I know Avengers Endgame has been out for quite some time, but due to time constraints, I never really sat down to write up a review. Since it came out on iTunes, I’ve re-watched it along with the bulk of the Avengers related movies a few times to get an overall feeling of how the series went down. So I feel this is as good of a time as any to put some thoughts down.
I don’t want to review the whole plot in a linear manner. That can be handled just by going to Wikipedia. Instead, I want to focus on my overall impression of the movie and as a series as well as the conclusion.
The movie itself for the first half is a bit silly compared to the more dreary Infinity War. The way things are setup is that they wanted to bring together the original Avengers to try and rectify the mess with a bit of additional help from some new characters like Ms Marvel. The universe is in disarray from the disaster that Thanos had enacted but with the Infinity Stones destroyed, they had no options to recover outside of a very distant idea proposed by Ant-Man.
Using time travel as a way to correct things, the Avengers go back to key points in the past where they are able to recover the Infinity Stones. I really hated this part of the plot because time travel ends up being messy and silly. Mostly, I see part of the time travel trope being used to show the growth of the characters such as Stark, Captain America, Thor, Nebula and the Hulk in meeting their past selves.
While it helps resolve some of their inner conflicts such as Tony Stark getting to say a final good bye to his father, the time travel aspect felt cheap and mostly acted as a comedy mechanism that would allow the writers to fix the gaping hole of all the dead characters and possibly plant the seed of returning characters like Gamora and Loki.
I know I’m not the only one who thought that the first half was very plodding, especially compared to the much faster paced Infinity Wars plot. And while I enjoyed the character development aspect, the overall tone was really mixed once the story resolved the issue with retrieving the Infinity Stones and bringing everyone back from the dead.
The last part of the movie is just pure action packed masturbation. Almost everyone comes back to make their cameo, get their moments in and have the ultimate show down. It solves an itch that leaves a different problem behind once Thanos and his forces are decimated.
Part of my irritation with the mega battle scene was the bitch fight part. That part felt very gratuitous without a real reason outside of satisfying gender quality on the big screen. I felt that part could have been choreographed and built up a lot better without being as gratuitous. For instance, have all the men suddenly finding themselves in a bind and having Ms Marvel being the one to lead an inspired charge. Or perhaps having her have a big moment where she almost wears the Infinity Stone/Gauntlet but having Tony Stark tell her that the world needs her still. That would have been a great transition of leadership and help establish her character a lot more.
Also, the ending lingered a bit much. It did attempt to establish new people like Falcon as the next Captain America or Thor with the Guardians of the Galaxy, too many other characters were just left on the edge. It felt like a messier version of Lord of the Rings meets Return of the Jedi. I do think the Captain America ending was a nice touch though.
But going back a bit, the biggest issue for me being left open was attempting to make a battle of that magnitude. What comes after that? How can you top your best scenario? Everything afterwards will feel anti-climatic by comparison because you’ve dealt your best hand.
One thing that I will say is how much I really hate time travel being used like this. That whole part just made me super mad. Suddenly, Ant Man shows up and suggests that suddenly they have a second chance. The leap in logic from that is too far fetched to be really believable.
Instead, my choice for the handling of getting everyone back would have been to make the time stone that Dr Strange gave Thanos infected with a spell to protect the world from being completely decimated.
So in this scenario, I wanted to have two separate universes where those that survived at the end of Infinity War appear to “die” to those that had vanished and vice versa. The rest of the plot would have been both sides attempting to reverse the effects of the prison-like state and trying to create a bridge of communication between both universes.
I suppose though that the problem there would’ve been attempting to deal with all the characters. Yet I feel the movie could have been stretched out into two more with a more satisfying resolution.
Overall, Endgame still is a fun movie. I just feel that it lacked the cathartic oomph and a special message to follow up from Infinity Wars.