Where the hell do I start with this review? I guess I’ll start with my initial thoughts after I saw Avengers: Endgame for the first time at a midnight screening on opening night. To be honest I wasn’t sure how to feel about the movie. Part of me left the theatres unsatisfied and borderline disappointed with what I got. As I started to play the movie over in my head again nothing changed. My feelings towards it got worse. But I felt like it was my duty to watch it again before I gave my entire thoughts. Maybe some things would change the second time round. Or maybe my initial thoughts would become solidified with that second viewing.
Honestly, viewing Avengers: Endgame a second time made all the difference for me. Just the personal viewing experience alone. I sat through that midnight screening tense and constantly on edge. My mind was going a million miles per hour with all the theories I had going into the movie. I can only speak for myself, but going in more relaxed with no pressure made me enjoy the movie a whole lot more. And even though I still have my issues with it. I found myself slowing falling in love with the movie. As I finished my second viewing I started asking myself “What the hell were you thinking when you tweeted out “the movie is just fine? Is this not everything you wanted from it?” And I hold my hands up. I’m happy to say that I couldn’t have been more wrong about Avengers: Endgame.
Given there is so much that goes on in this film it would be impossible for me to touch on every aspect. So, what I’m doing with this review is splitting it up in to three main sections which are dedicated to each act of the movie.
Act 1: Aftermath of the snap
Oddly enough, this is what I was looking forward to the most going into Endgame. We only caught a glimpse of how the Avengers reacted to the snap at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. But how would they feel/change once time had passed? For such a huge moment in the universe were they going to let the snap sit there and sink in? And boy did they. Seeing Tony like that after he returned to Earth was rough. I thought it was a great character moment. For someone that always has the answers it was heartbreaking to see him so defeated. Then I started to get concerned when the remaining Avengers went into space to kill Thanos. Although it was satisfying watching the Avengers show up to Thanos’ garden and straight up kill him I was so happy when I saw that ‘5 years later’ title appear shortly afterwards. I’ve seen a lot of people say the first act was too slow, but it was so important to me.
Seeing the Avengers lose AGAIN and hit rock bottom was needed for this movie to work. And I love how the snap impacted everyone differently. Tony gave up and focused on his family, Thor went into hiding, Cap was trying his hardest not to accept defeat and Black Widow was left to pick up the pieces with the rest of the Avengers. Oh, and Clint was in Tokyo being a straight badass. Then you have your everyday people. I really appreciated the scene of Scott Lang looking through the countless names at the memorial park. It just reinforced the impact of the snap for me. We have all witnessed this universe grow and expand over the past 20+ movies and throughout that opening act it just felt…empty.
Act 2: Quantum Realm
I remember Infinity War being described as a ‘heist movie’, but I felt that even more here with how the Quantum Realm was used to go back in time and collect the stones before Thanos. And even though I knew they were going to be revisiting major events in past movies I didn’t expect them to be interacting with previous versions of themselves. I thought it was a nice twist as it added to the already huge stakes. I loved this concept with Cap especially. As soon as he walked into that elevator I said “Oh, they’re about to do it aren’t they?!”. I didn’t get what I wanted, but the “Hail Hydra” line was a nice touch. However, for as much as I enjoyed the time travel aspect of the movie it did come with its issues. For me this is where the movie started to get muddy and kind of drag for me. It got to the point where it felt like they were trying to do too much. You start to jump from one timeline to another and one side plot to another with Thanos plotting in the background. On a second viewing it does start to make more sense, but I still felt overwhelmed by the end of the act. The whole time travel aspect has created some debate online since the release of the movie. So, I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only who has issues with it.
Act 3: Assemble
With all of the stones collected and Hulk doing the snap it was all leading to this. What a third act! It did not disappoint at all. This might be my favourite final act of any comic book movie. Captain America, Iron Man and Thor teaming up against Thanos was enough for me. And you add in Cap using Mjolnir for the first time. Oh, I was more than content. Then they took it to the next level by introducing the “dead” characters. I was blown away by the shot of Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow and Black Panther running at the end of the Infinity War trailer. The Russos really just put that shot on steroids here. Seeing every single character in the MCU charging at Thanos and his army, I was just in awe the whole time. I just noticed I haven’t spoken about Thanos much in this review so far. It just shows how crucial the gauntlet was to him. Because throughout the movie he got his ass beat. I would’ve liked to have seen him put up a better fight. Maybe take out one of the Avengers during the final conflict. But that could’ve been too much now that I think about it, because we needed to sit with Tony’s death. Plus it was so satisfying watching Scarlet Witch nearly kill him all by herself. I came to the conclusion that Infinity War was Thanos’ movie and Endgame is the Avengers’ movie.
This whole time I thought it was a given that Captain America would die in the final battle. I was so sure that Cap would die and Tony would eventually retire. I honestly didn’t think they had it in them to kill off the face of the franchise. And the way he went out was perfect too. Even when the snap happened and you see Tony laying there burnt up and barely conscious. I still didn’t think they were going to kill him. Knowing Tony I was just waiting for him to say a joke or something to break the tension. When Friday said his condition was “critical” it hit me like a ton of bricks. This is why I admire the first act so much. I loved seeing Tony as a father and for him give it all up to save everyone was beautiful. Also, Cap has questioned his selfishness since the first Avengers and for him to make the ultimate sacrifice was perfect for the character’s arc.
Now on to Captain America. If you didn’t know Captain America is my favourite MCU character. In terms of my all time favourite comic book characters he’s fourth on the list after Superman, Batman and Spider-Man. Once Tony died I thought was Cap going to stick around? Was he going to lead the next Avengers? Then I saw him preparing to go back into the Quantum Realm to put all the stones back. I knew he wasn’t coming back straight away. Again, like with Tony I thought Cap’s ending was beautiful too. He finally went and enjoyed his life for once. I know he’s a fictional character, but I was so happy for him in that moment. However, I didn’t see this movie as an ending for just Captain America and Iron Man. This was an ending for the Avengers as a whole. Or at least the original members. Tony’s dead, Cap’s retired, Black Widow’s dead and Thor gave ownership of Asgard to Valkyrie. I honestly have no complaints about any of these decisions. Nor would I change them if I had the chance. I just know then when we get that next Avengers movie way down the line, the line-up is going to look a whole lot different.
There you have it! This might be my longest review ever. If any movie deserved this much of my time it was probably Avengers: Endgame. I just had so many thoughts running through my head especially after the first viewing. Thankfully, I went for another viewing because I found myself appreciating the movie a lot more. Do I put it over Infinity War? I’m not sure yet. I might have to watch it one more time before I decide. Both Avengers Infinity war and Endgame are at the top of my MCU list. In fact they both have a spot on my all time favourite comic book movies list. Bringing in the Russo Brothers was one of the best decisions Marvel Studios has ever made. I just want to thank them for picking up the torch and giving me a beautiful ending to this saga that I have grown up with.
Avengers: Endgame 9/10
- Iron Man
- Captain America
- Hawkeye/Ant Man
Least favourite characters:
- Thor – I understand what they were trying to do with the character and how he dealt with grief/guilt. I understand people put on a brave face and laugh their way through pain, but I felt like they were being too comedic with it.