Fans hurried into theaters ahead of spoilers, no matter the cost, to see the amazing penultimate finale to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), “Avengers: Endgame” last week.
Anthony and Joseph Russo, collectively known as the Russo Brothers, outdid themselves in creating the climax of eleven years’ worth of movies. “Endgame” united the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe and featured every Marvel superhero to date. This film explored unfamiliar territory in the realm of superhero films: What happens when our heroes fail and the bad guy triumphs?
“Endgame” brought the surviving cast of heroes from the show-stopping “snap” at the end of Infinity War, when Thanos, the mad titan, used the “Infinity Stones” to eliminate exactly half of all life in the universe, including the Avengers. Much of the original cast of the 2012 “Avengers” movie remained, while other characters introduced over time disappeared into dust. This set the stakes for our beloved heroes: They lost, but not all was lost.
“Endgame” is filled with fun fan-bait and references to the other films that are not obnoxious or needless fillers. The action scenes are visceral, and while Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) is often used to capture the scope of all the action, it is suitable in the large environment and battle-scapes. The writing was impeccable and the characters all felt like their authentic, and sometimes quirky, selves. It was fun, witty and though it lasted almost three hours, it never dragged.
Even though “Endgame” is an incredibly strong movie, it has its faults. The introduction of “Professor Hulk,” no-better described as Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) held in-between his human and hulk forms, was an oddity that detracted from the quality of the film. Mark Ruffalo’s acting and voice were modified: His face was green and inflated and he spoke lower and slower. These changes were hardly explained within the movie, and the modifications disconnected him from the rest of the actors’ and actresses’. It ruined what otherwise would have been a quality performance.
The only other issue with “Endgame” was its confusing and ambiguous ending, which will be addressed below.
In spite of these flaws, “Avengers: Endgame” is an amazing and engaging movie well-worth the watch (before someone spoils it for you)!
Spoilers for "Avengers: Endgame" begin here:
The team resolves to use the Infinity Stones to bring back all who perished after the initial snap. However, Thanos destroyed the stones, forcing the Avengers to accept their defeat until Scott Lang, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), emerges from the “Quantum Realm” and proposes using time-travel to undo the destruction.
The Avengers travel to various points in time to steal the Infinity Stones to use in the present. In the MCU, time-travel cannot alter the past — it merely creates alternate timelines. This allows the Avengers to steal the stones from the past and use them to bring back all their friends, so long as they return them to their places in time. There is only one problem: The Thanos from 2014 follows them to the present with an immense army. Thus begins the final battle, deciding the fate of the universe in one epic conclusion involving the resurrected Avengers heroes.
The time-travel in “Endgame” presents a confusing and ambiguous ending. In “Endgame,” time-travel cannot alter the past. When someone goes back in time and changes something in the past, it creates parallel timelines that split off in various directions. The Avengers’ interference in the past creates multiple parallel universes with alternate futures.
In Endgame’s ending, Steve Rogers travels back in time to put the Infinity Stones back in the places the Avengers took them from, however after he did so, he did not return to the present. Instead, he chose to return to the 1940s and presumably marries his war-time sweetheart, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) in the past. He shows up next to the Falcon, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and the Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) as an old man, and hands a shield off to Wilson to take up the mantel as Captain America.
Some of these include present-day Thor’s theft of Mjolnir during the events of “Thor: The Dark World.” Because Thor steals the hammer and takes it to the future, he created a universe where Thor does not have the hammer during the events of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” or any of the other movies. The same happens when Loki steals the Tesseract and escapes captivity because of Tony Stark’s intervention.