Avengers: Endgame Review

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Avengers: Endgame Review

Clockwise from top left:

Clockwise from top left: "Black Panther," "Captain Marvel," "Marvel's The Avengers" and "Captain America: The First Avenger" are some of the films that came before "Avengers: Endgame." [FILE PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY MARVEL/WALT DISNEY STUDIOS]

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Clockwise from top left: "Black Panther," "Captain Marvel," "Marvel's The Avengers" and "Captain America: The First Avenger" are some of the films that came before "Avengers: Endgame." [FILE PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY MARVEL/WALT DISNEY STUDIOS]

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Clockwise from top left: "Black Panther," "Captain Marvel," "Marvel's The Avengers" and "Captain America: The First Avenger" are some of the films that came before "Avengers: Endgame." [FILE PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY MARVEL/WALT DISNEY STUDIOS]

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After 11 years following the epic journey of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the closing chapter has finally arrived for the Avengers’ story. Already breaking records by making around $1.2 billion just in its opening weekend, Avengers: Endgame has rapidly become the most exciting release of the year. The movie serves as the capstone to story that fans have so eagerly followed as it developed into the twenty-two previous movies. And, in a runtime of just over three hours, Endgame has successfully achieved this purpose. The film not only meets the high expectations left after the suspenseful events of its prequel Avengers: Infinity War, but it surpasses them to extents that we could never have imagined. Overall, the movie does an incredible job of delivering an epic, climactic, and absolutely Marvel-ous finale to the series. Here is what we thought of it all.

CAUTION: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

After the announcement, around five years ago, that the Avengers’ story was coming to an end, the fans have been actively discussing and expressing what they wanted to see in this final movie. Well, if there was one thing that directors Joe and Anthony Russo made sure was included in it, it was the fans’ wishes. And indeed, Avengers: Endgame doesn’t fail to deliver much-desired fan service to its viewers. And while it is true that sometimes that may lead to confusing or poorly written movies (which led many people to think the film was too shallow and pointless), it is also true that Marvel has become quite the expert at giving their audience what they want. This has given us breathtaking, everyone-in-the-theater-cheers moments during the film. One of the biggest of these moments, no doubt, was Captain America’s sudden ability to wield Mjolnir, Thor’s legendary hammer. Now, avid fans of the MCU will remember that Steve was almost able to lift the hammer in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but the fact that he finally achieved it in Endgame shows how far his character has come, and it also creates an incredible moment that has taken everyone by surprise. Another major Cap moment in the film was after all of the Avengers are reunited, where he finally gets to say the famous and beloved phrase that we never heard him finish in Age of Ultron: “Avengers, assemble!”

Overall, the movie contains millions of other easter eggs and references like these. There’s too many to name here, and many that only the keenest comic book readers and movie watchers will understand. Sam Wilson receiving Cap’s shield at the end is one such reference: in the comics, Sam becomes the new Captain America after Steve Rogers retires. Also, in the funeral scene where we see every character, we can see a kid standing there alone. Many viewers didn’t notice this, but that kid was actually Harley, the kid that follows Tony Stark on his adventures in Iron Man 3.

Endgame also contains some major callbacks to the 2008 film Iron Man, the first installment of the MCU and the movie that started it all. So much so that Tony Stark’s almost-last words are “I am Iron Man”, an emotional reminder of the scene in Iron Man in which he publicly reveals that he is the man behind the metal mask. Also, near the film’s end, Tony’s daughter says to his agent Happy Hogan that she would like a cheeseburger. This is also a throwback to the first Iron Man film, where, upon returning to the United States after escaping a terrorist attack in the Middle East, Tony says that he only wants two things at that moment: “a press conference and […] an American cheeseburger”. And, even after the movie has ended, the usual Marvel post-credits scene is instead replaced by the sound of a hammer striking on metal, a throwback to the scene on the 2008 film where Tony builds his first Iron Man suit. The constant references to this movie provide that feeling of closure that Endgame delivers so well, not just to the Avengers series but also to Tony Stark. After fulfilling all of his desires throughout Endgame -not only defeating Thanos, but also marrying Pepper, having a daughter, and even making amends with his father- Tony’s death marks the end of a very much completed character arc. The heartbreaking funeral scene reminds us of how important Iron Man was to everyone, characters and fans alike. After all, it’s clear that he was always the strongest Avenger.

