Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, obviously
April 24, 2019, the premiere of Avengers: Endgame, was the day we were all waiting for. I knew people that booked tickets weeks ahead of time and planned to wake up in the early hours of the morning to catch their showing—it was kind of a madhouse, but it was a madness that I understood.
Endgame was, after all, to be the culmination of 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Russo Brothers, