but in the second viewing, I was happy because it was the best thing
she’s done in the MCU since walking away from the Senate hearing in The Winter
Soldier. She went out like a champ. I can respect that.
Back on Morag, this is probably the easiest stone
to get because Quill was by himself at the time, and we get to see how a
gorgeous opening scene in Guardians of the Galaxy is rendered wonderfully
ridiculous looking at it from this end.
As we were warned that they aren’t the only ones looking for the Power
Stone, we see that 2014 Nebula, Gamora, and Thanos are also in the
vicinity. As Timecop told us, the same
bodies cannot exist in the same space at the same time. Evidently, they got that a bit wrong in
Nebula’s case since her old self and her new self went through some sort of
mind meld thing and now Thanos knows everything. Before they can get back home, Nebula has the
most untimely incapacitating migraine, gets captured by Thanos and then
replaced by 2014 Nebula who knows how the Pym Particles work. I mean…damn.
Of course, none of our heroes know this when they
get back to present time Avengers HQ and all of the stones assembled onto a
Stark Industries sponsored gauntlet.
Bruce volun-tells everyone that he’s doing it because the energy being
released is mostly gamma radiation, which he is largely immune to. After some groaning, a snap, and a blackened
arm later, we get hints that Bruce was able to undo the damage that Thanos did
by a phone call from Hawkeye’s wife and a bunch of sparrows outside. Then, the HQ gets blown to literal
smithereens by Thanos’s ship that was summoned to this time by 2014 Nebula.
With the entire team imperiled in some form or fashion,
Cap, Tony, and Thor (fully equipped with Stormbreaker and Mjolnir) face off
against Thanos. This is where everything
starts to come together for me, all 22 films.
We got your standard 3 on 1, but everybody knows that the three can’t
win that fight. Then, we discover that
Cap becomes worthy of Mjolnir, completing that scene from Age of Ultron. It’s cool seeing Cap fight with the hammer
and the shield, but he’s simply not enough, and we see Thanos destroy Cap’s
shield, completing Tony’s vision in the beginning of Age of Ultron. Then, the battle that we’ve been waiting for
begins. We hear Sam aka the Falcon’s
voice in Cap’s headset, and he says “On your left.” Then, a whole bunch of magic portals are
created and everyone steps through. When
I say everyone, I literally mean everyone, those who were snapped away and
those who weren’t, come through to fight off the never ending wave of Thanos
This is the battle we have been clamoring for
since Civil War, and it is glorious to watch.
Pretty much everyone gets to show off their skills and talents, working
together to keep the Infinity Gauntlet away from Thanos, who has already
revealed that he’s gonna snap the whole universe away this time. There are a couple of scenes that steal the
show. First is anything with Spider-Man
in it. He is hilarious in anything he
does. Second is Scarlet Witch and third
is Captain Marvel. I must say that those
two ladies had Thanos’s number, and he had to cheat in both instances to stop
them. To stop Wanda, he had to call down
artillery from his ship, and to stop Carol, who was about to rip his fingers
off while he was wearing the Infinity Gauntlet, he had to remove the Power
Stone from the Gauntlet and punch her with it.
After this, we are reminded by Tony and Doctor
Strange out of the 14 million realities he saw, there was only one chance to
win against Thanos, and he couldn’t tell Tony, otherwise it wouldn’t
happen. So, Tony launches himself at
Thanos, managed to take the Infinity Stones off of the gauntlet and merge them
with his suit, and snaps his fingers, making Thanos and all of his troops fall
to dust. This saves their reality but it
costs Tony his life. (It also creates a
plot hole that if 2014 Thanos was not returned to his time with no memory of what
happened, alternate realities are created but who cares because time travel!)
In the end, we see how everyone is coping with the
passing of their friends, and how they plan to get on with their lives. As Cap goes back in time to put the stones
back (time travel!) he doesn’t come back.
He stays in that time and gets a life, as Tony always told him to
do. He does appear again, as an old man,
waiting to be noticed. He passes his
shield to Sam and tells him that the world still has a Captain America, and the
Endgame a masterpiece? No, but it
comes close to it. The Russo Brothers
gave us a super solid and satisfying ending to a universe that no one could
have even dreamed of being conceived back in 2008. If there is anyone who said that Iron Man
would be the beginning of a new wave of cinematic storytelling, hire that
person as a consultant and give him or her all the money they want. Did I have problems with the film? Yes, but those problems do not outweigh the
overall goodness of how well done this movie is. In the end, it lived up to the hype, and
these characters that were created in comic book form were displayed
magnificently on screen.