For days, all I’ve heard about Avengers: Endgame is that it is perfect. There was not a single bad thing said about the 22nd Marvel Cinematic Universe film.
That couldn’t be true.
This movie is three-hours long. It simultaneously culminates two-dozen films, sequelizes a massive blockbuster and ends stories for characters we’ve known over 10 years.
There was no way it could balance that and still come out perfect — even if everyone seemed to agree otherwise.
Without spoiling me, by the way. Thanks y’all!
But I had an open mind. The family watched Infinity War last night, then Dad and I did a deep dive into the One Marvelous Scene series on YouTube to prepare.
I even wore my finest Marvel socks for the occasion:
Three hours later, we left the theatre. Then came chores. Almost three more hours later, I sat down to write.
I still don’t understand how it was actually perfect. Better than I was led to believe.
Because this movie isn’t just a beautiful, all-encompassing endpoint for a decade-long story. It also makes every other MCU movie feel more important in hindsight.
I mean every movie.
I don’t care about Thor: The Dark World. But this movie genuinely made me care about it.
Endgame even improved characters.
But the way she plays into Tony Stark’s arc made me care about Pepper Potts
beyond her cute version in the Nickelodeon cartoon.
In fact, the arcs given to each of the original six Avengers are about as fitting as I could ever hope to create (without spoiling them — yet).
Granted there is one thing about the movie I’m not a huge fan of in concept. Like Infinity War, Endgame starts with no context and uses the assumed familiarity of long-time fans to set up obviously telegraphed emotional ploys. Both dramatic and comedic.
The opening scene is Hawkeye spending time with his family on house arrest, paralleling Ant Man & The Wasp. I cringed in anticipation, as they make it obvious we’re about to watch the snap’s effect on this previously-unseen Avenger.
But the scene’s obvious dramatic intent didn’t make it less effective.
The moment is escalated by becoming Clint’s jarring driving force for the story, and informing his growing connection to Black Widow.
There are a dozen scenes in the movie that I could take a similar fine-toothed comb to because they’re blatant emotional ploys. But they’re effective and well-deserved story beats for MCU fans, as obvious as they are.
There are also references to jokes and cameos from other Marvel movies that are obvious callbacks, but emphasize the fleshed-out relationships between characters as far-flung as Thor and Rocket Raccoon, or Captain America and Spider-Man.
Hell, even things like “girl power” scenes that have gotten the studio crap from brainless fans in the past have seemingly been cranked up just to rub it in people’s faces.
But even this moment, which may have gotten an eye-roll out of me in a less well-crafted film, was arguably one of my favorite scenes. Because it emphasized how the MCU has developed some fantastic characters, who all got time to shine in the…
Big CGI Fight Scene™ between two armies. A scene that actually epitomized my feelings toward Endgame.
Again, in literally any other movie I would feel numb watching a mindless clash between mostly faceless mobs that includes moments of character fan service and callbacks.
But Marvel has elevated that mindless action to such a high degree for their decade-long viewers that it creates transcendent filmmaking.
When that army battle ended, my heart was racing so hard that I got worried.
Then five seconds later, the movie left me crying at three different scenes that wrapped up multiple stories supremely well.
All in a movie where I laughed out loud, and got to appreciate unexpectedly beautiful character dynamics like Iron Man and Nebula.
But on top of all that, this movie genuinely made me excited for a post-Endgame Marvel.
I thought once the core six were gone, I’d feel more apathetic because characters like Dr. Strange, Captain Marvel or Black Panther strike me as better ensemble heroes.
But torches were passed. And certain movies staring certain characters with certain plots sound amazing as a result.
There isn’t much I can do from here besides gush and spoil things.
So I’m going to do that. In the meantime, go watch Avengers: Endgame.
Believe the hype. This movie is, truly, a Marvel to behold.
ALRIGHT LET’S DO THIS RAPID-FIRE STYLE:
- Marvel had its cake and ate it too. Thanos’ first unsatisfying death by a rage-filled Thor (who really captured Infinity War’s aftermath) set up an arc where he became a hilarious slovenly mess before relearning his worth as a hero and making me appreciate Thor 2. Then they ALSO get to kill him in a cathartic snap-reversal.
- Also, Steve Rogers picking up Mjölnir? 10/10. Just like America’s ass.
- Time travel was used to such good effect. Having characters go back to The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy was brilliant for fan service while allowing the chaos of Back to the Future. Especially since we got insight into how characters acted off-frame.
- Everyone being a dick to Hulk in The Avengers? Perfect.
- When Cap uses the previously unknown Hydra connection to subvert that Winter Soldier elevator scene? Perfect.
- Everyone realizing Starlord is an idiot? Perfect.
- I was worried after being lukewarm on Captain Marvel that she would show up and be overpowered, killing Thanos in an unceremonious way. But if anything her appearance was understated. Emphasizing her time as a galactic hero, then showing her importance by irreversibly neutering Thanos’ army and allowing Iron Man to kill him was very well done.
- Also, Spider-Man has 20 moms. I don’t care that it was an obvious ploy, I fucking loved when all the ladies came out to play. Especially Scarlet Witch getting revenge for Vision, despite past Thanos not knowing about that.
- Black Widow’s death, proving to herself that she can be a good person by saving the universe and forcing Hawkeye to survive for his family’s return, was really powerful? That was the one early scene that almost made me cry.
- Iron Man’s death, the funeral scene with his daughter and Cap’s aged moment made me cry super hard.
- Also fuck these writers for giving Tony and Pepper an adorable daughter. That ploy was so obvious and it huRT ANYWAY.
- Professor Hulk. That’s all there is to say. His effects were probably the wonkiest part of the movie to me, especially facial expressions. But otherwise what a good character arc, and a masterclass in understated sight gags with all his giant food.
- Seriously though Marvel, you better announce a Valkyrie movie. Or Ant Man 3 with adult daughter/father science heists. Spider-Man: Far from Home needs to have 1000 percent more angst about moving on from Tony’s death. Thor better guest star in Guardians 3.
- I just don’t understand how you wrapped up a 10 year story AND still made me excited for all these other properties???
That’s all I’ve got right now. Three-hour movies take a lot out of you and I need to go rest.
Or do Comm Law homework. Or pretend to do Comm Law homework when really I’m just—
I have no idea how I’m going to move on with my life after this. Just saying.