SPOILERS BELOW

“Batman Kills Thanos”

   

For most of us, we have been following the Marvel Cinematic Universe since  Robert Downey Jr improvised “I am Iron Man” in 2008, and it has been part of our childhood since then. Avengers: Endgame is one of the most anticipated finales within the Marvel Universe, and for a very good reason. Their movies have captivated us for 11 years, with amazing battles, dramatic conflicts, engaging story lines and memorable moments that reminds us of what makes Marvel one of the most popular franchises of our generation. For the memory of those they have lost, all your beloved characters come back together once more to restore peace in the universe and finally snap Thanos out of existence. When you watch Avengers: Endgame, you will feel a sense of nostalgia and sadness, as you see so many of your favorite characters suffer and triumph.

After half of life was snapped off existence, the Avengers try to find Thanos once more to bring back life. However, when they do find Thanos, they also find out that he destroyed the infinity stones, to avoid temptation. Thor ends his life by chopping Thanos’ head off with Stormbreaker, with no retaliation, for which he replays: “I aimed for the head.” Despite the call back to Infinity War with that line, this was no humorous moment. This exact moment sets the tone for the entire movie, and shows that, although it will still have the Avengers humor, the story which they are about to show is a serious story of sorrow and sadness. I think this is a great choice, because most of the audience are people who have been with the series since 2008, and this movie highlights the changes they have gone through, and how the series has matured and built up to this moment.

Five years later, in the movie, after the snap, many of our favorite characters have tried moving on, and most have changed. Two of the biggest changes are that Tony Stark now has a daughter,  Morgan, and Thor has a huge pot belly, due to drinking too much beer. However, almost, if not all the characters have gone through tough changes, and when you look back at past movies, you can never see them the same again, for better or worse. Again, it goes to show that Marvel is not afraid of change, and that many of their characters have gone through their whole ‘life cycle’ for the ‘Infinity’ Saga. Some details are still a bit weird, such as Banner finally controlling the Hulk and using the best qualities of each, but we never really know when and how this happened, since in Avengers: Infinity War, he couldn’t really “summon” him.

That is one problem with the grand finale of the ‘Infinity’ Saga. Given that they have to fit everything into this movie, they gloss over a few details that help explain nagging questions about the MCU. For example, when Tony and Banner discover how to time travel, they vaguely explain what it does, but other than that, it leaves too much room for speculation. Furthermore, it has too many holes, and the story is not consistent with its definition of time travel. Banner explains that changing the past will not change the future nor the present, but you can still go back to it and recover things, so long as you put it back. And that remained pretty consistent throughout the movie, however, there was one hole in this scenario.  Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, goes back to the past after winning the battle against Thanos and bringing back everyone. However, when it is time to return, he decides not to come back, and instead decides to stay with the love of his life, Peggy Carter. Although it is a fitting resolution for Cap, I feel it wasn’t really necessary. Captain America was the symbol of sacrifice, freedom, and of course, America. He has sacrificed a great deal to serve his country, and although he more than deserved to have that dance with Peggy, he didn’t have to leave everything that made him Captain America behind. Without him, the Avengers would never be complete, there would be a gaping hole in their morale, and many events from the MCU would never happen without him. There was a limit to the sacrifices he was willing to do, and that is something that seems a bit out of character for Steve Rogers.

Another strange decision the Russo brothers decided on was to limit the screen time for Captain Marvel. One of the things that truly teased Endgame was the after-credits scene, when Nick Fury uses the pager to call Captain Marvel before disintegrating. Although she shows up in the beginning of the film, for the rest of it she is missing in action, doing things off-screen. She does appear again for the final battle, but it just doesn’t seem to be as impactful as we thought it would be. However, it did become meaningful when the heroines came together for an epic moment in the film.

So while the movie has flaws, you can’t help but just absolutely love the movie, and what it means for the MCU. As I was watching the movie, you could hear the reactions of many of the viewers around me in Monroeville, a theatre about a half hour from my house – it was hard to get tickets if you wanted to see it right away.  You could hear the gasps, the laughter, the crying, and the joy from each viewer, something that is rare to hear and see in a movie theater. While the whole movie is fictional, and CGI tricks, you can’t fake something like that. You can’t fake human emotion, especially from the viewers. I particularly remember, when Black Panther does his reveal for the final battle, one viewer yelling: “Wakanda Forever!”, from which the audience laughed and cheered on for the fallen heroes who have come back to finish what they have started. This feeling is not exclusive to the American audience. The whole world has been waiting for this finale, and for very good reason!

The great thing about the MCU is that it connects with their audience incredibly well. They might make a bad movie, but they always somehow manage to make something brilliant about it. Stan Lee, may he rest in peace, was one who was there the entire way through. It’s almost poetic to see, once Stan Lee passed away, one of the biggest sagas in cinema history also ends, with many of our favorite characters also leaving the big screen. Endgame is truly the pinnacle of cinema, and should be an example of what needs to be done when connecting movies, and creating a captivating story for your audience. Although sad, it is a fitting conclusion for many characters in the MCU, who have remained with us for 11 years.

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