Okay, okay, I’m late. I know I said I would have this posted on Tuesday, but I needed to watch Avengers: Endgame again. After all, there was a metric ass-ton to take in and things that I had to work out before I sat here to write this discussion. So, I watched it twice more after my initial review, and I’m going to go see it again on Monday. The only other movie I watched that many times is The Dark Knight, and that’s my favorite movie. Let that set the tone of this spoiler commentary.
Oh yeah, SPOILERS AHEAD. If you haven’t watched Avengers: Endgame, don’t continue reading…unless, of course, you don’t intend on seeing it at which point I will kindly and respectfully request that you kick rocks after you read. Or, check out my spoiler-free review.
CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT THEY TEASED VING RHAMES AS THE SAVAGE DRAGON??!! I didn’t know Marvel purchased the rights from Erik Larsen. I thought the rights fell under Image which stays away from the giant conglomerates. Unreal!
I’m kidding. That didn’t happen. But, really, spoilers ahead.
I’m in awe with this movie and its achievements and scale. Endgame is a love letter to the diehard comic fans – new and old – and the moviegoers for the decades of loyalty and support. It’s a magical conclusion to a cinematic phenomenon, and it’s jumping off point to the continued media relevance of comic books as not only a past time, but as art, literature, and Americana.
Do you think the movie is perfect?
Hell no. There are definitely things I would have done differently in the movie, but I’m beyond appreciative for what this movie delivered. I have criticisms—albeit small ones—but I wouldn’t be a fan if I didn’t dissect it. I don’t need a movie to be perfect; I need a movie to respect my brand loyalty and dedication by respecting the spirit and intent of the original content and respecting my intelligence. I pay Marvel Entertainment and Marvel Studio for the product they deliver; I simply need them to provide me a solid product, and that’s exactly what they did. #Proud #Fan
What did you think about the plot twist with Thanos in the beginning?
I loved it. I especially loved it because that’s not how the Infinity Gauntlet went down, so it was refreshing to be caught off-guard. It was also great to live in the moment when the Avengers showed up to Thanos’ retirement home to deliver him a hot ass-whipping. My mouth dropped open when Thor went for the head this time—an exercise in futility—resigning to the fact that when presented with the split-second decision to end the infinity war, he elected to gloat, giving Thanos the opportunity to carry out his plan. Thor didn’t waste any time the second time around. More on Thor in a moment.
What did you think about Ironman?
Ironman’s arc was touching. Tony had come a long way and quite nearly lost everything after promising Pepper that he wouldn’t do something crazy during Avengers: Infinity War, and if he did, it would be the last time. So, it was dope to see him settled down in a simple
family-life, clearly inspired by his experience at Hawkeye’s house in Avengers: Age of Ultron. When his former teammates show up, he knows he’s on borrowed time since he has managed to survive several one-last-times. He was playing the odds with one more, and the odds were stacked against him. The hero on the inside of Tony needed to make a
difference. It was that same hero that motivated him to make a difference in his first solo movie. He, proving himself better than his father as all sons should, couldn’t NOT put the collective need before his own. To that end, Tony proved Cap’s claim wrong from Marvel’s The Avengers: “The only thing you care about is yourself. You’re not the guy to make the sacrifice play.” Tony finally made the sacrifice play—one by which everyone will remember him.
What did you think about Cap?
Captain America is a gem. The character is an experiment in compassion, principle, and worthiness. He is the person who always does the right thing and always looks to optimize the collective good and the individual good. And the character grows in two unique ways: 1) he proves that he is worthy of the power of Thor and 2) he does something for himself for once by deciding to have his last and first dance with Peggy Carter. I practically threw my popcorn in the air with excitement as I watched Cap get in Thanos’ ass with Mjolnir. And, I admit that I may have become a little misty-eyed when I saw Old Steve sitting there on the bench.
What did you think about Thor?
