“We’re in the endgame, now…”

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If you’re not into movie/comics geekery, bail out now. It’s cool. See you later this week.

I know the Russo Brothers have “officially” lifted the spoiler embargo on Avengers: Endgame (and goodness, the Spiderman: Far From Home trailer is interesting, innit?), but I know what it’s like to have to wait weeks to see blockbuster movies these days (#ParentLife), so rather than dive right in on my reactions/comments about the final chapter of the “Infinity Saga,” I’m going to post them in the comments below.

Feel free to respond, share your thoughts on the movie, your quibbles, your favorite moments, all that jazz.

And if you haven’t yet seen the film and have any inkling about seeing it, please do yourself the favor to click away now. I want you to be as un-spoiled as possible.

Excelsior!

6 thoughts on ““We’re in the endgame, now…”

  1. Let’s start with that opening sequence. I really like Jeremy Renner’s work in general (I think his Bourne movie is hugely underrated). We saw from the trailer that we’d get a “Barton family dusting” scene. But man—it didn’t lessen the blow. And it brings up the point that while 50% of humanity was vaporized, it doesn’t mean that exactly half of every household was gone. Families like Clint’s would bear the brunt. To be honest, I had seen a picture of Renner in his Ronin costume months ago, and I figured out immediately what was going down with his character. Nevertheless, I thought that was an interesting subplot, culminating in…

    The “fight” on Vormir: Clint and Natasha, each wanting to sacrifice themselves, to atone for their sins, to clear the red off their ledger. One Youtuber talked about how there is very clearly love there that is not romantic or sexual, but is the bond of fellow soldiers. You can see that affection in the characters’ chemistry and rapport. And the sacrifice Natasha makes feels powerful and important for her character. She’s not a victim of someone else’s agenda, like Gamora was. She embraced the dive as the end of her story.

    I was wondering about possible perma-deaths, as we awaited Endgame. Remember, Loki, Vision, and Gamora weren’t dusted; they were killed pre-snap, so I didn’t think their deaths would be overturned. Leave it to the Russo’s to get all timey-wimey on me. BUT it does allow for the actors to play earlier, more antagonistic versions of the characters. That could be interesting.

    In the end, the only people left from the original six Avengers are Hawkeye, Thor Lebowski, and Professor Buddy-Hulk. And I don’t expect for any of them to be around for too long.

    Thor. Hm. I’m actually cooking up a possible blog post about Thor’s character arc and the question of duty. In the meantime, I’ll say this: Hemsworth’s performance was pretty fun to watch, as he got to play against-type a little bit. But yeah, I have thoughts about his trajectory in this movie. I’ll come back to those another time.

    Professor Hulk. I know it’s not exactly like the comics version (which I haven’t admittedly read myself, but have read about and listened to others describe), but it sounds like that version is a bit more like Beast from X-Men: a bit condescending and pompous. I have stated on Twitter that I thought Edward Norton’s performance as Banner was underappreciated, and I still think it is, but Hulk in this movie demonstrates why Ruffalo works in this character as well. Banner isn’t a snarky genius like Stark—he’s a teddy bear with a high IQ.

    Karen Gillam killed it as Nebula, a character that I admittedly didn’t care much about before Infinity War. She brought a LOT of heart to that character, from her very opening sequence in the spaceship when she and Tony are playing paper football. I was surprised how much I enjoyed and was pulled in by her character this time around.

    Ant-man. Paul Rudd is pure charisma every time he’s on screen. The scene in which Scott finds his daughter 5 years older made me well up unexpectedly. His performance demonstrated why “Ant-man” was such a fun movie—he can carry a caper. All the more reason why the “time heist” plot line of Endgame worked, in the midst of what is a very serious movie.

    Someone else on Youtube pointed out that Endgame was really 2 movies: the serious fall-out of the Snap, and its resolution, and the fun, light-hearted “time heist” caper story. They’re not wrong. This should have felt disjointed, but really, it was refreshing to get that bit of fun before the serious finale.

    One theme that caught me off-guard and really resonate throughout was the motif of fathers and children, particularly fathers and daughters. For obvious reasons, I’m really sensitive and aware of this right now, but I was surprised how much of this film had to do with fatherhood (and surrogate fathers): Clint and his family, Scott and his daughter, Thanos and his daughters, Tony and Morgan (his daughter), Tony and Peter, Tony and Howard, even Happy and Morgan at the end. That could also become a blog post at some point (probably after a second viewing).

