If you have not seen Avengers: Endgame, please go see it as soon as you can. Even if the Marvel movies are not your favorite, Marvel Studios has changed movie history forever. They have achieved something that has never been done before and may never be done again. They have released 22 films over the course of 11 years. A feat that took the James Bond and Godzilla franchises 50+ years.
This movie needed to be made a certain way. It needed to show the effects of Infinity War on our heroes. It needed to be an impactful finale to the previous 11 years of the MCU. It needed to resonate with its audience. It did all of those things and so much more. Is it the best movie I’ve ever seen? No. However, it is indeed the best movie experience I have ever had. The time spent with these characters, the emotional attachment and the beautiful roller coaster you ride with them collectively makes this one the the most ambitious and incredible things to come to theaters in movie history.
Spoilers beyond this point for Avengers: Endgame:
I’ll try and keep this as organized as humanly possible. Avengers: Endgame had promos, trailers and ads that only chronicled scenes from about the first twenty minutes of the film. Nothing from the official Marvel advertisement team gave any bit of plot away for the story. The movie’s cold open, as I had anticipated, was based around Hawkeye losing his family to the dusting. The film starts only 23 days after The Snap. The end credits scene from Captain Marvel happened off-screen as she is sent out by the Avengers to locate Tony and Nebula. They kick the film straight into gear. My biggest fear was that Tony’s arc would be a journey home and he’d miss the big finish; they get that out of the way almost immediately. Tensions are high as the heroes deal with their own failures. Some seriously powerful acting from a defeated and disgruntled Robert Downey Jr. carries this scene so beyond what you’d expect.
I would be here all day if I jump scene to scene so let’s take a look at character journeys. The team quickly finds a planet that experiences the same energy the gauntlet let off and use that to locate Thanos on a farm. They chop his arm off only to find that he destroyed the stones. In a fit of rage, Thor decapitates him and the hope of fixing what has happened. The film jumps five years at this point. Captain America has led groups for survivors, urging them to move on. He spends his time trying to ease the hurt of Black Widow and any others that cannot seem to let go. All the while, he himself is having the biggest struggle inside of him. It isn’t until the heroes get a whiff of hope that he devotes his time to fixing what they could not stop by reaching out to Tony and friends to go back. Tony, himself, is distraught when he returns to Earth. He feels like he failed the world, but also that Cap had failed him. He is sickly from lack of food and air in space. After the 5 year time jump, he found a way to make a new life. He and Pepper have a young daughter named Morgan. Not only has he moved on, but he has created a new beginning that he is not willing to lose so easily. Black Widow has taken on the role of delegating outreach and assistance throughout the universe to the survivors. She has the weight of the world on her shoulders as she leads the hunt for Clint, Hawkeye. He has been on a world wide killing spree of bad people. Losing his family has sent him down a dark path that he is not sure he can come back from. Nebula and Rocket stick with the team a while before taking new roles. Rocket, War Machine, Captain Marvel and Okoye all lead separate teams for Black Widow’s outreach project. The heroes are rejuvenated with hope when the Time Van spits out Ant Man into the current timeline. Five years was about five minutes for him. He deals with trying to understand The Snap and locating his daughter, who is now a fully grown teen. He shows up at the Avengers HQ with a possible solution. If time moves differently there, why can’t they enter at one time and exit at another? They locate the Hulk, who has found a way healthy way to coexist his two sides. The mind and vocabulary of Banner with the strength and appearance of the Hulk. The last piece of the puzzle is the great God of Thunder, who was fallen into a depressed stooper of alcohol, food and video games.
The movie’s humor is surprisingly well done and did not at all feel out of place for the fact that the whole film is in the shadow of the greatest tragedy of all time. A reluctant Stark figures out the time travel route while making Steve aware he doesn’t wish to trade his present for his past. So here is the plan, where were the stones vulnerable points throughout history? The team will split up and go to those locations. They can bring the stones back, reverse The Snap and then put the stones back where they came from. No branching timelines, no collateral damage. Ant Man, Hulk, Captain America and Iron Man take New York at the time of the first Avengers film. Hulk heads for the Sanctum Sanctorum to get the Time Stone from the Ancient One. He finally convinces her once she hears that Strange willingly gave it to Thanos. She knows it must mean that he knew how to win. Captain America encounters Crossbones, Sitwell and even fights a past version of himself to acquire the Mind Stone. He even whispers a Hail Hydra to do it. Iron Man and Ant Man take the tower just after the events of this first film. With Loki in custody they attempt to intercept the Space Stone inside of the Tesseract. A bungled show of efforts leads to Loki himself grabbing the cube and teleporting away (thus insuring his survival for that little Disney+ show everyone is so excited about). As a last ditch effort, Cap and Tony go back to the 70’s where they can secure the Tesseract and get a few more vials of Pym particles to extend their trip home. Thor and Rocket take Asgard at the time of Thor: The Dark World. They plan to extract the aether from Jane before Malekith storms to castle and kills Thor’s mother. After a heart to heart, Thor regains his hope and confidence. He also regains his Hammer. Hawkeye and Black Widow go to Vormir and speak with Red Skull. They two fight over who should sacrifice themself for the Soul Stone. After a passion-filled fight amongst friends, Widow goes over the edge and Clint leaves with the stone. The last group is War Machine and Nebula on Morag during the opening events of Guardians of the Galaxy. The two knockout Star Lord before he secures the Power Stone and take it. Nebula, however, is near proximity to herself in the past. A connection in their network gives access to a live and well Thanos. He scans Nebula’s thoughts through his own Nebula and learns of the future.
When everyone gets back, they have the stones. They assembled a new gauntlet and Hulk snaps back anyone who vanished to their current timeline. At this point, evil Nebula infiltrates HQ and brings Thanos and his entire army to them. What happens next is a battle of world ending proportions. All of the snapped heroes return and face Thanos head on. The fight is incredible and so wide scale that it makes the final fights of its predecessor film look much smaller. The battle ends with a mad dash towards the gauntlet. Once Thanos gets it, he attempts another snap; he notices the stones are gone and are now Tony’s glove. With his famous line “I am Iron Man” he snaps away the evil. The last shot we see of Thanos is him sitting down calmly as he fades to dust. The power from the stones kills Tony, giving him a few last moments with Peter and Pepper. The film ends with a giant funeral for the hero who saved the universe. The man who forsay all of this and wanted a suit of armor around the world. The movie has no end credit scene, only the sound of Tony building his first suit in the caves during Iron Man. Cap takes the task of returning the stones from where they came, but does not come back to the timeline. Instead, he takes Tony’s advice and lives a normal life with Peggy Carter. An old and withered Steve presents Sam with his very own Captain America shield in our third and final goodbye to an original Avenger. I guess we have a new Captain for that Falcon & Winter Soldier show. Star Lord and crew take on new members as Thor leaves Asgard under Valkyrie’s rule to ride with the space bandits. Gamora, from the past, joins the team with no memory of who they are at all.
The movie was something we will never witness again in a very long time for cinema. Even if Phases 4 through 6 build towards another monumental event, the classic and raw magnitude will not reach the historical level that it has with this film. Avengers: Endgame is truly a marvel that has never been done in film. It will probably never be done again. To everyone who saw the film, I hope the time, effort and hard work of these filmmakers, actors and crew members has touched your hearts over the past 11 years. If there are people around who have yet to go see the film, urge them to do so. Let them experience it for themselves. Love you 3000.