Avengers Endgame Review
With the enormity of the conclusion from last year’s instalment in the Avengers franchise, Infinity War, the Russo brothers had their work cut out for them. How could they provide an ending that would be satisfying to fans without selling out the story and providing a cookie-cutter happy ending? In the cinema, the atmosphere was electric and throughout the entire three hour film, not one person left the theatre.
Captain Marvel saves the day on multiple occasions, literally saving Iron Man and Nebula’s lives by finding their spaceship, which is floating dead in the water in the nothingness of space.
Then five years go by.
The Avengers have mostly disbanded – Captain America is running a help group where survivors discuss their inability to move on; Black Widow runs the Avengers site; Captain Marvel abandons Earth to save other planets; Thor has become an alcoholic; Iron Man has become a recluse – and none of them can let go of the devastation they were unable to stop. The sense of hopelessness and sorrow is rife.
The first hour is somewhat slow-going with the surviving Avengers coping with the events from Infinity War, putting plans into place, spit-balling potential solutions, repairing broken relationships and putting absolutely everything on the line to make it work. Eventually, it is the resurgence of Ant-Man that brings the idea for time travel. The Avengers work out that if they return to the past and obtain the infinity stones, they can bring back all of those who have been lost.
Captain America, Black Widow and Ant-Man all locate Iron Man, the one man they believe has the smarts to bring their time travel dream into a reality. The issue is that Iron Man still has not forgiven Captain America for the events in Civil War. There’s also the fact that he and Pepper now have a daughter.
The newly cohesive Bruce Banner/Hulk provides an alternate version of time travel, one which is not entirely successful. Luckily, Tony Stark has solved the calculations and promises Captain America that they will do whatever it takes to get the lost people back, but not at the risk of losing what has been gained.
It was clear that this film would include the permanent loss of beloved characters. Black Widow was the least likely and yet was the first to go. Throughout the whole series of films, we have constantly been reminded that Natasha Romanoff has no family, she has no home, there is no one who would miss her; in search of the soul stone, her sacrifice in the place of Clint is one of the most emotional aspects of the entire film and, whilst making sense, is a tough pill to swallow.
In Infinity War, after taking out Loki, Thanos declares there are “no resurrections this time”. Endgame cleverly provides a way out for Marvel’s favourite Trickster through Iron Man and Ant-Man’s failed attempt to retrieve the tesseract from the past. Loki grabs it and vanishes. Something tells me that we have not seen the last of Loki.
The introduction of time travel and the 2014 version of Nebula, brings the pre-snap version of Thanos, Gamora and Nebula directly to the Avengers – moving nine years into the future. All of Thanos’ pawns, the enemies from previous movies, are unleashed upon the Avengers in one fell swoop.
The Return of Many Things
One of the stars of Endgame is Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton. The opening scene is devastating and, whilst predictable, the disappearance of Clint’s entire family leads him down a dark pathway. In Endgame, he plays an epically important role bringing him, for the first time, to the forefront of the Avengers. Entrusted with the gauntlet, attempting to keep it from Thanos and all of the other enemies on the battlefield, his agility and endurance as well as his excellent marksmanship is on full display. Unfortunately, the gauntlet appears to be almost drawn to Thanos like a magnet – there is a sense of inevitability.
The return of Mjolnir allowed for an exciting development reining from Avengers: Age of Ultron when the other members of the Avengers wished to test their worthiness by lifting Thor’s hammer. In that scene, Captain America managed to make it budge, just a little. In a time of hopelessness, in going up against Thanos, Captain America’s worthiness became apparent when he was able to wield Mjolnir, which drew a victorious “I knew it!” from Thor.
When all is said and done, all seems lost: Thanos has his hands on the gauntlet, the infinity stones prominently glowing. Iron Man makes one last ditch effort to grab the gauntlet from Thanos’ arm only for Thanos to swat him away. Then there’s the finger snap. But nothing happens. During their struggle, Iron Man’s nanotech manages to pry each of the stones from the gauntlet giving him a gauntlet of his own.
A Sombre Ending to Endgame
In a heroic moment of self-sacrifice, through harnessing the power of the stones, Iron Man clicks his fingers and wipes out each and every enemy on the battlefield. Iron Man is not made to weld an infinity stone, let alone six of them, and what follows is one of the most heart wrenching moments from any Marvel movie. Spiderman’s desperate pleas of “Mr Stark, we won” ensured there is not a dry eye in the house.
One of the sweetest moments is Captain America’s end. He doesn’t go out swinging on the battle field, instead he uses the time travel technology to return to his true love, Peggy Carter – living out his life a happily married man. Old and grey, he bequeaths his shield to Falcon, allowing for a new age of Captain America.
Avengers: Endgame is a superb conclusion to Marvel’s incredible cinematic adventure. The nostalgic round up of the original Avengers provides plenty of humour, plenty of emotion and a whole lot of tears. The torch being passed from the old to the new generation of Avengers is uplifting and provides a great platform for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Avengers: Endgame is available now on DVD.
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