AVENGERS: ENDGAME Review
Updated: Oct 3, 2019
THE PERIL OF CONTENTION
A Review By Ben Hunter
GET TO THE POINT BEN!
Successfully turns the page and puts to rest the cinematic golden age of Marvel comics!
“For far too long we have been seduced into walking a path that did not lead us to ourselves. For far too long we have said yes when we wanted to say no. And for far too long we have said no when we desperately wanted to say yes. When we don’t listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don’t, others will abandon us.” – Terry Tempest Williams
“Commencement” … the end of one thing … the start of something new, and after a year, here we are remembering to stay true to ourselves, to have some integrity, and to do what’s right. Just as Aunt May rightly believed that “there’s a hero in all of us.”
Here we are, putting to rest the golden age of Marvel comics in the silver screen. 11 years after Nick Fury appeared in Tony Stark’s living room in the ending credits. From sunrise to sunset on this chapter, I couldn’t be more proud of what was accomplished, in a slow build up to one of the most climatic endings in the history of superhero cinema, which then phases out again as we turn the page. Speaking of Stark himself, addresses his past with Steve Rogers (Captain America), or Clint Barton (Hawkeye) comes to grips with his history with Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow). Bruce Banner uses his intellect to speak to his condition with The Hulk. All in the aftermath of Thanos. The biggest villain to ever face the Marvel Cinematic Universe who destroyed half of civilization in a finger snap. How do these relationships pan out? Is there resolution? Is Thanos too powerful? Interestingly enough, the literary source material takes on a live with your pain resolution and doesn’t fight fire with fire as you would expect in a story of the action genre. So what direction do the Russo brothers decide to take us for the moving picture? As we put to rest in Back to the Future homage, the first saga, the first step, the golden age of comics on the silver screen!
As I wasn’t surprised and felt quite validated actually to hear about news reports of people leaving theaters in tears, and us stubborn critics at that! I knew the anticipation for this one wasn’t disappointing. My respect for Captain America shot through the roof. What a man of integrity, honor, and leadership, the Superman of Marvel, what it means to be a hero! As the “putting to rest” elements kept revealing and were prevalent by the end, I found myself looking up to Cap as a kid reading a comic book, but looking back as an adult remembering how that felt and then feeling that all over again … for the first time (I basically read Batman and Spider-Man growing up). I could finally put down the emotion from Civil War as “justified” in Homecoming when Spidey’s first introduced to the MCU and fights Cap in the feud with Iron Man. As we step into this new era, there will never be another like or arguably as good as Captain America.
The same goes for Iron Man! I’d argue twice as much. But maybe that’s my personal bias, I grew up with him too and Robert Downey Jr.’s rendition solidified those admirations. He’s charismatic and suave, the comic book James Bond, the intellectual, nerdy, yet cool and light hearted Batman of Marvel. Tony’s grandstand with Thanos in the peril of contention is what broke the tear bank for me. Remembering the creation of comic reading with Cap in the end was this moment here, the reconnection of why I fell in love with the character in the first place! Why he’s one of the most popular in Marvel, and why he oh so deserves as much. I. Am. Iron Man! And I can overcome anything in the way of my ambition. Starting to tear, conjuring this up again.
I was even pleased to see the proper use of Captain Marvel. The Russo Brothers, filming Endgame before her solo adventure, knew to keep her at bay and not make her the star of the show being the new guy. We have to keep an eye out for her though, she’s very “god-like”, “almighty”, and extremely powerful. She’s no Superman, or heck, even a Shazam (the original “Captain Marvel”) who hold similar qualities. Her stoic and somewhat stale demeanor makes for something really bad or really interesting in the making, like a hurt villain. But in this age of “female empowerment”, the cheap virtue signal in the final battle of this film included, I’m sure Marvel would never go that route with this character. Interesting opportunity missed, like Rey teaming with Klyo Ren in the new Star Wars saga to go off in a middle of the road venture and not of one side or another. So we’ll have to see how this plays out in the next era of which she is a new player. Would’ve been nice to just introduce her after all this and not cram her in at the end. A lot of her dislike started from this root problem (Brie Larson’s unlikable personality and behavior amplified it all).
There were core characters for the majority of the film (the ones who survived the snap), slowly piecing the 3 hour puzzle together, so we follow a small group of heroes pulling a Marty McFly (Back to the Future) to keep the photo in focus (movie reference). So my main criticism would be I probably couldn't stomach this on an ongoing basis like the rest of the MCU, being it's 3 hours, of set ups and not so much "non stop action to make you go wow!". I guess that's the point here though. This one is meant to be different. It's turning the page. But even with a smaller group of actors to work with, it’s still a lot of information to balance. This is why spreading it out over the course of 11 years helps!
So it all still proves just how badly DC/WB screwed things up. I truly see now just how terrible Batman vs. Superman was. “Cramming things in at the end”, not developing characters before you introduce them in heavily laden exposition, poorly constructing the overall direction upon which your entire woven quilt will lay … a great representation of what not to do in the goal this was going for. Watch Endgame on what to do instead.
And boy oh boy, how will they top that?!
Action/Adventure, 181 Minutes, PG-13
Based on the Marvel Comics by: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Based on the Comic Book by: Jim Starlin
Screenplay by: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
Directed by: Anthony & Joe Russo
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, & Josh Brolin