Avengers: Endgame 2019
This is my spoiler-filled review of Marvel’s 2019 superhero film: Avengers: Endgame. I repeat: spoiler-filled. Lots and lots of spoilers. In the video and certainly in the comment section too. So if you haven’t seen Endgame yet, it’s time for you to leave. Click that link up there. I did a hundred percent spoiler-free review a few days ago, so check that one out instead and only come back here after you’ve seen the movie. Okay, last warning: there are Endgame spoilers in this review. So, anybody who’s still here, you’ve already seen Endgame, right? Cause I don’t wanna ruin this for anybody.
Okay, so usually I start off my reviews with a little cast and plot intro, but since you’ve already seen the movie, that seems kinda unnecessary, so I’m just gonna jump right in. I gotta say, I was surprised by how much this movie impacted me. I’ve been a fan of these MCU movies since Iron Man came out. I saw that one three times in the theater actually and really loved it.
I mean, that was before the MCU was a U, right there was no universe yet. We got a glimpse of that plan with the post-credit scene with Nick Fury, but Iron Man was a movie that really stood on its own. It left you wanting a sequel and wanting more, but it was its own contained story. Then more and more movies and characters got added to the universe. For the most part, I really enjoyed them.
Like I said in my spoiler-free review, I don’t consider myself a diehard MCU fan. I’ve gotta admit that towards the end of Phase One and through most of Phase Two, I didn’t even see the movies in the theater, but I did watch them all on DVD and eventually blu-ray. So, I knew I had a connection with these characters and this story, but I guess I didn’t realize how emotionally invested I was until I watched Endgame.
When I watch movies, I’m not the kind of person who gets really outwardly emotional usually. I’ll smile sometimes, but it has to be just the perfect kinda humor to make me actually laugh out loud in the theater. Same with sad stuff. I think I’ve only ever cried like really cried, maybe three times in a theater? But this movie hit me more than I thought it would.
That first act when they’ve jumped five years post-snap was a surprise for me. That was a risk to start a superhero movie so somberly and emotionally. Given what happened at the end of Infinity War, it’s definitely warranted, but I guess I just didn’t expect it to go that direction with the time jump and our heroes being defeated and hopeless for such a long time. It made them feel more relatable and realistic cause they weren’t superheroes anymore at that point.
They were just a bunch of people who failed in their most dire moment and were living and trying to cope with the consequences of that failure. And so maybe it was that initial tone leading into the major moments towards the end that made me feel more emotionally impacted, but I think it was the theatrical experience that did it too.
I saw this opening weekend, Saturday night, sold out show, and people were really into this movie. There was so much crowd interaction and this communal feeling like we were all part of this close-knit MCU fan family. Right from the start, people were really vocal. When Barton’s daughter got dusted and then the rest of his family, people were gasping and this guy a few rows a way had this guttural reaction and was like ìNooooo. It wasn’t all sad though.
Throughout the movie, there were a lot of moments that got laughs and cheers, and the whole theater broke out into applause a bunch of times. When Captain Marvel shows up to save Tony and Nebula. The Stan Lee cameo got a lot of applause too which was nice because I believe this was the last cameo they had filmed of him. When Thor’s on Asgard and he’s holding his hand out, people were like Oh! and then Mjolnir flies in and people went nuts. Speaking of Mjolnir Cap. You think it’s going to Thor and then flies by him to Captain America. People were screaming and cheering and clapping.
Fighting Thanos with both the hammer and the shield, hitting the shield at him with the hammer that was a cool scene. Ever since we saw Cap budge Mjolnir in Age of Ultron, this was definitely something that fans wanted. And then the return of the vanished. I mean Cap being worthy to hold the hammer was awesome, but man. As soon as you hear Sam in Cap’s earpiece with the On your leftî throwback to The First Avenger, people were cheering.
Then all the portals start opening wow. Throughout that whole part, there was this continuous roar of cheers and claps, but then Spider-Man swings in and lands and there was this surge this eruption of screams and cheers. And people were loud during the whole finale fight. It was great, it was so exciting. This was the ultimate ìAvengers assembleî moment that we’ve wanted. Captain Marvel just blowing through the ship, giant Ant-Man punching down the Leviathan, the moment with all of our almost all of our female superheroes together oh man. Such a satisfying sequence. The whole fight there. And then the wrap-up to that third act. I mean, people had already been crying earlier in the movie with Black Widow’s sacrifice. Her and Hawkeye were the perfect pair to have to go to Vormir.
Their relationship it was perfect, they would fight each other to try to save one another. And they really subverted expectations there. I think just about everybody thought it was gonna be Hawkeye. And so when they all come back to their present and he just drops down to his knees on that platform and Banner’s like ìWhere’s Nat? Phew people were already starting to cry and then it only got worse when the group was out by the lake. So people were upset there, but the aftermath of that final fight was just brutal in the tear department. Tony Stark. It was just so fitting. He’s the whole reason for this franchise the Iron Man movie kick this all off eleven years ago. So for him to be the one to finish the fight. I am Iron Man. It brings it so full circle those were his final words in the first film during that press conference.
It’s such a satisfying and franchise-spanning character arc. We see him go from being an extremely selfish billionaire in the first film to somebody who sacrifices himself to save everything. And in this movie he has something to lose. Not only the Avengers, but he has a family now. He has Pepper and a daughter who loves him 3000 and a fulfilling life at this point. Even earlier in the movie, we see his reluctance. He doesn’t even wanna try because he’s so concerned that he’s gonna lose what he has. And really, it’s Parker who’s the catalyst for his change of heart. I’m sure Tony was upset about their overall failure, but the majority of his guilt was over losing Peter. Right at the beginning of this film, when he gets home, the first thing he says to Cap is ìI lost the kid.
That’s the thing that affected him the most. It was only because he accidently splashed water onto the picture of him and Peter that he realized he had to (conveniently) figure out time travel. And so when he finally sees Peter again and gives him that hug. And then when Peter’s trying to talk to him at the end there after the snap. Ugh. And then that funeral scene, with all the Avengers and his daughter. Proof that Tony Stark has a heart. It’s a pretty quiet scene and all you could hear was people sniffling all around the theater. Some were even straight up sobbing.
This was impactful. Even when I left the theater, I walked past people sitting on the benches in the lobby, hugging each other and crying. It’s pretty remarkable how much this franchise made you care about these characters. So as far as the plot, I was pretty satisfied. It had the moments you knew were gonna come like the big every-hero-fighting-together scene. It also had a few other things that I had predicted, but like I mentioned in the spoiler-free review, most of them didn’t happen the way I expected them to.
The first was the time travel. I knew it had to be a part of this, but I was convinced it was gonna be related to the time stone. So when we find out that the time stone was destroyed and Thor goes for the head before the ten minute mark of the movie, it was like the ìThat was quickî moment from Infinity War. Totally caught me off guard. I never would’ve guessed that the time travel aspect was gonna be related to the quantum realm. Or that a rat in a storage facility was gonna be the catalyst for saving the entire universe. But, I love the time travel aspect of this. I mean, I love time travel movies in general, but they just did a really interesting and fun thing with it here. It brought in quite a bit of comedy.
That’s America’s ass. But it also further tied everything together. Traveling back to moments from the previous movies, poking fun at some of the conveniences of the franchise like how three of the infinity stones happened to be in New York City all at the same time. Out of the entire universe, three of them on one planet, in one city. The Cap vs. Cap fight, trying to avoid their past selves.
Basically all a play on Back to the Future Part 2 and they even reference it by name along with a ton of other time travel movies like Bill and Ted which made it most excellent. It was just a fun and cool second act really. And then Tony and Cap going back to the 70s Tony having that whole funny and self-affirming moment with his dad, and Steve seeing Peggy again. Which brings me to my second major prediction come true: Steve Rogers going to back to the 40s to be with Peggy Carter.
That relationship was one of those loose ends in the franchise that never really felt like it had been fully addressed, so I thought they were gonna do something with it here. But like with my last prediction, it didn’t happen the way I thought it would. I figured it was gonna be due to the time stone and be unintentional.
That Cap would be fighting Thanos and there’d be a big explosion as the stones were destroyed. And so Thanos would be defeated and everybody would think Cap was dead. We’d go through the whole funeral thing for him and the movie winds down with us thinking Captain America sacrificed himself to defeat Thanos. But then kinda like how they did here, we cut to 1945 at the very end and show Steve and Peggy finally dancing. Or maybe even something more subtle like one of the Avengers looking through an old photo album or maybe Peter Parker looking through his history textbook and coming across a black and white photo of Steve and Peggy dancing at their wedding.
