[MOVIE REVIEW] Avengers: Endgame is a full circle conclusion to the MCU

Isabel Gisser, Production Manager

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SPOILERS AHEAD! Continue reading if you have seen Avengers: Endgame in all its glory.

If not, Endgame is an incredibly satisfying, full circle conclusion to eleven years worth of Marvel movies. It’s action packed, heartbreaking, nostalgic, and wildly entertaining. If you were apprehensive about the three hour run time, know that every minute is worthwhile. Now, stop here and go see the film.

For those who have seen the epic conclusion to the Marvel Cinematic Universe — a reminder to keep quiet about Endgame. While it may be tempting to vent about the wild plot arc, don’t spoil anything just yet!

 

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Avengers: Infinity War ended on a grim note. Half the population disintegrated with a single snap of the Infinity Gauntlet. No victory in sight. Thanos won. Endgame does an excellent job of detailing the world after the snap. Viewers see massive memorials dedicated to “The Vanished,” parking lots filled with cars whose drivers never came back, and “Missing Person” signs tacked to every surface. Endgame also does a great job of showing the emotional aftermath of the snap in addition to the post apocalyptic setting. Steve Rogers/Captain America leads group therapy, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow can’t bring herself to leave the Avengers compound, Tony Stark/Iron Man is frail and unstable after nearly dying in space, Clint Barton/Hawkeye has disappeared on a killing spree out of vengeance, and Thor has a beer belly.

As a side note– Thor’s transformation from muscular, majestic, Asgardian king to alcoholic, Fortnite playing, pajama pant wearing couch potato was a shock, but a good one. Some viewers have complained about the loss of Thor and his signature six pack, but this new Thor is incredibly effective in demonstrating the emotional trauma that survivors went through in this fictional universe. Superheroes are people too, even if they can summon lightning.

Another highlight (and source of controversy) was the central role of time travel in Endgame. As a plot device, time travel was amazing. The combination of Stark tech, Pym particles, and dozens of throwbacks to classic Marvel movies is a fan’s dream come true. The time travel was admittedly convoluted–all the conversation of new timelines and what impact they’d have on characters was a little mind warping, but a little internet research can help to clear up the confusion. MCU time travel does actually work out.  

On different note, the real winner of Endgame was Captain America. Not only did viewers learn that he can wield Thor’s hammer Mjolnir (arguably the most epic scene in the entire movie,) but he uses time travel to return to his past and marry the love of his life, Peggy Carter. The final scene of the movie was incredibly full circle and a tearjerker.

Eleven years worth of storytelling made this final film possible, and the scale of the story is incredible.”

Endgame is generally incredible, but it does have its shortcomings– more specifically, a Captain Marvel deficiency. After all the hype about Carol Danvers being the only being powerful enough to defeat Thanos, she had a disappointingly small role. Her main trick seems to be showing up in the nick of time to blow up space ships, which is slightly underwhelming. However, Captain Marvel brought gender representation with her to Endgame. A particularly striking scene shows every female MCU hero coming together to fight Thanos. The cast of Black Panther also played a central role in the action, carrying on the MCU racial representation that the 2018 film introduced.

It goes without saying that Endgame marks the end of an era. Fans knew that Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), and Chris Hemsworth’s (Thor) contracts were ending following Endgame. The theater was full of apprehension as fans waited for the “big three” to die. The loss of Tony Stark is surely devastating for Marvel fans, but his death was touching and made perfect sense. As the original MCU superhero, it seems only fitting that he should be the first to die. His death also shows his character’s growth since the release of Iron Man in 2008. Whereas the original Tony Stark was an egotistical “billionaire, playboy, philanthropist,” the last image of Stark viewers have is him sacrificing himself to save humanity as the Infinity Stones kill him. A far less anticipated death was that of Black Widow. The back and forth between Hawkeye and Black Widow as they fought over who should be sacrificed to obtain the Soul Stone was heart wrenching and entirely unexpected.

Avengers: Endgame is something else. Eleven years worth of storytelling made this final film possible, and the scale of the story is incredible. It is no question a worthy conclusion to the MCU.

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