Marvel delivers an epic, emotional finale for the Infinity Saga.
For someone who isn't a huge comic book fan, I seem to be spending a lot of time reviewing comic book movies lately. Go figure.
Then again, if all comic book movies were as awesome as Endgame, I would probably like them more.
In some ways, it's not really fair to compare Endgame to other comic movies. The film has more in common with the series finale of MASH than it does Spiderman: Homecoming. We've had ten years for these storylines to unfold and to get invested in these characters.
It was no accident that all six of the original Avengers survived Thanos' snap. This is their story, which removes a lot of the clutter that plagued Infinity War. The focus—and the crazy-long run-time—lets the film really go deep with the characters, their reactions to the snap, and their relationships with each other. Each of the six core cast members gets their moment in the sun, and a fitting resolution to their individual ten-year story arc.
From an acting and story perspective, the movie knocks it out of the park. I hope it gets a well-deserved Best Picture nomination.
There were a few things I wanted to ramble about in detail.
The Captain Marvel Situation
I did not want to see Captain Marvel in Endgame.
Don't get me wrong - I really enjoyed Captain Marvel and look forward to more stories featuring her. Just not this one.
Bringing an over-powered ringer in at the 11th hour is just lame storytelling. It would be like having Superman suddenly turn up in the second half of Dark Knight Rises to help save the day, usurping Batman's story in the process.
I get that they needed somebody with a spaceship to rescue Iron Man and get the gang to Thanos for the first section of the movie. But then the movie then needed to trip over itself to keep her out of the way until she turned up again at the end. It was like a double deus ex machina. Awkward.
The Black Widow Situation
Much has been written about the controversial nature of Black Widow's sacrifice. I'm conflicted about it myself.
On the one hand, it does suck that they chose to kill off the continually-underutilized Natasha—the sole woman among the original Avengers—just as she was coming into her own as a leader. It's also more than little uncomfortable that both of the trips to get the Soul Stone resulted in the death of a central female character.
On the other hand, I really loved the way the film brought the Hawkeye/Black Widow friendship to the forefront. Platonic friendships don't get enough screen time in Hollywood. From their excitement at going into space ("This is a long way from Budapest") to seeing them fighting each other to save each other, they got to have a beautiful adventure together.
I think ultimately it would have been narratively unsatisfying if Hawkweye had gone over the edge—a pat resolution that let him off the hook for the Ronin stuff and robbed Black Widow of her own agency in deciding her fate. She sacrificed herself to save her BFF and save the world. That's not such a bad thing.
The Peggy Resolution
Anyone who's read this blog for awhile knows that I was a huge fan of Agent Carter, so I was quite pleased to see Peggy turn up in the 1970's SHIELD office. I wish we could have gotten to see the actual reunion between Peggy and Steve, but Steve finally getting that dance was a perfect resolution to their story.
(Also, Peggy is Captain America in some comic somewhere? Huh. Things I learned.)
That Girl Power Moment
In Infinity War, when the villain girl corners Wanda, and then Black Widow and Okoye turn up to save her? That was a bit of fangirl-service, but it still worked narratively. I enjoyed the badass girls backing each other up.
The scene in Endgame where all the female characters assemble to back up Captain Marvel—no matter where they were on the giant battlefield thirty seconds earlier, and no matter who they would logically be fighting alongside? That was some epically stupid levels of pandering right there. It was just Marvel patting itself on the back as if to say, "Look how diverse we are!" After the way that the Marvel films have been shoving womens' stories to the back burner for a decade, it certainly wasn't earned.
It was also completely unnecessary, because we already got to see the ladies kicking butt. Captain Marvel and Wanda going toe-to-toe with Thanos? Valkyrie flying around taking down those big worm-things? Pepper turning up unexpectedly in her Rescue suit? There was plenty of Girl Power on screen already; they didn't need to beat people over the head with it.
Other Things I Loved
- Visiting all the old Avengers adventures was neat, even if I didn't catch most of the in-jokes.
- Cap getting to use Thor's hammer. Awesome.
- Nebula and Gamora - always nice to see sisters on-screen.
- "That is America's ass." LOLOLOLOLOL
- Princess Power:
- Bechdel Test: Pass
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