Avengers: Endgame Review

We all know that Marvel’s Avengers isn’t an infinite movie franchise. Everything good and great must come to an end. Here is our official review for Avengers: Endgame, with many spoilers. Turn away if you’re holding out on watching the movie first; and if not, enjoy!

All things that are considered spoilery will be kept in spoiler-tabs. Click them open at your own peril.

When going into Avengers: Endgame, there are many questions, and naturally many assumptions. While some have been answered mostly, there’s still more to wonder.

Leading from Infinity War

Coming directly from Avengers: Infinity War, there has been a lot of build up from last year’s cinematic feature. We’re left without many of the main characters we’ve grown attached to, and a future MCU that is unsure. That being said, those who are left are rallying the flag to bring back those they’ve lost. They push themselves and take all the risks they must for those who aren’t around.

Spoilers: After Thanos Snaps

The Snap

At the end of Infinity War, we learn that Doctor Strange traded Tony’s life for the Time Stone. This now leavs him stranded on a planet with Nebula; as everyone else is turned to dust. There isn’t much of a time skip between Infinity War and Endgame, equaling roughly 21 days until Tony and Nebula are rescued by the infamous Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers). If you forget, Fury sent her a page before being turned to dust himself, and at the end of Captain Marvel there’s a scene of her appearing at the Avengers HQ. We assume they told her about Iron Man lost in space?

Time skip to when everyone is back on Earth; and the world is ravaged. Deserted, empty, and a depressing place. New York isn’t bustling with life like it had during Avengers or any other movie; it’s desolate. Thanos killed half the population around the universe, taking away humanity at its core.

Even after Tony comes back, and is thankful to learn Pepper is still alive; he’s bringing up old feelings of his desire to put a suit of armor around the world (Age of Ultron). Him and Captain America have another quarrel about what they’ve lost, and how they weren’t enough to take on Thanos.

That Time Skip

Moving forward 5 years, it’s been a whole 5 YEARS since Thanos snapped half of the universe into dust. This puts our team into 2023, still trying to figure out what to do. Captain America is holding meetings with survivors on how to move on (very ironic coming from him). They’ve tried everything they thought was possible, and Black Widow is running point at Avengers HQ while everyone else is out look for a lead on Thanos, as he’s still missing. Fast forward to them finding him on a remote planet he refers to as the ‘garden’ and the big guy destroyed all the Infinity Stones as his job is done.

During Endgame

Avengers: Endgame is such an extremely heavy movie to go into. If you thought Avengers: Infinity War was pushing the limits, Endgame goes above and beyond. There’s so much comic relief, heartbreak, and rejoice that happens throughout the movie. Half the time you’re laughing over a small part, to being tremendously upset. The emotional roller coaster of a movie is perfect for the real last hurrah of the Avengers. Many of us are reminded of what we absolutely loved about the Avengers 2012 film, and the aspects that made us really bond with the characters; their stories.

For the sanctity of spoilers, everything that has to do with the plot is listed below in a spoiler tab. The titles are slightly spoilers, but nothing that would ruin your time at the movies.

Spoilers: A Second Shot at Saving Humanity

Linking in Ant-Man and Doctor Strange

We’ve all be interested in how Ant-Man was going to link into the MCU, along with Doctor Strange. For starters, Ant-Man has had no real dealings with the Avengers until Captain America: Civil War, and even then, he’s been under house arrest for violating the Sokovia Accords. As for Strange, he’s got some mystical magic happening, there’s not real ‘science’ way to explain it. That being said, they are crucial assets to the second chance that the team has at bringing everyone back.

Ant-Man has seen first-hand what the quantum realm technology is like. Spending 5 years in it at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp leading into Avengers: Endgame, but it only being 5 hours to him. This is the first crucial step to getting everyone back from dust: time traveling to get the Infinity Stones before they’re destroyed. The only issue is a key member, Stark, doesn’t want to help because now he has a family with Pepper; a young daughter named Morgan.

He eventually gives in, announcing to Pepper he has solved time traveling (because he’s still narcissistic).

The who, what, where, and when is probably the most chaotic and nostalgic piece of cinematography I’ve seen in the MCU.

  • Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, and Ant-Man go back to New York during Avengers 2012 to take the Scepter (Mind Stone), Time Stone, and Tesseract (Space Stone)
  • War Machine and Nebula go to Morag to get the Power Stone
  • Hawkeye and Black Widow go to Vormir to get the Soul Stone
  • Rocket Raccoon and Thor go to Asgard during Thor: Dark World to extract the Reality Stone from Jane

Throwbacks

During all of these smaller parts, there are huge throwbacks to the previous movies. We believed it was done with re-shot scenes to show the aftermath of Avengers 2012, the behind-the-scenes of Thor: Dark World, and much more. In fact, here’s a few interesting pieces we can note:

  • Captain America goes to collect the Scepter from Rumlow and Agent Sitwell who refuse to give it to him, and he pulls out a ‘Hail Hydra’ to Sitwell, even though this hasn’t been revealed until Captain America: Winter Soldier
  • In Stark Tower, Tony views the aftermath scene of Loki being locked up, and how the team is ‘celebrating’ with drinks and locking the Tesseract up
  • Trip down memory lane to the ‘Birthplace of Captain America’ which we’ve seen in Captain America: Winter Soldier

Avengers: Endgame has some incredible spoilery throwbacks to the previous movies because they’re implementing time-travel into the MCU in the most perfect of ways.

Going back to Doctor Strange, this presence in the movie is astounding because not only does it explain the stones, and how the time-travel works, but it shows how alternate universes could happen if the stones went missing. It is imperative with the ‘magic’ being relevant, that the stones return to their rightful places from which they were taken.

The Unforeseen Problems

There’s just a few hiccups in the second chance plan. 1) Captain America sees himself in New York, who believes it’s Loki in disguise, queuing the fighting. 2) They lose the Tesseract and have to travel to 1970 to get the cube, some of Pym’s shrinking formula. 3) The Soul Stone requires a soul (and this is where we lose major character Black Widow). And lastly 4) Nebula is discovered and her memories are being leaked with her 2014 self on Morag; and Thanos knows their plan. Being quick to react, Thanos, Nebula, and Gamora all from 2014 go to Morag and capture the ‘present-day nice’ Nebula and the 2014 Nebula takes her place. The Avengers have a rat in their team.

Spoilers: A Cosmic Fight

A Fight of Cosmic Proportions

For a moment the Avengers can breathe, knowing they’ve recovered the stones and have a plan of recovering all the missing people. Hulk takes it upon himself to use the gauntlet and snaps his big green fingers instantly bringing everyone back. The only problem is the rat, 2014 Nebula, who opens up a time-loop, allowing 2014 Thanos and his army through, to another cosmic fight.

This time though, the Avengers are much more prepared. They have their own gauntlet (though it is being thrown around the battlefield) and they also know what to expect. Thanos on the other hand, only has Nebula’s previous memories to go off of, and could easily underestimate their conviction.

We find all our heroes from the movie banding together to take down Thanos and his army, and then the heroes we’ve lost from Infinity War (Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, Falcon, Bucky, Spider-Man, etc.) rising to the fight. Overall, it’s a moment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that is both remarkable and fitting for the franchise, but it doesn’t come without the heartbreak, which is where we lose another main character, Iron Man.

Strange has been unable to tell Tony how they win, and we finally understand how, by Iron Man sacrificing himself. The fight ultimately comes down to him at the end, and either he uses the gauntlet or Thanos does. This leaves Tony as a hero who was willing to put everything down for everyone else. The saddest part is now that he finally found what he wanted in life with Pepper and Morgan, he loses it all for mankind.

Spoilers: The Aftermath

What Now?

Now that Thanos is officially destroyed and everyone is back (though 5 years younger), the team is at a standstill. They’ve lost both Natasha and Stark, while trying to rebuild what they have lost. Clearly the Infinity Stones have to go back to their original times, and Captain America takes it upon himself to do it. The only caviot is he decides to take Stark’s advice and make a life for himself, in the past with Peggy. When he’s supposed to come back, Falcon and Bucky find him on a bench nearby, ready to pass the shield on over to Falcon, to become the new Captain America.

We also see a culmination of Avengers and SHIELD personnel at Tony’s funeral, spanning throughout the MCU, along with an old joke coming back for a final laugh.

Cinematography and Soundtrack

The CGI and animation behind Avengers: Endgame is very well done. No matter where you go in the movie, it looks and sounds like it should. Everything that needs to have a sound effect does, and the minimal soundtrack added to the film increases the somberness of the experience.

As for the fight scenes these are impeccable. There are quite a few moments during these scenes that could honestly make perfect posters and wallpapers.

Character Developments with Spoilers

Tony Stark/Iron Man
Tony Stark/Iron Man

I’m going to focus first a bit on Tony Stark. He’s been apart of the MCU since his debut in Iron Man in 2008, and has had a ton of character progression. Going through his issues, he goes from a playboy billionaire philanthropist into a man who realizes that he’ll do whatever it takes to save everyone, including his young daughter Morgan. He’s not the same person we met in Iron Man, or in Avengers 2012. He’s grown into a character that is fitting the role of being the one to lay down on the line, and Doctor Strange knew it. Out of all the possible outcomes he saw, Tony being the one to take down Thanos was the only one that succeeded. This is a true testament to his character growth.

Captain America/Steve Rogers
Captain America/Steve Rogers

If there’s anything we’ve learned about Captain America through Marvel is that he’s the guy to get the job done. He will put everything down to save the planet and the people, and when he fails it isn’t pretty. We’ve seen how he feels like a failure for losing Bucky, then when finding out what Bucky was turned into by Hydra. His character is plagued as a man out of time, who has more regrets than we can count. But there’s one thing that he’s learned throughout this film is that a life is worth having.

When he sees Tony and his daughter, and Tony discussing with him what he’s found in the past five years, Cap takes the only chance he has, and stays back in time with Peggy. This opens up a lot of questions that we can’t possibly answer here, like if Peggy was talking about Steve this whole time? She’s mentioned in Captain America: Civil War in the museum scene and at her bedside about a man she married after she lost Steve, but it’s unclear and not precise.

Bruce Banner/Hulk
Bruce Banner/Hulk

In Endgame, Bruce and the Hulk have formed, with a backstory of spending 18 months in a lab trying to put the brains with the brawn; leading to Professor Hulk. This comes after the Hulk felt lost in Ragnarok, and then comes to Infinity War, unable to protect people. He’s changed as a character from viewing the Hulk as a disease, to embracing the potential he offers as a part of him.

God of Thunder/Thor
God of Thunder/Thor

Thor has pretty much lost everything at this point. His entire family is dead, he’s no longer with Jane, and he’s lost half his Asgard population. In this, we find a Thor who is most definitely not ready for battle, and instead wallows in his own grief over not taking Thanos out when he could have. His character has been through developments since his debut film, and he continues to grow, with future MCU potential based off the ending.

Natasha Romanov/Black Widow
Natasha Romanov/Black Widow

Black Widow was always a character in the MCU that had a mysterious past, with no official origin story. We know that Hawkeye chose to save her instead of following orders, and that she joined up with SHIELD. From Age of Ultron, it’s known that from a young age she was taught to kill, and had to make the worst calls (like forcing Bruce to become the Hulk). Diving into Endgame, she has no other family than the Avengers, and gladly gave everything she could for them.

Hawkeye/Barton
Hawkeye/Barton

Hawkeye is another character that we truly know nothing about until Age of Ultron. From his breakout film Thor, we know he worked for SHIELD, but nothing about his relationships or family. Until Age of Ultron, many assumed him and Natasha were an item due to their friendship. Learning that he had a family, and seeing them taken away in Endgame is the most heartbreaking of character developments. But in turn it is crucial to showing what happens to a man who has lost everything.

Conclusion on Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame is a perfect culmination of the major team in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’re seeing the finale for the story-arcs of many characters in fitting, and somewhat beautiful ways. Everything in Avengers: Endgame happens for a reason, and while fans may not agree or like the route it has taken, it ultimately is perfect.

Good

  • Good finale for the main team.
  • Ties up storylines for some characters.
  • Shows clear character development and growth.
  • Beautiful CGI for locations and fighting.
  • Soundtrack is spot-on with theme.
  • Dialogue and fighting go together.

Bad

  • Leaves many questions.
  • Introduces time-travel to already confusing timeline.
  • No clear MCU future.
9.1

Amazing

Story - 8.7
Character Development - 10
Cinematography/CGI - 9
Soundtrack - 8
Connection to MCU - 10
An avid gamer, journalist, literary reviewer, and lover of all things Marvel; wrapped in a colorful hair-do.
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