Marvel Marathon #21: Avengers: Endgame

(During quarantine my girlfriend and I are going through the Marvel movies chronologically. Surprisingly, she is really enjoying them, maybe even more than me. We are already a couple down and I’m gunna do write-ups for all of ‘em, the good and the bad.)

Sure, this is the highest grossing movie of all-time, having made close to three billion dollars worldwide, but how much did the movie cost to produce and market? How many movie stars are in this? How many hundreds of millions did Downey negotiate his way in to earning this time? I’m reckon, all totalled up, the movie must have cost 1.5 billion. The movie didn’t even need to be marketed as much as it was; was there anyone who saw this that wasn’t already planning on seeing it?

Regardless, the money is on the screen. These shots are right out of a comic book; Spider-Man clinging on to the Infinity Glove while riding a unicorn through the sky, Thor and Captain America trading hammers like Pokemon cards, and Doctor Strange using portals to transport the Guardians. The list goes on. This is undoubtedly and objectively the biggest spectacle of all-time. The stuff going on in the frames are so beyond fan service that it make the first Avengers movie, which has some of greatest money shots and choreography of all superhero movies, look like a student film.

Not only are there a bunch of pretty sights to set your eyes upon, but there is so much going on in this movie than just just cool looking shit. Thanos getting murdered within the first twenty minutes is one of the biggest shocks in cinema history and Hawkeye is finally interesting. It only took nine years for that to happen, all they had to do was give him a Mohawk, but regardless, it still happened. They might be a few too many slow motion superhero walks, but after 20+ movies, I guess it’s earned.

For a three hour movie, the run time was totally justified. The thing about ‘Endgame’ is that it is so logically impressive more than anything else. The fact that the writers and the Russo brothers have been able cohesively bring all of these movies together and make perfect sense in tying up a dozen different narratives in one. It’s like a multi-strand narrative like that of P.T. Anderson’s Magnolia. How impressive was the end of that movie when everything came together?!

Of course, out of all the films disbelief must be suspended when watching Endgame more than any other movie. As is avoidable with time travel movies, there are a ton of major plot holes. The most damaging one being that at the end Steve Rogers explained he went back in time and changed history so that he never became Captain America. If that was the case, how did the Avengers fair in all those missions without Cap, and if he never did those tests to become Captain America, how is he still so hench in the flashback of the new reality? Shouldn’t he be that skinny kid he was before he went to war?

Another big problem stems from a little rodent. The whole movie is literally based around the fact that a rat presses the exact button that frees Ant-Man from the quantam realm. If it wasn’t for that damn rat then none of the events in this movie would have ever happened. However, I am so happy that Ant-Man is the catalyst for time travel and generally has a major role in Endgame. Rudd’s size-shifting character is the most underrated hero in the whole universe.

Time travel sounds like an easy way out, a way to easily course correct any corners the MCU has written itself in to, and it’s perfect for Disney, right. With the use of time travel, the franchise can live on in dozens of different formats. It opens up so many doors and is even a way to introduce the multiverse. The great thing about the movie is that the use of time travel never felt like an excuse to create all these spin-offs (OK, it did once, when Loki got his hands on the Teseract before vanishing) and it served the movie perfectly. The way we as an audience got to view the older movies with a different perspective was genius; revisiting the first Avengers movie, watching a much smarter Hulk being embarrassed by his older self and seeing the events that unfolded immediately after the battle of New York is a great way of serving the fans as well as developing the story.

Avengers: Endgame is a perfect send off for both Downey and Evans. These are two characters that audiences are have been most interested in over the whole of cinematic history. After 12 years of playing the characters in an abundance of movies that aren’t limited to just their solo movies and Avengers movies, they are given heartwarming and extremely emotional final scenes. Even being the soulless vessel that I am, I was holding back a tear or two during Tony Stark’s funeral. Also, major props to them even bring back the kid from Iron Man 3. The writers literally thought of everything.

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