I didn’t dislike the way they did it though. The fact that it was Steve’s choice here implies that he felt his job was done, which provides a little more finality I guess. And of course having old Steve show up at the end there allowed him to pass on the mantle (and shield) of Captain America to Sam which leaves open other possibilities for the MCU. So for the most part, I really enjoyed this movie.
There were a few minor things that kinda disappointed me though. I gotta say, I was bummed that Goose the cat didn’t show up and have some scene with Rocket or something. I also though that Quill should’ve gotten some moment of redemption. I mean, he’s the one who screwed everything up in Infinity War. He lost control of his emotions and really is the reason Thanos succeeded.
I know it’s hard with so many characters in this most of them only get a minute or two of screen time, but it just felt like a weird thing not to address. In my spoiler-free review, I mentioned I had a problem with some of the characters. Some were great. I think Black Widow and Hawkeye both had really great development in this movie and some characters like Stark and Banner have these big franchise-spanning transformations which were satisfying. But two characters in particular really stuck out as disappointing to me in Endgame. The first was Thanos. He really made Infinity War. He was such a compelling and interesting character who had this dimensionality to him. He was the villain, but his motives weren’t based on self-interest. And so he had this quality of almost reasonableness.
But here it’s like we’re dealing with an entirely different character. I guess we are in a way. The Thanos here is past Thanos. 2014 Thanos, for the most part, but it just seemed weird. He just seemed really selfish and vengeful. I dunno, maybe losing Gamora to the Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 really changed his outlook and demeanor and he never gets to that point in this one, but it was a bit of a letdown after how interesting of a character he was in Infinity War.
The second character that was disappointing to me in this one was Thor. When he’s first reintroduced after the time jump, it’s kinda funny, I guess. I mean, seeing Chris Hemsworth with a beer belly and man boobs is sorta comical and the crowd laughed a lot. But for me, the joke overstayed its welcome. I don’t mind that Thor had this sort of depression PTSD reaction to what had happened and his guilt for not initially going for the head. Again, the post-time jump Avengers had that relatable, real person feel to them. And I thought it was actually interesting that he never magically turned back into fit Thor.
That he could be a hero without having the stereotypical hero body. So my problem wasn’t even with that ñ it was how much of a joke they made him throughout the movie. Thor’s always been funny the fish-out-of-water stuff early on, most of Ragnarok. But this just wasn’t really enjoyable to me. Okay, let’s talk about the pros and cons with a little more specificity than in the spoiler-free review. Pro number one is the scope of the film.
Eleven years and 22 movies culminate in a fantastic end to the journey, both for the characters and for us as fans. With the time travel element and countless nods to the previous 21 movies, Endgame provides us with a nostalgic journey through the franchise, while simultaneously giving us the big moments we’ve been craving for years. The Avengers assembled in this one, that’s for sure. The second pro is the fact that Endgame is a fitting conclusion. The infinity saga and our time with both Iron Man and Captain America has come to an end. They were always the two that assumed the leadership roles within the team and they both have fully realized character arcs, so their exits ñ while sad ñ feel justified and right for the grander story. Despite the conclusion of the infinity saga, the MCU isn’t over.
We know we’ve got Spider-Man: Far From Home coming this year at the very least. And rewatching that trailer after seeing Endgame really reframed my expectations for that movie. But what about the rest of the MCU’s future? I know we’re supposed to be getting a Black Widow movie, so it’s gotta be a prequel, right? Maybe we’ll finally get to see exactly what happened in Budapest. There’s also an interesting set-up for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. It seems likely that Thor’s gonna be a part of it the Asguardians of the Galaxy. And maybe this’ll be where Quill gets his redemption moment. He’s clearly gonna have some guilt issues and now there’s the whole 2014 Gamora thing.
It’s like dealing with a character who’s got amnesia, except she’s never gonna get those memories back because they don’t exist for her. So Quill not only has to find her, but he has to woo her all over again. Endgame also leaves open the possibility of a multiverse. That by going back in time and collecting the infinity stones, the Avengers created tangent timelines which remained even after Cap returned the stones. It’s a little mind-boggling when you try to think about it, but the events that happened in the timeline we’re familiar with, might not have happened in them all. So Tony and Natasha are dead and Steve’s old in our timeline, but in one or more of the tangent timelines, they could all be alive and young.