    I’ve been talking around it, but let’s get right down to it. The resolution of the true Civil War: Tony and Steve. Though I was surprised at first, I liked that it took a while for the rift to be healed (though I wonder if it was still a bit too easy). But Tony’s motivations were well-written, and his anger and hurt were aptly conveyed. (Someone give RDJ an award for this performance, my goodness.) I like how Tony’s arc went from a playboy who was reckless and selfish to a husband and father who cared deeply about protecting his family and not risking them. And that final twenty minutes was a heart-wringer.

    Things I Loved: “I am Iron Man” – all the emotional reunions – “On your left” – Old-man Steve – Tony hugging Peter – CAP WIELDING MJOLNIR!!!! – there are so many things, I know I’m forgetting some… — and one more especially, that I’ll mention in a second.

    Things I Didn’t Love So Much: Really, just 3 things. 1) Okay, I’m gonna go ahead and say it—I’m still not sold on Captain Marvel. I don’t know if it’s the performance or what, but when she’s on screen…eh. So when she Deus-ex-torpedo’d through Thanos’ ship, I was like, okay cool, but I wasn’t thrilled. It wasn’t a “WHOA” moment, as much as a “oh yeah, her” moment. 2) Also, and I know this could get me shellacked, but the totally forced and unrealistic “GRRL POWER” slow-motion sequence during the battle was super-cringey. They wouldn’t have all been at one spot on the battlefield. They wouldn’t have been all running in one direction. This is totally staged and ridiculous. And I suppose that critique can be made about more than a few battle sequences in the MCU, but the fact that this one was so blatantly forced was just…ugh. It was a political statement, not a battle sequence. 3) Finally, I think Steve should have passed the Cap mantle to Bucky, not Sam. Sam has no super powers, whereas Bucky is part of Hydra’s attempted Super-Soldier program (IIRC). It makes more sense for Bucky to be the new Cap. Yes, both of them have been Captain America in the comics. It just seems more obvious that Bucky can carry that weight. IDK.

    OH! One more thing: Doesn’t Cap staying in the past change the timeline? Does Peggy not become the head of SHIELD now? I feel like they changed the timeline (or created a variant timeline now). Is this a back-door multiverse in the MCU? Unless they have a specific plan to address this, it feels like sloppy writing for the purpose of serving “the feelz.” And I’m someone who generally loves The Feelz.

    My favorite moment or image in the whole movie is that long shot of Cap, staggering to his feet, broken shield strapped to his arm, facing down the entirety of Thanos’ army alone. That one shot is the epitome of the Captain America character, and it instantly made me think of the “No, YOU move” monologue.

    In the end, I felt like this was a fitting end to the “Infinity Saga,” and the perfect capper (no pun intended) to this era of the MCU. Moving forward? I dunno how much I’m going to be invested in the movies. I’m not planning on watching the spinoff series on Disney+, and I won’t be antsy to see future offerings as soon as they are released. Maybe that will change. I like Tom Holland’s Spider-man, so I will probably see “Far From Home” (especially if they follow-through on the tease of a multiverse/Spiderverse?). But at this point, I’m not sure how much I care about seeing more Thor Lebowski or Buddy-Hulk, and the more the MCU moves toward the All-New, All-Different Avengers (as Kevin Feige seems to be indicating), I just don’t know if that’s gonna move the needle for me. We’ll see.

    1. YES. That was outstanding–and a bit of a wink at the ridiculous “Cap was a secret Hydra mole” storyline in the comics recently.

  2. Also, I feel like I was a blubbering mess quite a few times during this movie. All of the goodbyes…

  3. I love you three thousand…love that line, my daughter always says to me “I love you one million”

    I’m not a Marvel fan but I think the film managed to evoke alot of emotions in me, it has succeeded in a way, to be able to connect with a broad spectrum of audience.

    1. Yeah, that line definitely hit me hard. It’s amazing to me to remember that, since the MCU began, I’ve met and married my wife and become a father twice over. Seeing Tony embrace marriage and fatherhood grabbed me by the heart for sure!

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