Avengers Endgame: Review and WTF moments. #Spoilers




We were promised a massive spectacle at the end of Phase 3 of the MCU and they delivered. Oh how they delivered. The film hits you in the feels on so many levels. The producers made a valiant effort to pay off old story arcs and further connect past films in the MCU with this finale of a story. 

You will laugh. You will cry. And you will be happy you went on this crazy ride with the characters.
There were moments where I and the rest of the audience erupted into cheers. Believe the hype. Endgame is the movie event of the season. It is definitely worth seeing on the big screen. The spectacle alone is enough to cover the price of a movie ticket.

As a fan of the MCU, as much as I enjoyed the film, I had as many fist pumping and cheering moments as I had moments that pulled me out of the story to say, “Hold on. WTF?”

SPOILERS AHEAD. 

If you don’t want to know. Don’t read on. But, if you have seen the movie, and like me walked out scratching your head as you wiped the tears from your eyes, let’s discuss.

They had a huge job to do in this film. No, not the Avengers, the movie makers. All of them. After the end of Infinity War we lost almost all our heroes. Getting them back in any sort of believable fashion was never going to be an easy thing. The writers and producers had to make the journey worthy enough to appease the fans. That meant changing the plot structure of the movie to not only set up but also pay off the end we demanded.

Rather than the traditional 3 acts, we got 4.
Let’s break them down.  

Catch Up And Lets Go Kill Thanos
We are introduced at a break neck pace to the team (what’s left of them) in various states of disarray.  Hawkeye during the snap, losing his family was heart wrenching. Tony and Nebula adrift in space, felt hopeless. But then, appearing like Tinkerbelle in space, Captain Marvel appears, with no rhyme or reason to carry them home. For a character that had only been introduce in her own film months prior, the movie producers chose to bring her in deus ex machina style with no explanation of how or why she was there. The same applies to her later appearances as well in this movie. They just tossed her in for effect. A big disservice to the character in my opinion. But, whatever, she brings Tony and Nebula home to the rest of the broken team of original 6 Avengers and Rocket.
From there it was a mad rush to do what they said they would in the trailers. Assemble and Kill Thanos. But of course that couldn’t work. We’re still only 30 minutes into a three-hour spectacle. It had to fail. And fail it did. The title transition to what I’m calling Act two was well done. Each word coming across the scene like the fall of a hammer, signaling their doom.
Five. Years. Later.


We’re Getting The Team Back Together For A Time Heist
Overplayed their hand a bit with Captain America and Peggy Carter missed romance. It was a callback to earlier Captain America solo films but he’s long since stopped brooding this hard. Maybe the writers felt that in the wake of the snap he might return to his old brooding way, but to me the constant reminder of Peggy Carter in this film felt forced and definitely foreshadowed his end.
The actual plan of the Time Heist would never have happened if not for a rat crawling across the control panel of the van? That stole a lot of the thunder from Infinity War’s Doctor Strange saying he saw only one way for them to win. Really? He saw one reality where a rat happened to tip toe across the right buttons to reactivate the quantum tunnel in the van and spit Ant Man back out? I feel like that was a little lazy on their part. As a fan I wanted to see Tony or Banner actually figure out how to get Ant Man out. That would still lead them to the same conclusion, the Time Heist, without it feeling like it was a fluke. They stole their own thunder there.
Speaking of Thunder. We have to talk about Thor or should I call him, The Dude? Others may not have enjoyed his tribute to the Big Lebowski, but I loved it. Especially when Rocket tried to slap some sense into him. They played him for laughs but I think they had to in order to mellow out the drama.
Cap and Tony had their drama for sure. And that I’m glad they kept short. They had no reason to bicker when the universe needed them. They had a few scenes and then buttoned it up, thank goodness.
This bit of the film was extremely enjoyable as they took us on a trip down memory lane to collect the time stones from alternate time lines. Total fan service here. Great cameos. But when you add time into the equation, you have to get it right or we end up giving your fans more questions than answers, and it was here I started having issues with the film’s believability. More on that below.

Great Battle
This was the climax we all wanted, and the spectacle that had everyone in the audience cheering. Stones collected, gauntlet made, ready to snap, and just as we think we have won…Thanos arrives with a bang for round two. The audience was left in that awesome place between excitement and dread, happy and sad, with anticipation keeping them glued to their seats. For a solid 40 minutes this act brought us on a roller coaster ride. Having to follow so many characters, the battle was cut quickly between key Avengers doing their thing as only they can. We see every hero show up in their glory. All of them fighting together, shouting their battle cry as they charge and equally impressive army of Thanos.