Really, by having Tony and Cap go back to the 70s, there could be countless possibilities. Timelines where the Avengers never existed at all or ones where everybody’s still alive ñ Loki, Vision, Quicksilver. I don’t necessarily think they will ñ or should ñ go that route, but the way this movie was done at least leaves open the possibility that we could potentially see Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow again at some point in an alternate timeline. Pro number three has gotta be the character arcs. I was honestly surprised by how much development we got for both Black Widow and Hawkeye. To be honest, I was never all that interested in them before but their stories were really satisfyingly fleshed out here. I also like the broader changes that we see in Tony, Steve, and even Bruce.
They’ve all come so far from the beginning so that was nice to see. Pro number four is one that I didn’t mention in the spoiler-free review and that’s the abundance of cinematic moments. It’s not something you necessarily think about all that much with a comic book movie, but there were some really great shots. Two that stood out to me in particular actually both involved Cap.
The first was near the beginning of the movie when the Avengers are on Rocket’s ship on the way to face Thanos. As they go into warp speed, you see the reflection in a close-up of Steve’s eyes and it’s a really cool shot. The second is bound to become one of the most iconic images from this movie and it’s right before the vanished show up in the final fight. Cap is bloodied and beaten, his shield is practically destroyed, and Thanos has just revealed his entire army. And there’s this amazing ultra-wide shot of Cap preparing to face off against them all on his own. Not only was he the First Avenger, but in that moment, he was the last line of defense for the universe and was prepared to die trying to save it.
On the con side, the most obvious issue is how dependent on the previous 21 movies this film is. To really understand what’s happening and to feel the full emotional impact, you really need to have seen all of the other movies in the MCU. Now, I totally get the counterargument: this is a franchise, so obviously you need to watch the other films in that franchise. It’s actually triply necessary here. Not only is this the 22nd film in the MCU, but it’s the 4th Avengers movie, and a direct part two to Infinity War.
That scope and interconnectedness is my biggest pro as a fan of the franchise, but I think we just forget how time-intensive it is to be an MCU fan. Newcomers are really at a disadvantage, not being able to spread watching the 22 movies out over 11 years like we did. Thanos’ line to Scarlet Witch felt especially fitting in that context ñ ìI don’t even know who you are.
The second con is what they did with both Thanos and Thor. Thanos was such a compelling antagonist in Infinity War and he feels like a generic villain here. Still incredibly powerful and formidable, but not nearly as interesting or layered. That was a huge disappointment to me cause he was one of my favorite aspects of Infinity War. As far as Thor his drunken slob persona just wasn’t funny to me. Sure, people cope with things in different ways and I don’t even mind that he was set up in that way. He’s not even really one of my favorite characters, but they made him sorta dull and pretty obnoxious.
I just wish he wasn’t the butt of all the jokes. The Lebowski line was pretty good though. I’m gonna give Avengers: Endgame 4 out of 5 paws. It has its issues and a fair share of overly convenient moments in the story, but man is it a satisfying and emotional conclusion to the infinity saga.
I don’t see it ever becoming one of my favorite MCU movies, but it’s certainly cemented its place in cinematic history. If you liked Avengers: Endgame, I’m gonna assume you’ve seen the other 21 MCU movies. If not, I recommend those because with that extra context, you’ll get a lot more out of Endgame. I also have to recommend the Back to the Future trilogy. Not only does this movie directly reference them (including an amusing sports almanac line), but the whole time heist sequence is based on Back to the Future Part II’s premise which made it all the more enjoyable.
I’d also recommend you check out two X-Men movies. First, X-Men: Days of the Future Past for its superhero-related time jumping and then Logan for its darker tone and significant character moments. Alright, a couple questions for you guys. Number one: What did you think of Avengers: Endgame? And number two: What do you think is in store for the MCU? Are you excited about what’s to come or are you feeling done with the franchise now that Iron Man and Captain America are out of the picture? Be sure to leave your answers in the comments below so we can get a discussion going. Alright, so if you got some enjoyment, insight, or information out of this review.