Avengers Endgame is the culmination of 10 years and 22 feature films of Marvel movie goodness!
Well, I guess more accurately, it is the culmination of 10 years and 20 feature films of Marvel movie goodness accompanied by Thor 2 and Iron Man 2. (Hey, they can’t all be gems.)
With the ultimate cliff hanger that we were left with at the end of Avengers Infinity War, the hype to see what Marvel had planned for our favorite characters in Avengers Endgame was intense!
How would Disney wrap things up? Would they give characters like Captain America and Iron Man closure? Can the ‘Snap’ be undone? How would they set up the next ‘saga’ for the Avengers?
Or would they slap a massive turd blossom up on the screen and crap all over the characters we have grown to know and love? (See my review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
This was the first time where I actively avoided social media prior to a movie for fear of coming across spoilers. This is also why I waited to post my review until after the Avengers Endgame directors lifted their “ban on spoilers.” And since there was so much going on in this film, I also wanted to see it a second time before writing my review.
This review is longer than my normal movie reviews, but since the movie was 50% longer than normal movies, I guess it makes sense.
I usually try to keep my movie reviews somewhat spoiler free, but that will simply not be possible with Avengers Endgame. So be warned:
AVENGERS ENDGAME SPOILERS AHEAD!!! I MEAN MASSIVE SPOILERS!!! Like Fast & Furious street racer sized spoilers!
Geeky Daddy’s Movie Review Of Avengers Endgame
The Good (There was so much of it!)
All Killer, No Filler
When I first heard that the film had a runtime of 3+ hours, I was concerned about how much filler content there would be. Especially when you consider how much Disney likes to include blatant product placements and feels the need to advertise their next film within the movie you are already watching. (This probably hit an apex with Avengers: Age Of Ultron and was partially responsible for Joss Whedon leaving the franchise)
Fortunately the answer to the filler content question was: Almost none!
I am so glad I passed on the 1/2 gallon of soda I usually get at the theater because there were no letdowns for pee breaks! From Tony Stark’s return to Earth till the epic final battle (which was like an hour of comic book battling awesomeness!), I cannot think of one scene that was not meaningful or entertaining.
The editors did a terrific job of splicing together a 3 hour film that kept a smooth flow (which cannot be very easy to do). While the Audi logo did appear prominently on the big screen a couple times (as it has in all Iron Man and Avengers films), it did not feel like a forced commercial advertisement interrupting the movie like other Disney films.
You Got Feelin’ Emotions
This movie hit on the perfect blend of action, comedy and heartfelt emotion!
Fans of the television sit-com Community know the Brothers have a marvelous understanding of comedic timing and Marvel fans already knew the Bothers could tackle fast paced action sequences from their work on Captain America: The Winter Soldier (although they did get a ton of behind the camera help from the John Wick team for the fight scenes).
Avengers Endgame gave the directors multiple chances to showcase their ability to put together touching “tear jerker” scenes and the Brothers did not disappoint! The emotional embrace between Pepper Potts and Tony upon Tony’s return to Earth had the dude sitting on my left in tears. And I am usually not a fan of the tired ‘robots learning how to love’ trope, but the bonding scenes between Nebula and Tony and Nebula and Rocket were very well done.
Natasha’s sacrifice on the planet Vormir to save Clint was another unexpected emotional rollercoaster! That was a death which I did NOT see coming! Guess her upcoming movie is a prequel, huh?
And this is before even mentioning the Iron Man or Captain America closures….
Closure For Tony Stark
Although there were previous Marvel movies (such as the Blade trilogy and Ang Lee’s Hulk snorefest), the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) really started with 2008’s Iron Man. So it is fitting that this ‘Saga’ of the MCU should bookend with his passing.
Marvel and Robert Downey Jr. did a wonderful job communicating Tony Stark’s growth as a character from the carefree bachelor in 1st film to a husband and father “willing to lay down on the wire for his buddies” in his last film.
His on screen chemistry with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man felt like a genuine father/son dynamic and the chemistry with him and Gwyneth Paltrow felt more believable under the Russo’s direction than with Favreau’s.
Incorporating the dialogue about him being able to “rest” was also a touching way to tie in the previous films.
Closure For Steve Rogers
I loved how they passed the shield (torch) of Captain America at the end of this movie!
Dating back to the post credit scene of Captain America: The First Avenger, the MCU has stressed to the audience that Steve Rogers is unable to feel at home in current time. From the more comedic aspects, such as his unreadiness to date a girl with facial piercings, his checklist from when he first met Sam and the “I understood that reference” jokes, to the more serious aspect of not being able to come to terms with the fact that he can’t trust his own government, Rogers’ desire to return to his simpler time and live out his days with the love of his life (Peggy Carter), has been communicated right along.
As Cap climbed aboard the time platform to return the stones and Mjolnir to their rightful places and Sam Wilson asked he could come along, I loved how how the directors communicated with a slight nod of the head that Bucky knew Steve wasn’t coming back. After Hulk explains that only mere seconds would pass for them, Bucky still says “I’ll miss you” to further communicate that he knew Steve was going to live his life with the woman he loves.
Seeing the smile on ‘Old Man Steve’s’ face as he describes how he finally found that life Tony kept telling him to get, brought a smile to my face and more tears to the dude on my left again. I wasn’t sure how Steve got a repaired shield to pass on to Sam and thought maybe he simply asked Howard to repair it in whatever branched off timeline he went to (because…time travel).
But then on the way home, I got to thinking…
In Winter Soldier, during a recording, Peggy Carter says that “Captain America saved many lives, including the man that would become my husband.” Previously, I just assumed that Peggy married one of the ‘Howling Commandos‘ after World War II and that he must have passed away sometime before Cap sat by her bed in Winter Soldier.
