If anything has made me notice how old I am, it’s the passage of time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Which is kind of sad, media-driven, and pathetic now that I think about it.
Iron Man first released in 2008, and Avengers: Endgame came out in 2019.
That’s eleven years later.
That’s eleven years of my life.
Like anyone else who has been watching these movies since their youth, I was really hyped for Endgame. I don’t want to call it the culmination of years of super hero films again because I’ve done that so many times for work (I write about films, TV series, comic books, and video games) already.
But yeah, Endgame is the ultimate culmination of years of super hero films.
My local theater does not have reserved seating available yet, so when you buy an advanced ticket to a showing, seating is first come first served.
Side note: Danny, I swear to god, if you make one comment about “small towns,” I will punch you. Well, not really. But I’ll figuratively punch you.
I bought my ticket to see Endgame weeks in advance, and when the premiere date finally arrived, I made sure my schedule was clear for the entire day, showed up at the theater at 6:45 in the morning, and waited for my 6:00 p.m. showtime.
As you can probably surmise, I am a dedicated MCU fan.
This review is thus going to be biased as hell.
But I have established this with you guys beforehand, so I think that gets me off the hook.
Also, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, there will be SPOILERS ahead.
The best thing about Avengers: Endgame is how much tribute it pays to the history of the MCU.
One of the things I didn’t like about Avengers: Infinity War was how little time was given to each hero. I understood why this had to be, since Infinity War had to cram so many heroes and so much plot in such a short amount of time, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t wish for more breathing space for my favorite characters.
Endgame gives these characters some breathing space. With that three-hour runtime, the film allows the original Avengers to have these awesome character moments. Like when Black Widow is just sitting in Avengers headquarters, dealing with the aftermath of the Snap, and she starts to sob. That was beautifully acted out, and if the plot had been rushing along like a runaway train, it wouldn’t have happened.
The movie also pays homage to the original Avengers by having them revisit some of their prior stories.
Let me explain.
The basic premise of Endgame revolves around time travel. When Scott Lang is freed from the Quantum Realm by a fluke, he realizes that time passes more slowly there than it does in the regular world. He figures that the Avengers can use this knowledge to travel back in time and reverse the effects of the Thanos Snap.
With this knowledge at their disposal, the Avengers make a time machine and travel back in time to moments where they can collect the Infinity Stones and bring them back to the present. Once done, the Avengers will use the Stones to bring back everyone dusted by the Snap.
Not only does this plan allow the Avengers to be the heroes the world needs them to be, it gives us as an audience a chance to go back to the good old days. We get to see the Ancient One from Doctor Strange again when Hulk goes to collect the Time Stone from her. We get to see Frigga again when Thor and Rocket go to Asgard to get the Reality Stone before she dies. We get to see the Battle of New York when Cap, Iron Man, and Ant-Man finagle a way to get both the Mind and the Space Stone during that time period.
It’s a mega trip down nostalgia way, and if the movie wasn’t already making you prone to tears, these memories might just push you all the way to Sob Street.
Oh, I should also warn you the movie can be very cry-inducing. When I went to go see it, there were a bunch of people ugly-crying all around me. It was fantastic.
The beginning parts of the movie show the Avengers and the world coping with the loss of half of all life. That’s a downer right there. Two of the Avengers, Black Widow and Iron Man, sacrifice themselves to save the world, and that’s a kick in the emotional balls if there ever was one.
Luckily, the movie is also chock-full of humor and epic moments.
My favorite funny part was when Iron Man, Captain America, and Ant-Man were spying on their past selves, trying to find an opportune moment to steal the Space Stone. Iron Man makes a comment about how Cap’s old costume is not doing his ass any favors, and then Ant-Man pipes in, telling Cap not to worry, he thinks his ass looks great, and, in fact, that’s America’s ass.
Can we just stop and appreciate the character of Ant-Man for a second?
Aside from the original Avengers, Ant-Man is one of the few heroes who gets to go on this time-travelling adventure, and I’m glad he did. The other Avengers are our heroes. Ant-Man is us if we got to tag along.
The best epic moment, in my opinion, is not when everyone who was brought back from the Snap joins the fight. That’s second best.
The best moment was when Captain America picked up Thor’s hammer and started using it.
That’s right, folks. The moment we’ve all been waiting for happened.
The theater I was in shook with the roars and cheers of excitement and approval when we saw who was carrying Mjolnir. It was a big fan-service moment, but goddamn it, I don’t care! Service me, Marvel! Service me!
As for the bad qualities of the film, that basically revolves around the time travel aspect.
Time travel is a double-edged sword in stories. It can give you wild situations that provide engaging and unique plots, but it can also become a convoluted mess right quick.
The time-travel rule in Endgame starts out fairly straightforward. Going back in time and altering the past does not affect your future. What it does is create an alternate timeline, a branching path from the original. This is why the Avengers had to go get the Infinity Stones and bring them to their present instead of just murdering baby Thanos.
But if this is the case, then boy, did the Avengers leave a mess of alternate timelines in their wake. In one timeline, Loki stole the Space Stone and is now god knows where. In another, Thanos and his entire army is just gone. In yet another, Captain America lived a different life and now he’s an old man.
That last one still has me scratching my head.
But these temporal gripes do not stop me from liking the movie. I loved Endgame. Even if it didn’t make sense sometimes, it still came across as a loving send-off. It’s like a good-bye message on your high school yearbook from your best friend who maybe didn’t do too well in their English classes.
You can feel the love oozing from every scene, and I wanted to bask in that love for every minute of the movie, even though I made the mistake of drinking a Coca-Cola ICEE during the first half and my bladder was set to explode for the last thirty minutes of the movie.
I rate Avengers: Endgame an if-you-have-been-there-since-the-beginning-of-the-Marvel-Cinematic-Universe-then-this-movie-was-made-just-for-you-and-like-every-hero-in-the-film-it-won’t-let-you-down.