For several characters, their story arc began in other movies and concluded at the end of this one. Thor’s story, however, concluded when he decapitated Thanos and walked out like a boss…who failed. You see, Thor couldn’t find absolution nor relief in killing Thanos – it was just the conclusion to his Shakespearean tragedy (cue Stark declaring, “Shakespeare in the park.”). When he had the drop on Thanos in Infinity War, his need to gloat afforded Thanos the seconds he needed to execute the final act of his plan and escape; Thor could have won and saved trillions. So, when we meet Thor in New Asgard, we are introduced to Thor’s new arc. He helps the Avengers beat the hell out of Thanos 2.0 along the way as he deals with a confidence issue related to his many failures least of which are his failure to save his mother from Malekith and his failure to stop the snap. Ultimately, though, Thor’s presence in the movie provides intoxicating power feats and a prelude to the new story arc coming in Phase Four. On a personal level, I thought Thor’s invoking of Volstagg was hysterical and a great call back.
How about Professor Hulk?
Like Thor, Hulk was more support than main as his arc was elsewhere. We know that in the five-year jump, Banner managed to reconcile the chasm between the green goliath and himself. Personally, I’ve always liked Professor Hulk and Joe Fix-it in the comics, so seeing another one of Hulk’s incarnations on screen was dope. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see Devil Hulk or Maestro in the future.
Widow and Hawkeye?
Here are two characters born human whose only powers are savant skills and true friendship. Every movie they’re in, we are led deeper and deeper into a transcendental platonic friendship. When we saw Marvel’s The Avengers, we all thought Hawkeye and Widow were or had been an item. Age of Ultron turned that on its head, though. These two characters began the series with an unbreakable bond that developed before the series’ chronology. When they went to retrieve the soul stone, they did so without the help of hammers, supersoldier serums, armored suits, raccoon potty mouths, and massive green muscles. Instead, they headed there with an unbreakable bond that had to be broken for the salvation of the collective good. And, everyone watching felt it. You felt it because that was the most real thing in the movie. Each of us can imagine having to make that kind of sacrifice, to watch it happen, and to replay it in our heads for the rest of our natural lives every time our children invoke the memory of their Aunt or Uncle Best Friend. Their story’s conclusion was arguably the best one in the movie or at least the one with the most pathos.
How about Captain Marvel?
She was a plot convenience to which I’m mostly indifferent. I was never a fan of Carol Danvers (nor did I have a problem with her), so I can take her or leave her. Narratively, she’s mostly inconsequential to the story, and she just served as exposition for a future meta-arc as well as being the convenient solution when the plot required it. I don’t have a problem with it because it’s actually a pretty common trope in comics, so I tip my hat for keeping to that core element even if it’s not my personal style of storytelling.
What did you think about the Time Travel?
The time travel element was fantastic. I truly enjoyed the fan-service journey down MCU-memory lane. Between Banner pretending (miserably) to be savage and Cap ending up in the elevator with Crossbones declaring, “Hail Hydra,” as a method of gaining favor with double agents and as a stealthy apology for a controversial comic run, I don’t know if I could have been happier. I know people are saying things like, “The time travel makes no sense,” all over YouTube; and, I dispassionately reply that superheroics don’t make sense. So, yeah, enjoy the damn time travel.
You Marvel Fans are being controlled by Disney, and they’re paying rotten tomatoes! How can you like this crap?
I don’t argue with fools because, from a distance, no one can tell the difference. Check out my commentary on fanboys in my article “DC is Losing Miserably to Marvel, Said No Fan Ever”.
Remember, there is a difference between a fan and a fanboy. If you’re arguing about make-believe on social media or the internet, you’re acting like a fanboy. If you’re engaging in friendly, healthy discussions, then you’re a fan. I’ll leave it at that.
Any save-rounds in your magazine?
Um…I have some criticisms; they’re small and mostly irrelevant to the pleasure of the story at large. First, Stark and Banner solving the time-puzzle works for the story but not in the spirit of the characters. Banner is a genius in physics and chemistry, and Stark is a super genius in techno-engineering; they’re not the time-solving guys. Those sorts of solutions are fielded by the Hank Pyms and the Reed Richards. The latter more so than the former – the latter not being an option for obvious reasons. The former was doable, though. Again, this is a small, relatively inconsequential criticism.