The film also did a brilliant job of combining dramatic scenes that leave you on the edge of your seat with silly comedic relief. Over the last few years, Marvel movies have included plenty of humor and jokes, although sometimes it came across as a bit tacky and excessive (except in the Guardians of the Galaxy films, where humor is more than welcome). However, Endgame delivers its humor fantastically, in a way that doesn’t take any emotion away from the more suspenseful moments. Thor, in fact, becomes a significant source of comic relief throughout the film, staying true to his recent character development in Thor: Ragnarok. The five-year gap between Infinity War and Endgame may have changed Thor a lot, but I have to say, I think his humor and positivity are worth it. Also, the fact that he used both Stormbreaker and Mjolnir to fight Thanos was a very nice touch to reach an agreement between fans of both weapons. As we said, the fan service is strong with this one.

The scenes that take place in the Battle of New York (referencing the 2012 movie The Avengers) also gave way to hilarious twists and actions, such as future Steve checking out past Steve after knocking him out in a fight. Also, the famous elevator scene from Captain America: The Winter Soldier was very cleverly changed up by future Steve, as he readily says to one of the agents the phrase “Hail Hydra” to save himself the fight. The events in New York also conclude in a humorous failure, leading to clumsy altercate between Iron Man and Hydra’s agents, in which Loki himself ends up managing to steal the prized Tesseract and escaping with it. This unexpected turn of events will certainly play a role in the upcoming Loki TV show, which will soon be available on Disney’s anticipated streaming service platform, Disney +.

But Endgame wasn’t all perfection. There were definitely some confusing moments in the plot, such as the whole usage of time travel. Surely, it was the only way to defeat Thanos, and it allowed fans to relive some of the greatest moments of the MCU, but its workings were somewhat confusing, especially with Captain America’s retirement decision, so to speak. Him time-traveling back to the 1940s and living a normal life with Peggy has confused many viewers, as the outcome of that action is hard to imagine. Did the Steve that we know disappear forever? Or, because the actions changed in the past won’t alter the future (according to Bruce Banner), are there two Steves alive simultaneously? Gamora and Nebula’s situation has also sparked questions. If past Nebula is dead, how is future Nebula still alive? And what are they going to do with Gamora, since she doesn’t remember anything after the events of Guardians of the Galaxy? Indeed, the film has generated uncertainties and loose ends, but here’s the thing: no movie is perfect. It’s natural that the plot will have some holes in it; it just happens.

Besides, all this unfinished business will likely give us the framework for new stories in the MCU. For example, it seems very possible that Thor will make an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3, while Sam will have to continue Steve’s legacy next to Bucky in the upcoming series The Falcon & The Winter Soldier. We will also get to see how Tony’s memory is honored in Spiderman: Far From Home, in theaters this July. In short, The Avengers may have finished their part of the story, but the MCU will certainly continue on, and they seem to have no intentions of ending any time soon. As Cap himself put it, “some people move on, but not us”.

Avengers: Endgame is not only one of the highest-quality MCU films (with not just a great plot but also beautiful visuals and probably the best soundtrack yet) but is also likely to become a major fan favorite. The movie has been a frequent topic of discussion on social media, and tags like #AvengersEndgame, #WhateverItTakes and #ILoveYou3000 continue to be trending on most platforms. The fans got to see what they wanted for this finale, and everyone seems to agree that Endgame has been a thrilling, yet satisfying conclusion to the Avengers’ tale. Definitely worth the eleven-year-long wait.