SPOILERS ON MY OPINION AHEAD
It has been a week since the release of Avenger’s Endgame and my first viewing of it. I did not move from my seat during the entire movie. I was right about a few predictions, but there were also quite a few surprises that kept me guessing. This was not a movie where I wanted to watch it over again immediately after the first viewing like Avengers or Infinity War. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good movie or that I didn’t like it, but it is different. My top three MCU movies to date are currently: Thor Ragnorak, Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America The Winter Soldier with Infinity War often being interchangeable. Rather than review Endgame, because everyone already has- and loves it, here are a few of my thoughts. ACTUAL SPOILERS AHEAD
The Big Thorbowski
Thor has become a much more interesting and relatable character in the last few years. He has grown personally, his powers have evolved and he has teamed up with the Guardians of the Galaxy and Hulk. I have never been a big Thor fan, but I am now after these recent expansions to the character. In Endgame, though Thor is depressed, drunk and fat compared to his old self. His appearance was shocking and the joke was funny for the first 10 minutes. Unfortunately, I think sticking with this gag hurt the character and negatively impacted the movie. Essentially Thor was missing from this finale for the Avengers. This movie is the last blast for this iteration of Marvel and seeing the core work together one last time and especially the big three standing together were iconic moments that were somewhat missed. Yes, Thor changed into armor at the final battle, but he was still a lot heavier and Thorbowski was still fresh in everyone’s mind. I think it would have been fine and possibly even comedic for Thor to use his powers to snap himself back to normal/god mode. Korg: Whoa man, you could have just done that this whole time? This would be a simple fix and give the fans more of what they want.
Paul Rudd crushed it as Ant-Man. He came into the MCU as an outsider with abilities. In Endgame Scott lang really seemed like a part of the team. He seamlessly fit in with the core Avengers and played his part perfectly. He was the main comedic relief, but the comedy didn’t feel over the top. He played a critical role in the story and on the team and proved he can work on any future Marvel team-ups. I found him refreshing as an addition to the core team and the only characters who didn’t seem down and out. He embodied the spirit of the Avengers and his idea helped bring it back out in all of them. If there wasn’t a third Ant-Man movie planned before Endgame, there is now.
Back to Which Future?
Time travel is complicated. This movie made it clear that time travel is not for everyone, but can be made to work. There was a lot to keep track of already in the three-hour movie, without time travel being thrown in on top. I understand it was necessary to bring back all of the lost victims of Infinity War’s snap, but I didn’t think they would go any deeper than going back in time and returning. The multiple timelines and adjustments made things a little extra dense. If took me a minute to understand and took the movie a few minutes to explain things. I think this was a bold move and fun way to create new possibilities, but unfortunately, the general public understands time travel using Back to the Future rules. It felt a little indignant to shrug off a great geek movie franchise and predecessor to the concept Endgame was trying to present. Lastly, what came first the idea for the snap or going back in time for meaningful interactions?
The coolest scene of the movie was when Captain America wielded Mjolnir and nailed Thanos with it. It was a great comic moment, a growth for the character and honestly, the audience had been waiting to see someone stand up to Thanos. My favorite part of the movie was right before and was only a moment. When Cap stood up with half a shield and faced the innumerable oncoming hordes behind Thanos, I got chills. I didn’t realize till a moment later, that that was when Cap became worthy. Cap not giving up and facing the evil no matter how great is what all superhero movies strive to be. I didn’t cry in the movie, but I did have an overwhelming sense of pride and emotion watching Cap face the odds. This was a moment I didn’t know I needed to see in this movie until I saw it. We all knew that Cap basically should be worthy and almost proved it in Age of Ultron, but seeing it actualized on screen was an unexpected treat.
The twist at the end with old Cap was sitting on the bench threw me for a loop. I tried to understand exactly how everything worked out with the time travel, feel all the emotions for Cap, and listen to what he was saying all at the same time. I don’t know if that final scene of him dancing means that Cap is gone, but I took it that way. My issue is that we never got to see Cap say goodbye to Bucky. I didn’t mind the shield being passed to Falcon over Bucky, but I felt like an important opportunity was missed. Cap and Bucky were the original Avengers. They are lifelong friends and have been through a lot together. Bucky knew Cap before anyone and Bucky knew of Peggy Carter who Cap made the decision to spend his life with. I feel like their conversation would have had more of an impact. There’s a chance Cap may return for another scene with Bucky, but for now, I’m left wanting more.