Friday Review: Avengers: Endgame

The following is chock full of spoiling spoilery spoilers. If you have not seen Avengers: Endgame as yet (why????), don’t read if you don’t want to know.

The requested moratorium on Endgame spoilers ended Monday, so we have seen much discussion about the movie. I am going to go into some length here with my review. This is my opinion. You may or may not agree. Comment and we can discuss, but be nice. We can differ and still be friends!

I give it 4 of 5 stars. I truly enjoyed the movie. I had very little trouble with anything while watching and that, to me, is a big plus. If I can suspend disbelief and enjoy a film with few or no moments that pulled me out of it, then the filmmakers have done their job. The questions that come later? Oh, we all have them with many, many films because nothing is perfect. As long as it’s not a drag on the film while its running, I’m fine.

In general, the plot was decent. Lots of fan serving moments, but honestly, didn’t we expect that? Did they all fit in nicely and neatly? Maybe not, but it was cool to see the MCU folks giving the fans some nice gifts in this last movie in the current spate of films.

Some specific character and plot comments:

Hulk: I have to say, the transformation there was bit weird to me. I get the Professor Hulk thing and that was a kind of neat callback to the comics, but it felt off to me. I mean, I get Bruce finally coming to terms with the Hulk being part of him and letting them merge and all. But Bruce has been built up as the quiet guy, the one who doesn’t want or need the spotlight, and here, all of a sudden, he’s posing for selfies and encouraging fans? And what happened to the Hulk? About the only thing left of him was the muscles and green skin. 

Hawkeye: Another kind of weird thing to me. Yeah, yeah, Hawkeye turned Ronin and all that. It just felt wrong to me and almost like it should have been in a separate movie. It didn’t fit in this story, IMO. Sure, Clint lost his family and that had to have hit him a crushing blow. But to just turn around and start killing people (okay, yes, bad people but still). Didn’t seem like the Clint of the movies to me.

Captain Marvel: The absent hero. We had all that build up before and after her movie that she was going to be in Endgame and usher in the new Avengers and next phase of the MCU. So, she rescues Tony (with no explanation of how she knew where to go or even that he needed it) and then we don’t even see her until the final battle. I guess I expected a bigger presence.

Cap: Oh, Cap. You have changed so much since you were thawed out, haven’t you? Seems there may be a little gray in all that black and white now. But still determined, strong, willing to do “whatever it takes”. I am glad he and Peggy got that dance he promised her so long ago. Speaking of that, I think that was one of the better time travel moments. He and Peggy being together in an alternate multiverse was a lovely gift. And that scene at the end? The long shot of Cap, all alone, standing against Thanos’ full army? That is the essence of Captain America in one photo. And some awesome cinematography.

Time Travel: Ah, now there’s the rub. Time travel is a tricky thing, and always a problem to deal with. There isn’t a time travel story out there that doesn’t have some inconsistencies and unanswered questions. With that, I thought the use here was decent. The multiverse idea covered a lot of ground, from neatly explaining why going back and killing Thanos as a baby wouldn’t change the present to how to fix the Snap without messing up everything else. It was a decent use of the trope.

Sam is Captain America: Not Bucky? Well, I suppose that would have made sense and I would have been fine with it, but Sam has always been a kind of rock there in the group. He has a good head on his shoulders, and he shares a lot of Steve’s ideals. Bucky? Do we really trust Bucky after his head was so messed with by Hydra? Hmmmm. I think this one could have gone either way, and I’d be okay.

Tony Stark: Well, I didn’t see that coming! I really didn’t. But I think it was a perfect ending for Tony’s time as Iron Man (sorry, RDJ fans!). It was a, I don’t know- a redemption of sorts? After Civil War and the seeming break up of the Avengers, to see Tony and Steve come back to their shared roles as protectors of humanity was one of the good things in this movie. Seeing Tony realize that his father was actually human made me smile. The hug was so full of layers. And the hug he gave Peter? Finally! His end scene with Pepper hit all the feel buttons as well. The callback to the earlier scene in their cabin when she asks him “But would you rest?” Well, we saw the answer to that. And now- “We’re okay. You can rest now.” There were tears. It is okay, Tony. We are okay (mostly). You deserve to rest now.

The two things that bugged me the most:

Thor: I mean, I get that Thor was having problems. He’s changed so much from the brash, full of his own power youngling god we saw in the first Thor movie to a more mature leader who knows what responsibility means. Oh, he never lost the ultra literal side nor his sense of humor, and he was always convinced that no matter what, he would win. He is the God of Thunder and an Odinson, right? And when he couldn’t, no matter how he tried, stop Thanos? To realize that if he’d not been so sure of himself and maybe backed off the ego a little more, he might have “gone for the head”? That had to take a toll on someone like Thor. So, yeah, hiding away in that cabin, drinking beer and eating pizza, and using video games as an escape? Sure, I can see it. And having him pass it off as nothing, as the way things should be, this is me now, is perfectly in line with what is going on in his head. But— The rest of them? To treat him like a joke? They know Thor. They have seen him change over the course of his time with the Avengers. Not one of them recognizes he has a problem and tries to help? All he’s worth now are rolled eyes, sidelong glances, and suppressed laughs? Wow. Way to treat mental illness as a joke. I did not like it.