Next, although I enjoyed Thor, I felt like he was goofing off a little too long. At first, I was a little disappointed that he wasn’t getting much screen time as Marvel’s The Avengers proved that it could give equal screentime to all of its major players. Then, I recognized that it was by design, and his story arc ended early in the movie. So, he was more support cast than major cast as they prepared him for Phase Four. When I recognized that, I was good.
Last, I thought Old Steve (or Mr. Rogers???) was a touching end to the story. However, I feel it was a bit of departure from the core principle of the character. Consider that Old Steve used the Pym Particles to go back to (I think) the 40s to see Peggy and stays. There he grows old(er) with her, becoming the husband she alludes to in the movies and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but whose identity she never reveals. He is her quiet, loving husband while Captain America hibernates in the ice; he is her quiet, loving husband while Bucky is tortured and programmed; he is her quiet, loving husband while Stark struggles to survive captivity in a cave; while Hydra infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D.; while the Avengers struggle against alien invaders; while thousands die in Sakovia; and, while trillions die at the hands of Thanos. Cap, no matter the age, isn’t the type to sit by idly while people suffer even if there is another version of himself running around handling business. The ending rings with self-gratification, and that’s not Cap.
Quick miscellaneous discussion points:
If the stones had to be returned to the exact point they were taken, how did Cap go back in time to live with Peggy when the time stone was retrieved from Ancient One in 2012?
He used the Pym Particles to reach his final destination, not the time stone.
How did Cap get to Vormir?
Mjolnir. He still had the power of Thor. Or, he used the space stone.
What do you think Cap did when he saw Red Skull in ring-wraith form?
Hit him with Mjolnir because he could.
How the hell did Cap get the mind stone back in the scepter, the power stone back in the orb, and the space stone back in the tesseract?
By using the reality stone.
Okay, how did he get the reality stone back inside Jane, then?
Stealthily. I’m sure it was awkward.
How the hell did he get out of Asgard when he didn’t have the friggin’ space stone?
Dude, Mjolnir is the automatic-win-button. But there are myriad other ways. We should see how many we can come up with in the comments.
How did Nebula continue to exist when she killed her younger self?
Banner explains that time is static.
How the hell is time different in the quantum realm?
The frames of reference associated with time in quantum physics are very different than Newtonian physics. When we consider that the speed of light is actually the speed of causality and, therefore, constant and that velocity is the quotient of displacement and time, we find that displacement and time are both represented by integers. Time can’t practically be represented by integers in Newtonian physics.
If five years passed while Antman was in the quantum realm, how did his daughter grow up so much?
I’m reaching here but stay with me: In Antman, his daughter was missing both of her front teeth, which happens around age six. In Antman and the Wasp, she had both of her front teeth (and they’re huge…reminding me of the saberteeth my beloved niece, Kiana, had before she grew into them), which usually happens around age eight or nine. If we assume that she was either of those ages, she would be thirteen or fourteen when Antman sees his daughter at the door. Don’t let her height stress you, because my niece will be fourteen this year and she’s like twenty-five awkward feet tall with whale shark-sized fins for feet.
Why was Thanos so much more lethal in this movie than the last when he had the infinity gauntlet the last time?
It’s in Thanos’ character to hold back, always has been. Although possessed of tremendous personal power, he tends only to use a fraction of it. He illustrates that he was holding back when he launches one of Titan’s sister moons at Ironman, Star-Lord, and the gang, using the combined might of the space and power stones. It’s also worth noting that using the stones is extremely taxing; it’s like running wind sprints. I mean, if Thanos weren’t the hold-back-kinda-guy, he’d have led with the moon-assault instead of engaging in the conversation.
Why is Disney trying to cram their feminist liberal agenda down our throats with the empowered women scene?
This question doesn’t merit a response but I can’t help myself. To begin with, it wasn’t a scene; it was a shot…a momentary one. Second, give the goddamn women their moment for goodness sake. You act like the shot deducted money from your bank account. In fact, the shot gave all the talking-heads on YouTube something to rant about and get their views up. Be grateful. I know the ladies are.
If Banner could have brought a past Widow to the present, why didn’t he?
Rewatch the whole series, talk about the endless possibilities presented by the time travel in Endgame, see Spiderman: Far From Home on opening night, and wait patiently for the rest of Phase Four to be revealed.