BIG SPOILERS, SPOILER ALERT, GET READY
So…I watched Avengers: Endgame last Saturday. There were obviously a lot of high expectations going into this one with success of Thor Ragnarok, Black Panther, and of course, Infinity War in the previous year. It’s hard to separate this movie as the follow up to Infinity War so I won’t try to. Along with everyone else, I was super excited to see how the gang was going to eventually best Thanos and I’ve based this review as the conclusion of that adventure.
Did this movie meet expectations me? Hell no. There are definitely lots of pieces of this movie that I enjoy, but ultimately I didn’t think Endgame was an appropriate follow up to Infinity War and should not be seen as the pinnacle of the MCU thus far.
I thought the movie started off really well. The initial scene where Hawkeye just turns around and his family is gone is awesome. The audience knows that they have been snapped and we start connecting with how someone can actually come to grips with that reality. It’s harsh, it’s gritty. I loved the overall tone the movie set here. We actually get to see how the world looks after half the population has been turned into nothingness. It’s super dreary and the movie really brings that sense of hopelessness through.
But then we get into time travel bit…and that whole tone gets thrown out the window. I’m not even mad about the time travel. The idea of that loophole/solution is fine with me. The thing I did not like about the middle hour of this movie was the lack of urgency and how goofy the tone is throughout the team’s process of retrieving the Infinity Stones from different points in time.
Whack Peter Quill over the head. Have the Hulk burst through the bottom stairwell and knock Tony Stark off balance. Cap gets the scepter by saying two words in an elevator. Rocket stabs Natalie Portman off camera with some gizmo. It’s just that easy. The whole ordeal feels so irreverent. There is no gravitas here, even though it’s the Avenger’s only hope, only chance, and final shot at making everything right in the universe.
I get that it’s an homage to the previous movies. It’s cool to see the Avengers messing around in other timelines with other characters they would’ve otherwise had no interaction with. I just wish Endgame didn’t have to sacrifice that weight that Infinity War had. That weight made it feel like there was something substantial to fight for and created drama for the audience to follow. This whole time travel sequence made it seem like the Infinity Stones were toys.
Don’t even get me started on the Hawkeye-Black Widow scene. I’ll kill myself, no sike, I’ll kill myself, it’s a contest to see who can suicide. That just felt so over the top and unnecessary to me. Does anyone care about Hawkeye or Black Widow dying at this point? I actually left to go to the bathroom because I was bored and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything.
There were a couple great highlights for me. Thanos continues to shine in the limited time he had in this movie. He’s so badass even when he has his arm cut off and has been completed subdued by the team in the first bit of the movie. Everything is still in his plan. That sense of “there’s nothing to do with all your strength”, that hopelessness was great. Thanos destroys the stones. There’s no going back. He never shows any wavering in his actions. I felt that same hopelessness when he jumped through the time portal and unleashed his army at Earth. Like, okay you got the Infinity Stones and brought everyone back. But what if I just kill everyone now that you’ve done that? Even how he just has a seat as he’s snapped into nothingness shows his implacable resolve. Really great portrayal of this villain.
I also loved fat Thor. I have loved Thor’s arc from Ragnarok through Infinity War and now to Endgame. It’s felt so genuine and human. He cuts off Thanos’ head and fulfills his promise of killing the Mad Titan but so what? It didn’t solve anything. His strength was useless and he falls into despair. If anything good came out of the time travel, it was his reconciliation of his failure through his mother. You could say I’m contradicting myself by liking Thor’s goofiness while disliking the overall goofy tone of the middle portion of the movie. I don’t really see it that way. Thor’s character in Infinity War shows a lot of those same goofy quirks but the overall tone of the movie stays focused on the impending doom they all face. Marvel has gotten really good at skirting that fine line of adding chuckles throughout intense action but I think they went overboard in Endgame. That being said, I really can’t wait to see what they do with Thor in the next Guardians of the Galaxy.
Some spare fan/anti-fan thoughts I have:
- Tony Stark taking off the arc reactor and handing it to Cap was epic. The fact that Tony blamed Cap in part for what happened and continued that grudge was cool.
- Cap wielding Mjolnir against Thanos was awesome, just pure fan-service but no one is complaining about it.
- Captain Marvel didn’t really need to be in this movie? She just doesn’t do anything of importance.
- Would’ve liked to see a plot line where the Time Stone backfires on Thanos somehow and it leads to his defeat. I know Dr. Strange gives up the Stone to save Tony and Tony is the one who snaps Thanos but I think they could’ve done more with that puzzle.
Overall, I can’t really say this was a bad movie but it wasn’t as good as Infinity War. Yes, I’m going to directly compare the two because I can’t help it. As I mentioned previously, I would’ve rather they not tried to flashback to previous movies. Those parts almost felt like bad anime filler episodes to me. I might appreciate those scenes more for all the cool easter eggs on repeat watches but I would’ve just rather them have done something with higher stakes.
I wanted this movie to be a 10/10. I wanted this movie to be better than Infinity War. In the end, this movie feels average, a mixed bag for me.
Agree? Disagree? Would love to discuss it. Leave a comment or PM me on Facebook if you wanna talk about Endgame!