When Iron Man came out in 2008 I was shocked by how entertaining the movie was. I was very excited to see the next Iron Man movies and had no idea the film was just the beginning of a shared universe of characters that childhood me would have lost his mind over.
Avengers Endgame, directed by Joe and Anthony Russo or the Russo brothers, finishes the story first teased years ago in the mid- credits scene from Avengers in 2012 when we first saw Thanos. Last year’s Avengers Infinity War left us with half of all life snapped out of existence. Endgame tells the story of how are heroes cope with their losses and eventually decide to fix it, whatever it takes.
This was the perfect film to end the first Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the MCU for short. My expectations were high going in and I can honestly say they were completely met. This film successfully closed many character arcs and it was never at the expense of the film’s narrative.
From this point on I’m going to be discussing spoilers and if you have not seen the movie I would highly recommend seeing it before it leaves the theaters. This film deserves the theatrical experience.
Of course Endgame isn’t perfect and a few aspects of the story didn’t land for me the way they were probably intended. One in particular was Hawkeye’s “I’m evil now” backstory. Even though they talk about all the awful things Hawkeye has done over the past five years since his family was snapped, I never felt like the character was that much different or that much colder. Sure we saw him kill some gang, but they were bad guys and Hawkeye and the Avengers don’t have the Batman code. In Avengers: Age of Ultron they were straight up killing Hydra agents at the beginning. I don’t think having an intense haircut, having tattoos and telling us someone is cold hearted and rotten makes me suddenly change my opinion of them.
Black Widow’s arc was a fitting conclusion for the character. While I would have enjoyed seeing more from Scarlet Johansson’s take on the character it was fitting to have Black Widow make the ultimate sacrifice for her Avengers family.
Brie Larson, Captain Marvel, does fine with what she is given in this movie. She basically has a glorified cameo in Endgame. However, the story we got necessitated her taking a backseat for most of the movie. Regardless she has some great moments and I’m stoked to see what more Marvel has in store for her.
I really enjoyed Ant-Man’s arc and Paul Rudd brought the right levity and comedy to the role as he always has. Professor Hulk surprised me, but in the absolute best way. I have heard criticism that he didn’t “Hulk” out like he should have, but I appreciate the risk and their will be plenty more “Hulk” out opportunities in the future. Also, it looked like Mark Ruffalo was having a blast this time around.
I appreciate the time the film gave to the traditionally more side characters of Rocket, Gamora and Rhodes, aka War Machine. Don Cheadle is always great in these movies and has more to do here and the movie was better for it. I love the relationship Rocket builds with the Avengers that is felt following the five year jump. I’m excited to see if that will be addressed in further Guardians movies.
It was great seeing the character growth Karen Gillan was able to put into Gamora. From playing paper football with Tony, holding Rocket’s hand when she arrives near the beginning of the film and showing real care and affection for her fellow Avengers when she is revealed to have a link with her past self. I’ve always thought Gamora was a bit one note in the previous films, but Endgame showed a whole new side and I’m excited to see her story continue.
Many of the arcs I did not see coming and I was shocked and overjoyed by the final act. Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and most of all Robert Downey Jr. brought their A game to this.
Downey gives his best performance as Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, and bids farewell to the MCU. From his adorable relationship with his daughter Morgan to his ultimate “I am Iron Man” send off, Downey brought the heart for his final turn as the revered character.
Evans brings the same stoic nature to Captain America that we have grown to love and the filmmaker’s give the character and the actor a heartwarming send off. Seeing Cap wife Thor’s Hammer was one of the greatest moments in all the MCU and having the film end with his well earned and deserved dance with Peggy brought on the man tears.
Hemsworth continues to bring his outstanding comedic timing to the roll as well reminding all of us that his great dramatic chops. Whether he was explaining Thor: The Dark World with comedic precision or masterfully cowering at the responsibilities he has for New Asgard I loved this new Thor and am excited to have a version of a Thor I can cosplay as. Also, that Thor and Peter Quill banter was amazing and I can’t wait for Asgardians of the Galaxy.
While I’m a little sad that we won’t see Downey and Evans in the MCU moving forward, I’m grateful for the last ten years they gave us and will always have those movies to go back to.
One quick word regarding the final epic battle with Thanos and his army. That was one hell of an “Assemble”!
Endgame gave me the same feeling I got after watching Captain America: Winter Soldier, which was coincidently also directed by the Russo brothers. At the end of Winter Soldier S.H.I.E.L.D. is torn apart by Hydra from within and leaves the audience thinking, “I can’t believe they just did that!” while also wondering, “Where will they go now?” With the death of Tony Stark and the reveal of Old Man Cap who will lead the Avengers? Will there even be an Avengers team anymore? Or even where has Betty Ross been this whole time? Well, maybe not that last one but honestly where has Betty Ross been? Hulk could have at least checked in or said Hi.
Thoughts like”I can’t believe they did that!” And questions like “Where will they go next?” excite me. I’m thrilled to be able to say I don’t know what the future holds and that in and of itself is a wonderful thing.