Movie Musings - Avengers: Endgame

Updated: Jul 7, 2020




If you didn't catch my review of last year's Avenger's Infinity War, you won't understand when I say I have to rescind my previous statement. THIS movie, not the last Avengers title, is the culmination of everything that's been accomplished in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. Then again, these movies were always intended to be a Part 1 and 2 kind of a deal.


It's not exactly news by now, but the studio once again delivers an entertaining, touching, epic film that somehow doesn't feel as long as it is.


Below is a list of what I liked and didn't like about the movie. As always, spoilers ahead!


 

LIKES


1) Damn, that’s satisfying!


I’m talking about the ending, of course. Few other endings in all of cinema have been as thoroughly earned and satisfactory.


It’s not just because the entire plot revolves around a walk through the past, really hammering home how many years all of this is in the making. It’s also because we’ve seen our heroes fail and live with the aftermath of that. Therefore, when they ultimately get the chance to undo it, the stakes are still high.


Not only that, but after all of this it still seems like our heroes may lose yet again. It’s only through tremendous sacrifice and tremendous loss that the good ultimately wins out.


It all adds up to a thoroughly deserved feeling of exhilaration when all these allies assemble from all corners of the universe to stand against Thanos. It’s why the look on his face when that happens, and when he watches his own allies crumble before his eyes, is so goddamn satisfying.



2) A Hero’s Send-off

Speaking of tremendous loss: Tony mothafuckin’ Stark! What a character, and what an achievement for Robert Downey Jr.


The entire MCU was started when he uttered the words, “I am Iron Man.” The world hasn’t been the same since, so it’s fitting that this is what he says during his biggest moment of bravery. As if we needed more reasons to love him, this film shows him become a wonderful father and better friend to his fellow Avengers.


Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly hard for me to say that Iron Man’s death is a positive in this movie. I’ve loved the character since I was a child and he’s been the centerpiece of the entire franchise for a literal decade. However, I have to tip my cap to how they executed his hero’s send-off here.


Thankfully, they are already teasing the reveal of RESCUE, with Pepper Potts donning the suit for the final showdown. We likely will see that in future phases of the MCU, possibly also in the form of their daughter Morgan. No matter what, we can rest easy knowing Tony Stark’s legacy will echo through the generations of heroes to come.


3) While we’re at it… Black Widow!

So, a part of me feels guilty for putting Iron Man’s sacrifice before Black Widow’s. Just another example of a woman’s bravery and accomplishments being overshadowed by those of a more prominent man, right? Well, not exactly.


The big reason is that there’s supposedly a Black Widow movie in development by Marvel Studios (likely set in the past), so it’s unclear if this is actually the last movie we’ll see with Scarlett Johansson in the role. RDJ, at least, seems pretty done with the Iron Man character.


However, I do not mean at all to say that Black Widow’s sacrifice isn’t just as big. Without her, Bruce Banner couldn’t have snapped everyone back into existence. Tony Stark’s sacrifice wouldn’t have even been possible. Hawkeye wouldn’t have been alive to be a father to his young kids.


More than her ending, we get to sit with the character of Natasha Romanov more in this film. We see her assume the mantle of directing the Avengers’ efforts across the universe and we feel for her when she grapples with the loss of the only family she ever knew.


4) So ends the Mad Titan

While Thanos hardly had the leading man role here that he had in last year’s Infinity War, his character was still interesting and deeply explored. He is once again captured marvelously by Josh Brolin in a stellar motion-capture performance.


Of all the great aspects of this movie, my all-time favorite moment comes when Thanos sees himself say the words, “I am... inevitable,” as they play on hologram. His look of sheer satisfaction, not only at his accomplishment, but at the objectively amazing line he delivers in that moment, is such a brilliant choice.

5) The God of Blunder

I was perhaps a bit harsh on Thor in Infinity War last year. While there were some great character moments for others in that film, I felt like every time they started to delve into Thor’s pain and defeat the film shirked it away by giving him an over-long B story about making a new axe -- one that ultimately didn’t make much difference in the end, I might add.


This film is really where that story pays off. We se