Black Widow: If you thought poor Natasha got shorted in the other films, geez, this one was the worst. This is a woman with mad fighting skills and an arsenal of fancy tech weapons to drool for, and what? She gets to babysit the comm controls? The most badass thing she did in the whole movie was make a peanut butter sandwich and threaten to throw it at Steve. She didn’t even get to finish the sandwich because Scott stole it. And her ending? Wow. Yeah, sacrifice what you love best for the Stone, okay. But the whole thing felt wrong. Did I want Clint to die? No, of course not. I love Hawkeye. I don’t know if that would have felt better. Maybe they should have gone off the cliff together, not able to choose, and then because of that depth of friendship, both got the Stone. Again, I don’t know. I just know I really would have liked Nat to have made it to the last battle, show off some of her skills, take out a few bad guys, and then maybe not make it out at the end. The way it went, it felt like she was reduced to refrigerator girl, Nobly Sacrificed. For effect. Don’t get me wrong. I cried at seeing her lying at the bottom of that cliff. I just wish she’d been given a little more.

All in all, it was a good movie. There were things I loved. Things I liked. Things I didn’t. There were many tears, both happy and sad. It was a roller coaster ride with only a bit of lag in the second part (which was kind of plot heavy but necessary). The end part was pretty much non-stop thrills. I think it was a good finale for this part of the MCU. 

Good-bye, original Avengers. We had some fun, didn’t we? And we can do it all again on DVDs, anytime we want. I look forward to what comes next.

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7 thoughts on “Friday Review: Avengers: Endgame

  1. Thank you for such an honest review. It took 22 films to tell this story. It wasn’t perfect, but it was an incredible journey, and one hell of a ride. One I would take again.
    Of all the films in the MCU, Endgame was my favorite. It had a little of everything for me. I will miss this phase. It had to end sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After seeing the movie, I’m torn on how I feel about Thor’s arc. Like, I sympathize with people who didn’t like it or were triggered by it, and I don’t want to insinuate that I think they’re wrong for feeling that way — because I don’t think that way at all. But I get what the story was going for. Most of the fat jokes came from Rocket, who was already established to be an asshole, so those didn’t bother me much. But what I did love what that Thor was still shown to be worthy, that he never magically lost his weight, and even at his heaviest and most depressed, he still stood up to help kick Thanos’ ass and he was able to wield both Stormbreaker and the hammer — and that he was overjoyed to see Steve wield it instead of getting jealous. I think I was mixed on what they did to Thor, but did appreciate the message that he was still worthy, even with his appearance and everything he was dealing with.

    As for Black Widow… man, I did not like that at all. Yes, she had complete agency and control over her decision — and I can even see where she wanted to give Clint a chance to wipe the red off his ledger, the way he had done for her back when SHIELD ordered him to kill her and he didn’t. But for that to happen just one movie after Thanos unceremoniously tossed Gamora off that cliff… it sat wrong with me. And it was even more glaring during the big epic battle, when they had that shot with all the female heroes. Like, I loved that shot and would be among the first in line for a movie that’s just all them… but for that shot to not have Nat in it — when for a long time, she was the only female superhero the MCU really had — felt wrong to me. Nat definitely deserved better.

    Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and all the fan service it provided. A fitting end to this journey, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thor- yeah, it wasn’t all bad, for sure. And I thought Rocket’s reactions were well in character. He has issues of his own, and seeing Thor like that must have made him uncomfortable so he reacted the only way he knew how. I also liked that when Thor joined the battle, he didn’t suddenly become the mighty muscled warrior again. I guess he’s gonna have to hit the gym, now, huh? I’m glad he was able to come through the pain at least to some degree, and still be worthy. The bit with Cap and Mjolinor was fantastic.
      It was a thoroughly enjoyable movie even with a few flaws.

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      1. Now that you’ve made me think about it some more, I realize the whole Thor arc in Endgame, while I still feel was somehting of a disservice to those with PTSD and depression issues, was a bit of a callback to the original Thor movie. Thor had to work through some personal issues there, as well, and proved himself worthy of Mjolinor. Sort of emphasizing that these problems don’t necessarily go away, but it is possible to fight through them. I just with they had given a nod at least to allowing yourself to accept help from outside and not just try to fight through it alone. But, it is a movie, not a documentary on mental health so I can forgive the omissions and like what was done.

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  3. I wasn’t happy with Nat’s ending, either. I felt Bruce’s reaction, as written, really minimized the layered relationship the two of them had developed over the series. A woman can be complex enough to care deeply about multiple people, and be cared for in turn. Allowing Bruce to grieve deeply for her —- would it have minimized Clint’s sorrow? Not to me… Clint got his family back. Bruce is the one who is alone now. It would be appropriate to show that.

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    1. Yeah, I agree. All we saw was that one quick shot with all of the Avengers when Clint came back, and Bruce fell to one knee. Losing her must have affected him deeply and I would have liked to see that, too.

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