I didn’t cry when Spider-man died in the previous Avengers movie. (That’s not a spoiler. You should know that by now…) They’re gonna bring him back, I reminded myself. They’ll bring them all back. Knowing victory was inevitable, I entered the theater for Avengers Endgame with low expectations. And it’s true. The good guys win, of course.
But HOW they win makes Avengers Endgame worth seeing.
Rumored to be the final film of the 22 movie universe, Avengers Endgame is so well executed that even scenes where you know—or think you know—what’s coming, you’re on the edge of your seat second guessing yourself until it happens or becomes impossible. (Or is it? That’s what this movie does to you!)
I teared up even before the opening credits. We are thrust back into the Marvel universe with a harsh reminder of the confusion, guilt, and rage that festered in the survivors. Each character is given a chance to redeem their past, make up for mistakes, and/or repair relationships with those who remain. However, not every character uses the opportunity for the better…But let’s not spoil the surprises.
Although Iron Man is the focus for most of the story, fans of every hero get a moment to shine. As a Captain America gal, I am very pleased with the story-line they gave him. He stays true to his pure, justice-first nature but also shares his vulnerability, something we don’t often see. Captain America has a worthy ending and I couldn’t be more appreciative.
(My favorite scene is when Captain America and Thor—wait! No. I can’t say that yet…)
Most of the film, like 97.9999%, unfolds like a panel of masterminds agonized over every minute detail to include. However, there’s a brief scene near the beginning where a random candlestick blocks 1/4th of the screen and made me instinctively move my head to try to see better. But what really made me cringe was somehow, during the main climax, the dumbest scene I’ve ever seen in any movie was accidentally left un-cut.
That was an accident, right?
*Disclaimer: The following paragraphs might be a spoiler. Read at your own discretion or jump past the line below. During the most epic, most physically-demanding battle of the entire film, Captain Marvel bursts through the sky and takes down the largest spaceship single-handed. She lands next to Spider-Man who, after watching her destroy the largest ship, uncharacteristically says something like, “Do you think you can handle this?” The camera zooms out as every female character across the Marvel universe randomly becomes NOT BUSY during the BIGGEST BATTLE and heroically poses around them. “She’s got help,” one of them says—a line borrowed from a previous film when Wanda and Black Widow fought together.
Several women in the theater cheered. And then there’s me:
I’m still laughing.
While the rest of the movie flowed like a beautiful drive down a country road, all of it came screeching to a halt. This scene felt obnoxiously out of place and had horrid dialogue. Across all 22 previous films the female characters were known to hold their own ground. I felt empowered watching them hang with the boys WITHOUT the over-the-top, unnecessary praise. In the moments before this scene I knew each leading lady was doing her part to help the team. But then they all abandoned their fights so they could help Captain Marvel. How idiotic! Captain Marvel doesn’t need their help. She’s probably the most powerful character—she literally stands against Thanos on. her. own. But thank goodness Mantis is here to save her now…
As a woman I feel it is my responsibility to speak out against scenes like this, scenes that feel like they were added out of pity or to please a specific audience. If directors wanted to feature Marvel’s female characters they should have done it tastefully and with actual purpose. The only way I would have been okay with this cliche scene is if the guys also had a fan-service moment that paused the film so they could stare into the camera with their stereotypical hero-poses.
The message I got by including this scene for the females but not the guys was that everyone already knows the male characters are awesome so they don’t need to hold their hands and blare it in our faces.
The film is laced with notable growth and character depth for most of the characters, but Thor has the highest high and lowest low. Yet the way he is used to express the thoughts of the audience during various scenes is brilliant. Multiple times he became the on-site fan-girl I wanted to be! And Ant-man does a fabulous job stepping into his role as hero for the heroes. The gifts he brings to the team are severely underrated, but without him there wouldn’t be an Endgame.
Just in case I haven’t said it enough, I love Karen Gillan (aka Nebula). It’s a tie between Nebula and Wanda for my favorite Marvel female. But because I also know Gillan can be hilarious and charming (like her Ruby Roundhouse from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), watching her portray Nebula, “the blue meanie,” draws me to that character even more.
Action. Romance. Reconciliation. Redemption. Humor. Avengers Endgame uses almost all of its 3 hours and 2 minutes to end the series with dignity and a sense of justice for most of the characters. Yes, there’s pain. Yes, there are moments where I wish things could have gone another way. But ultimately, this may be my favorite Marvel film.
Get your tickets and see this film soon! I’m dying to have someone to gush over this movie with.
Report Card: Marvel’s Avengers Endgame
Overall Score: A