(Full Disclosure: I have not seen the Peggy Carter TV series yet.)
But was the husband she was referring to actually Steve Rogers? That would close this splintered time branch off nicely. Steve could have asked Howard in the past to repair the shield but to keep it quiet. ‘Old Man Steve’ could have even been standing outside the door of Peggy’s room when young Steve stopped by to see her at the hospice, knowing that he can’t meet his younger self and risk timeline shenanigans.
The Bad (There was very little of it)
“Bad” is not even the right term for this segment. More what “Geeky Daddy Disagreed With.”
Scott Lang’s Return
This isn’t “bad”, just something that I thought was a bit of a letdown. There was a ton of speculation going into Endgame about how Scott Lang was going to escape from the Quantum Realm. To have it boil down to a random rat/mouse simply stepping on some buttons just seemed like lazy writing.
This letdown could be just be mine and a result of all the anticipation for the film, in which case it is not the writers’ fault. But in how many of the other 14 million scenerios that Dr. Strange saw did this mouse simply get ran over by a UPS truck or gobbled up by a hawk?
What Happened To ‘The God Of Thunder’?
I have enjoyed the increased amount of humor that comes with Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of Thor over the past couple of films. There are many times that I actually laughed out loud while watching them.
But as the character has evolved from “Point Break” to “Big Lebowski”, he has become less and less ‘The God Of Thunder’ and more the ‘Doofus of Asgard’. While the character is still hilarious and I can’t wait to see what Guardians (Asgardians) of the Galaxy Vol 3 has in store for us, the traditionalist in me still misses the original Thor.
Lack Of Netflix Marvel TV Characters
Marvel completed the Herculean task of assembling nearly ever MCU character for the final battle with Thanos with the notable exception of the Netflix Marvel television series characters.
I read where the Endgame writers said that their inclusion would have been impossible because all the characters in the battle were returning from the ‘snap’ (yet Okoye and Valkyrie were there) and this would not have worked with the timeline for the shows.
At the time of the writing of Endgame, Marvel had not yet officially canceled the Netflix programs, so this explanation is plausible. How could the next season of the shows take place if the characters had been dusted in 2018?
However, since they did include at least two un-dusted characters in the battle (Valkyrie and Okoye), I think they could have included the Defenders if they wanted to. My guess is they were worried about needing to share movie profits with Netflix if any of those characters appeared in the film.
Lack of Deadpool
This was never realistic. I just thought a post credit scene of Deadpool sprinting onto a smoldering devastated battlefield with a gun and sword drawn saying “Sorry I’m late, that Disney-Fox buyout took longer than expected!” would have been funny.
Where This Leaves The MCU
Multi-Verse Sets Stage For X-Men
This was more or less confirmed with the latest preview for Marvel’s next movie Spider-Man: Far From Home (which, according to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige is actually the last film in the ‘Infinity Saga’).
In the preview, Nick Fury says that the ‘snap’ has resulted in lots of splinter universes. While I think it will turn out that Mysterio is lying about being from another earth, it plants the seed to easily fold the idea of Mutants into the MCU.
Young Avengers Lead Up?
I was confused why Marvel chose to have 5 years pass between the ‘snap’ and the return during Endgame. It just seemed like an unnecessary lengthy amount of time. It does create an interesting a plot device for a number of subplots that can be used in Marvel movies for years to come.
In Spider-Man: Far From Home for example, the half of Peter’s class that were dusted are still together while the other classmates are 5 years older and in college. (Seriously, could you imagine your wife coming back to life years later after you have remarried and have a new child?).
But then, in Endgame, we saw a grown up Cassie Lang re-united with her dad. With her character now a teenager, she could be set to transition into the New Avengers character Stature or Stinger with the same powers as Scott, as she did in the comic books.
We also see Clint Barton training his daughter with a bow and arrow and referring to her as “Hawkeye”, the first time that name as actually been used in the MCU (I had to look that up to be sure).
We even got a quick glimpse at a grown up Harley (AKA: The kid from Iron Man 3) at Tony’s funeral. Could that audio we heard after the movie credits be Harley forging his Iron Lad armor?
Notable Easter Eggs
While there were far too many to list, here are a few that stood out to me.
- It was great to see Jim Starlin (the creator of Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet) get a quick moment on screen in Cap’s group therapy session.
- In that same session, we see one of the film’s director’s portraying a man describing his first date with another man since the ‘snap’. This is the first openly gay character in the MCU and Joe Russo wanted to play the character himself.
- I saw that Natalie Portman attended the Endgame Premier so I guess she made up with the studio after the falling out where Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) was fired off of Thor: Dark World. After seeing Endgame twice, I’m still not sure if her scenes were new material or shots unused from Dark World. What did you think?
- In the meeting with Natasha and some of the remaining Avengers, Okoye refers to an earthquake under the ocean that they handle by “not handling it.” Is that simply because there nothing that can be done about an earthquake or was this a subtle hint towards Namor making an MCU appearance soon? He was rumored to be in the Dr. Strange 2 plot at one time…
I loved this movie. I loved what they did with all the characters. I loved how they incorporated nearly every character who has ever appeared in the MCU into at least one scene.
I loved how the directors used misinformation and kept their plans compartmentalized to prevent spoiler leaks ahead of time. Going so far as to give some of the actors fake scenes to memorize that were never meant to be used.
I grew up a huge Captain America fan and am so glad they gave Steve Rogers a happy ending, as opposed to just killing him off.
I can’t imagine the ‘Infinity Saga’ ending on any higher of a note. I gave Avengers Endgame a 5 out of 5 on the Geeky Daddy Movie Rating Scale!
The movie did contain profanity (nice to see Steve Rogers swear!), lots of violence and death.
What did you think of Avengers Endgame? Do you agree with my review? Are there any points I made that you disagree with?
Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading.