So it’s been a couple of weeks since Endgame hit the theaters and the reactions have been a riot to see and hear about. The initial reactions were of awe and jubilation. Many fans felt mostly rewarded by the movie and it’s payoffs across the movie. Others took a more critical response to the movie noting plot holes and so weak spots in writing. They also were guys that took offense to the emotional response of the majority of the audiences happily overlooked the faults in the movie. For me, the rating for the movie or how you felt about it is determined how invested you were in this universe AND how much you felt about the comics they were derived from. Endgame is NOT the film for new comers. It can’t be the first MCU movie you have seen. Seeing that film by itself would only be a exercise in confusion. It’s the second part of a basically a five to six hour movie and that makes immersion almost impossible. However if you’ve been onboard since Iron Man and not rooted in thinking things have to go the way of the comics then it’s a highly satisfying film that gives you closure. The other thing is that when you get really involved in a series at some point what you want to see overrides the story actually being told. That kind of makes some critiques overdone.
I loved the movie while still noticing some issues and of course some things I would have done differently but still good stuff. This was a goodbye letter to the original MCU Avengers and every one got their moment. Iron Man’s death was well done and fitting considering the entire arc of these phases centered around him and him sacrificing himself has been a thread since the first movie. I was surprised that they went ahead with him having a child but I also felt like she was a prop to give Tony an even more humanizing journey and death. I think it could have been done with just Pepper and Peter but it wasn’t anything terrible or overcooked. Captain America was the most obvious reach to give him a happy ending because of the open questions it posed for the future. Questions about timelines, his own age, and of course his passing on the mantle of Captain America to The Falcon has been the main conversation points in every Endgame discussion I’ve been involved in and all the ones I’ve simply read. I believe that it will be used as a springboard to the next phases and possibly as an tool to eventually bring the FoxMCU properties onboard mistake or not. Still…..Cap got his dance….although I have to wonder….what about Sharon? Next is Thor….and his epilouge more than anything else addresses that fact that Chris Hemsworth is open to continue playing the character in the future after finally finding his voice with the character in Ragnarok. I do feel that there was not enough time given to Thor’s grief and redemption but instead it was mostly played for laughs. In fact there were a few times where it seemed Hemsworth was trying to portray more depth than the script was giving him. It was, in my opinion, a serious missed opportunity and an exposure of the MCU to overly lean towards humor than drama. It’s a habit I hope they find a better balance with in the next phase. Hawkeye was given more attention in this movie than the entirety of his existance in the MCU overall….and thus felt a little forced. Opening the movie with his family being snapped away gave an obvious conection to him becoming Ronin without ever really going into depth with it and showed where the Black Widow/Hawkeye was going to be a bit anti climatic. Black Widow’s fate was sealed as soon as the mission for which stone they were going after was made. Hawkeye’s family would be returned to him while Black Widow’s ledger finally came clean. I was surprised that they didn’t play up The Hulk and his reaction to her death. It was greatly understated. Speaking of the Hulk, a lot of people were not happy with Hulk’s new persona but it was a fitting end to his arc. The problem is that we were not shown how it came to be so is weakened the impact of it greatly and weakened the role he played in the movie as most Hulk fans wanted to see him get even with Thanos. This movie could and should have been longer or broken up again. I don’t know but I do understand attention spans are shorter nowadays.
The rest of the cast that got screen time (not snapped away) were treated decently well. Nebula’s arc was handled well as was Ant Man’s. Astute viewers figured out that he was a key to the whole thing after his first movie. I saw that others didn’t like that but lol, oh well. War Machine and Captain Marvel were used sparringly, esp Captain Marvel. I don’t think Marvel counted on her being such a flashpoint of criticism. I also don’t think they fleshed her out enough here or in her own movie to the point where most viewers truly became invested in her and that weakened the impact of her big moments. On a personal note, I loved seeing Korg and of course Valykrie. She is still massively underused but I’m biased as I think Tessa Thompson’s rendition of her is fantastic and if I wasn’t married….shots would be shot. LOL!
The moment that I’ve waited over a decade for finally happened. The moment they teased at the end of Age of Ultron became real in Endgame. It’s the only point where a tear could have escaped my face. Once Falcon said “On your left” the anticipation ticked up. The appearance of Black Panther, Okoye, and Shuri…..well…..you knew if you were in a theater with a lot of Black people because as soon as it closed up on T’Challa’s face, all I heard was “WAKANDA FOREVER!!!” throughout the place. The sheer joy of it was tangible. Heck that was the only reason my sister in law even went to see the movie…..to make sure brother man was coming back. I think I was in the minority because I felt a small tingling when Falcon flew out. Honestly I felt it foreshadowed what Steve would bestow upon him later on. Then the feels kept happening. Spider-Man swinging into view elicited an equal amount of cheers in the theater I was in as he was the most emotional death in Infinity War. Doctor Strange also got a lot of cheers which goes to how his character was built up better in his movie and Infinity War than Captain Marvel. Then Captain America finally said it: “Avengers Assemble”. Now forgive me for shedding a tear there but I think a whole ton of us, MCU fans, comic fans, and even casusal movie goers felt that moment. It was the perfect hit for years of anticipation. The ensuing fight had great moments as well. Now…..there is the polarizing moment. The “girl power” moment. A ton of guys hated it because it was really on the nose but my argument is that if you didn’t have an issue with the big three confronting Thanos then chill with this moment. Besides….it worked. Every woman and girl (including my three daughters) screamed at that moment. It took a little sting out of losing Black Widow earlier in the movie and maybe they could have gone a little further with giving a more on the nose nod to Black Widow in that moment but it was cool nonetheless.
Overall the epilouges seemed to serve the purposes of tying up the stories of the original Avengers and the loopholes may lead to other things down the line. The Spider-Man one is the craziest as unless everyone got snapped, him and Ned are surely too old to be in school. Or maybe I missed something obvious. Looking forward to the epilouge to this phase of the MCU with Spider-Man: Far From Home. In closing, Endgame was a good movie but how good depends on what your emotional investment is with the characters and your level of percieved personal ownership in these franchises, Till next time.