Avengers: Endgame Review
May 3, 2019
The Russo Brothers, the directors of Endgame, asked the internet not to spoil their movie, and I have a huge amount of respect for them. That being said, there are going to be spoilers in this review; so please do not read if you haven’t seen Endgame.
“You still think there will be no consequences, Strange? No price to pay? We broke our rules… The bill comes due. Always!” Doctor Strange’s former companion, Karl Mordo, warned Strange that messing with time would bring disastrous results. When the audience heard that line, it was just another throwaway. Strange broke many rules by using the Time Stone to defend Earth in his movie, and there were no consequences.
But looking back, this line wasn’t about Strange using one of the Stones.
Infinity War left the Avengers- or what was left of them- with no choice but to regroup and go after Thanos again. The pure desperation of the situation is emphasized by a line from Captain America, “I know it’s going to work– because I don’t know what I’ll do if it doesn’t.” With renewed confidence, they go after Thanos one more time.
Aided by Captain Marvel, the plan works. Thanos doesn’t have any of the Infinity Stones he was after for so many years; in fact, he’s destroyed them. There’s no reversing the effects of the snaps, and Thor slices the gauntlet of off Thanos’ arm before beheading him.
Thanos is dead. The Avengers still didn’t win: not really. This is where the film jumps ahead five years into a post-Thanos world, trying to maintain what’s left of Earth. Hawkeye has gone rogue, Thor has vanished, the whole team is split up until Ant-Man flies out of the back of his van into a garage. Evidently, after Ant-Man movies, he ended up five years into the future. This is where the time travel element kicks in. The team tries to figure out how to save the day, how to go back and grab the stones to reverse the snap.
That’s when Tony Stark agrees to help the team, after a quick talk with Pepper, of course. You see Stark has already figured out how to get them into the past and back successfully, but he’s wondering if he should tell the team or throw the data into a lake. “Maybe,” Tony Stark says, “I should throw it into the lake. Go to sleep.” Pepper looks him in the eyes and asks him, “But would you be able to rest?”
The team gets together and goes back to different points in time to collect the infinity stones, but Nebula, Thanos’ half-robotic daughter, suddenly finds herself linked to the Nebula in the past. Thanos accesses her memories and transports himself into their future, once they collect all the stones. Thanos has seen how his plan works out, so he has a new one- he’s not going to kill half the universe, he’s going to rebuild it so that nobody will remember what he did or what was lost. Fortunately, the Hulk is able to grab the infinity gauntlet and snap everybody from five years ago back to present day before Thanos attacks.
Thanos has arrived, but the stones are missing somewhere beneath the rubble of the Avengers headquarters that were blown sky-high by Thanos and his massive warship. The team gathers together to face Thanos one more time- and it’s truly heartwrenching. Every time one of our heroes is knocked aside, you feel it. Eventually, Thanos has kicked Captain America, the only Avenger still on his feet, to the ground with his shield cracked and torn apart. It seems like all is lost, Thanos won– again.
Suddenly, portals all over the battlefield open up. All of the Avengers are here, Doctor Strange having assembled them. This scene is one of the most memorable I’ve ever seen- right up there with iconic Into the Spiderverse ‘What’s up, Danger’ scene. The whole theatre cheered– how could you not? Everyone walks onto the battlefield, ready to fight one last time to save the universe. It’s truly epic, and because Marvel has had a decade to introduce us to all these characters, we know and care for each and every one of them.
The fight commences. The armies clash, with Avenger after Avenger confronting Thanos and getting a hit in before being knocked aside. That’s when Scarlet Witch uses her magic to subdue Thanos, and the only way he’s able to escape is by calling in his ship to unleash all of its firepowers. That’s when Captain Marvel shows up. She destroys the entire ship effortlessly, and the Avengers are back in the game.
But it’s too late, it seems.
Thanos has the infinity gauntlet– the one Stark made, anyways. Doctor Strange looks at Tony and holds up a finger in a callback to a line in the original Infinity War, where he looks into the future and sees one reality out of 14 billion where they win. One, he says with his finger, we have one shot to save the day. Tony knows what he needs to do. He runs at Thanos one more time before he’s able to snap, but it’s all for nothing. There’s nothing Stark can do as he’s kicked aside. Thanos gives him a smile before raising his hand and snapping once again.
However, this time it does nothing. Thanos looks at the glove to discover all the stones are missing. Stark used his nano-technology to grab them all without him noticing, and now he holds all the stones. He looks at Thanos, giving him the iconic “I am Iron Man” before snapping his fingers. Thanos and his army slowly fade away- they’ve saved the day. But Stark was a human that held the stones, he’s dying. He sinks to the ground as the Avengers gather around him.
Right before Stark dies- Pepper looks him in the eyes. “We’re okay, Tony. You can rest,” she says. This is where we part ways with the Iron Man that started it all.
As the movie finishes up, Captain America goes back into time to return the stones and find Peggy from the original movie. He gives his shield to Falcon- a passing of the torch. Everyone’s back- except for Black Widow. Hawkeye explained she sacrificed herself for the Soul Stone, and she can’t be brought back. We say goodbye to the three original Avengers as the movie finishes up with Captain America finally getting the dance he promised Peggy moments before he crashed into the ice so many years ago.
Now, this movie is amazing, don’t get me wrong– but it has its flaws. The time-travel element was wacky and fun, but confusing. There’s more than one plot hole, and it seems like a crutch for the writers. The pacing in the movie is kind of slow, and doesn’t pick up until the third act. The way Thanos is brought back is really dumb, to be honest, and the death of Black Widow was almost downplayed by the death of Iron Man. It’s like the character we cared so much about never even mattered– just because she did at the same time Robert Downey Jr. did.
All things considered, this movie does so much more right than it does wrong. It’s easily one of my favorites of all time, and a monumental achievement for Marvel. I rate this movie a solid 4.5/5. I’m biased because I followed the series, but as a fan, it couldn’t have ended better. I absolutely loved this movie– and you will too, even if you aren’t a fan.