SPOILER FREE UNTIL AFTER THE RATING
It’s only been eleven years since Iron Man came out. Which is remarkable, because it feels like so much longer. Infinity War had its fun, but now it’s time for Endgame to wrap it all up in a nice, neat little bow.
After a brief intro where the Avengers get a little uh murder-y (for good reason, but don’t tease me) Endgame jumps five years into the future. Five years after half the Earth’s, and universe’s, population disappeared. Hope soon arrives in the form of Ant-Man who is convinced that time travel through the quantum realm would allow the Avengers to bring everybody back. Tony stark is unconvinced…for about five seconds. He promptly discovers time travel and a new plan is set: go back in time, steal the infinity stones before Thanos can use them, and reverse the snap.
Endgame does a lot of things right. But it does a lot of things right for the Marvel corporateverse. Which is all about continuing the story, rather than ending the story. Which means that Endgame ends up being a three hour Easter egg meet cute. Some choices are hard but realistic. Nothing surprised me is what I’m saying.
The small moments are the best. A heartbreaking opening scene sets a good tone. Multiple reunions with long gone characters (Marvel has a bit of an obsession with parental issues eh?) A Hawkeye/Black Widow sequence that I challenge you not to cry at. Endgame excels at tugging at the heart strings, if only because you’ve invested so much time into these characters for so many years.
But Endgame’s vision isn’t as tight as Infinity War. Because Infinity War had a main character: Thanos. His perspective and his mission both informed and dominated the entire narrative. His goal made sense, and was told in a relatable way. He went through the hero’s journey. In Endgame, he’s little more than a Bond villain. Cartoonish-ly evil in an admittedly cartoon-y movie. If Endgame had chosen someone, anyone to lead, it would have been better.
The clear choice is Robert Downey Jr. The man who started it all. Who, in character and acting, seemed to create the MCU through sheer force of will. Endgame is a lovely ode to him, and it comes close to making him the main character, but instead the focus jumps around without ever landing anywhere.
Endgame is good. There’s wasted potential, wasted story, wasted characters. But it’s good. A logical, plot hole ridden conclusion to a series we kind of wish would die. The Empire Strikes Back to Return of the Jedi if you will. Enjoy it and its overly used CGI, and sincerely wonder, like I did, if you’ll be able to stomach any more superhero movies.
3 out of 4 stars
BEYOND THIS POINT THERE BE SPOILERS
- Okay how dumb was Captain Marvel? First they give her an average movie setting her up as the ultimate hero and then… she’s straight up useless. She’s so powerful they have to have her fuck off for 2/3rds of the movie. Seriously, what was she doing? Defending the universe? Was she defending the universe when Thanos was genociding all over it?? Answer: no. Her character makes no sense because they can’t figure out her power level so they can’t properly fit her in to an already bloated story.
- Same goes for Thanos. Is he a God? Captain Marvel flew through a spaceship. Yet she can’t one punch this guy? Fuck off.
- You’re telling me that Black Widow can die but they’ll bring back Gamora?? Give me a break. I’m glad some characters got to die, but it wasn’t nearly enough to surprise me.
- You’re telling me, that Captain America returned all those stones, including the one to Red Skull, his mortal enemy, and you’re not going to show me what happens? Had to be awkward.
- Why can’t Doctor Strange transport in some, I don’t know, M1 Abrams tanks and watch the US military absolutely fuck that terrible alien army? But instead, he’s going to bring in Wakandan troops who, may I remind you, were already decimated by that same alien army, and then lost half their number to the Thanos snap. And they’re ready to fight another war? Give those guys a break.
- Oh man, that all female shot. The most obvious nod to Marvel’s “inclusion” when they had exactly one female led superhero movie and like no female filmmakers on any of their films. Don’t pretend.
- All right, long time discussion here. Beyond the implications of bringing everyone back after five years and Peter Parker just going to school like nothing happened, this movie seems to suggest that there is no such thing as time travel, but rather, reality travel. Based on the Hulk’s discussion with Tilda Swinton, if she gives up the time stone, her reality is now altered. The Hulk realizes he must return all the stones at the exact time they were stolen so as not to change her reality. Because if he was actually changing his reality Thanos would never have gotten the stones and when the Hulk arrived back at his reality everything would be (probably) fine. Follow me? So, multiple realities if you alter time. Captain America is sent back to return the stones so that the realities aren’t altered too much. Are you telling me that goody-two-shoes Captain America went back to live a life with Peggy Carter and did nothing to prevent ANY national tragedies?? Uh uh. Call me picky, but that’s some BS. There’s no way he didn’t try to stop something and completely create a new reality. Also, the concept of time in Endgame makes little to no sense and I will probably discuss it for a long time with anyone willing to listen.
- I might add more as I think of them. Isn’t it fun to rip plot holes in these movies?