Long Goodbye
I knew it was coming. Not all characters could make it. The stakes had to feel real or the movie couldn’t deliver on the full spectrum of emotions. The 3rd snap sees our greatest hero fall, and they take their time in paying proper respect to the fallen, as they give us the Tolkien end of closing each of the other important character’s current story arc. This was done at a nice pace considering it went longer past the end than normal MCU movies dare. It effectively gave us our end credit scenes without making us sit through the music and walls of text. It also served to give the audience enough time to mop up their faces before walking out of the theater after their good ugly cry.

FUNNY MOMENTS

The Big Lebowski
Picking on Thor for putting on more than a little weight. They have firmly committed to Thor being a comedic character, and allowing him to go the whole movie as Fat Thor aka The Dude, really kept his character light.

Professor Hulk Shirt
When they return to the battle of New York. Hulk is embarrassed seeing his prior, half naked self, and bemoans the gratuitous pulling off his shirt to go pretend to fight. Too funny.  

“That’s America’s Ass.”
Yes. Yes it is. Nuff said.

Star Lord’s Dancing like no one is watching.
They paid off the opening of GOTG1 going back to the moment Star Lord takes the stone, but instead of his triumphant song and dance to victory, we get to see it from the other side, watching the ridiculous karaoke and actually cheering when he gets knocked out before he can really get singing.  


INCONSISTENCIES

As I said above, when you do time travel, you have to get it right or you leave your audience wondering how rather than just enjoying what has been laid out in front of them.
Here’s a list of my top WTF moments and Questions. If you have more, be sure to post them in the comments.

Cap with Mjolnir – Coolest moment, audience cheering. But it creates a possible continuity error for the MCU. Cap can pick it up and swing it, sure but why was he able to wield the lightning? The hammer was a conduit for Thor’s power. The power did not come from it, as per Thor Ragnarok.

Captain Marvel gets the gauntlet. Why did she not escape to space until there was an all-clear with the gauntlet instead of taking it straight to Thanos on her way to the Van?
I get that they needed to get the stones back to their time, but just throwing it into the van wasn’t going to do it. It allowed for the second snap to happen eventually but basically returned the damn thing to Thanos in the process.

Cap left with Mjolnir when he went to return the stones to their time, but never returned with it. Where did it go? No one specifically said that it was part of his mission to return that as well.

So, Steve went back and returned the stones. Fine. But he never came back to present time. That leaves him in a time where there are 2 Steve Rogers existing in the same place; one is frozen and one with Peggy.

Also, if Cap returned the soul stone shouldn’t he have gotten the soul back that was sacrifice for it? Wouldn’t that get us Black Widow back? Why is this not addressed at all?

Where did Valkyrie get the Pegasus? Asgard was destroyed and those don’t exist on earth. We can’t explain it as they were returned in snap 2 because that was still after the destruction of Asgard. So, cool as they were, having them appear out of nowhere felt really Deus Ex Machina.

So, they were in possession of the Time stone before sending it home and after the 3rd snap. Safe. Battle won. Yay! Why couldn’t they have had Doctor Strange use the time stone to reverse the damage on Tony's body after he used the gauntlet?

Where is Gamora? Did she get caught up in Snap 3? Did she escape somewhere? They just left her character ambiguous.

Also, while we are on the subject of what happens to characters, let’s address the kids. Peter Parker goes back to school after being returned by snap 2. This is 5 years later, and yet, he and his friends are still there, still the same age? How is this possible? Are we to believe everyone in his school got snapped? If so, that’s really lazy writing.


All my curmudgeoning aside, I did really enjoy the film. It delivered on its promise to provide an ending to this phase of the MCU and opened up doors for some characters to continue on post snap with their own adventures.

What did you think of this movie? I want to hear your thoughts.

2 comments:

Joshua R. said...

I cannot believe that Captain would return on the same timeline as the other Avengers as an old man. He is in a separate timeline. But also, his super soldier serum slows the negative effects of aging. While we know he will age to some extent, estimates were he could live to be almost 250 years old. We know he was frozen in ice, but Bucky was not...and he was not an old man from the 1940s to the present day.

Katie Salidas said...

Very good point on the aging issue. Another to add to the WTF section, Joshua!