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Avengers: Endgame – A Very Late Review

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 I finally got a chance to see Avengers: Endgame along with my family. I went in with some spoilers, but that never really bothers me. I can read the same book or see the same movie over and over again, and still be invested, so a few spoilers wasn’t a problem.

This isn’t really a review, because I’m pretty sure I’m the last person on the planet to see this movie, and no one is looking for pros and cons for spending their hard earned cash. Having said/written that, we’re going to call it a review for a lack of a better term.

If you are wondering if this is a good movie (or your wondering if I think it is), it is. If you have been following and enjoying the Marvel movies, it might have even been a great movie, with some really emotional beats as well as bombastic action on a massive scale. The actors really delivered and the Russo Brothers created something involving, exciting, and enjoyable.

I had a few problems – the main one requiring a spoiler to really dig into – which I will do below – but for now, let’s just say that the movie is not really internally consistent. It doesn’t actually make sense without assumptions, and this seems wrong considering the framework they build for the logic of the movie. The system of the movie’s reality is built up, discussed, and drives the main planning, but when it comes time for putting those millions up there on the screen, it’s jettisoned.

That was the big gripe. The second one has to do with Hawkeye’s character arc in this movie. It was really unnecessary, except as fan service. It’s built up then pretty much dropped – except the accoutrements he continues to carry and use through the rest of the movie. It also seemed like a little too much of a fridging of his wife – killing a female character to motivate a male character. Considering the nuance that was put into the exploration for how characters addressed the outcome of Infinity War, Clint Barton’s seemed crude. I think it might have worked better if only some of his family were lost – specifically his children. Think of the dynamic between a key character who has a new family – a young daughter – which that character fears to lose and Clint, who has lost his children. Clint wants his kids back desperately, but is he willing to risk someone else’s to do so? The choice that he and Natasha must make is then even more poignant for him.

And thank you, so much, for sad sack Thor. Ragnarok really helped to create a story arc for him through all three of his solo movies in which he learns about himself. And in this one, he learns some harsh lessons about his ability to cope with failure – real failure. He continues to grow with the help of strong people around him. Maybe he is the strongest Avenger (I mean, he’s not, but let’s just roll with it), raised in a warrior culture, seeing battle as a means to prove his worth, but he has learned to look to others, to value their wisdom and their input. He may not be as bright as Odin, but he is becoming wise.

So I give Avengers: Endgame 5 infinity stones out of 6. It’s a hell of a movie to see on the big screen, but it stumbles on its own convoluted logic and makes some choices that seem lazy to me. Still, it is a must see if you are a Marvel movie fan.

Okay, some spoiler stuff after this image. You have been warned (though I imagine that warning is unnecessary).

The whole plan is based on not changing anything in the past, then they murder 2014 Thanos and his army. And there’s not even a question about it after Avengers HQ gets totaled. Cap, Iron Man, and Thor go after him and they all seem ready to kill him. There’s no discussion of “well, our Gauntlet should be able to alter reality so that even though he is destroyed in the future, 2014 Thanos and his army will continue to exist and time will move forward as it did.” Nope. “Don’t do anything to change the timeline . . . but let’s murder this dude that is basically the prime mover for all that has happened leading up to this moment BEFORE he does any of that stuff.” And then saying “you’ve got to get the stones back exactly when you took them!” I mean, I guess that’s to address the multiple realities problem of which the Ancient One spoke, but there’s also the question of the realities created because Thanos dies during Guardians of the Galaxy so what happens to the reality of Infinity War?

And as to Clint, imagine the scene on Vormir when he and Natasha are arguing about who will sacrifice themselves. Clint desperately wants to see his children, but he can’t let his best friend sacrifice herself in his place. You know there’s a part of him that wants her to do it, somewhere in the dark recesses, so that he can have his family back, but he can’t let her.

And Clint might have had an interesting take on Tony’s dilemma. Again, Clint wants his kids back, but Tony is risking his own child – they are messing with timelines and multiple realities. Again, can he sacrifice others for his own needs? Of course, not, he’s a hero, but he’s the most human of heroes, so we can certainly expect him to struggle a bit with it.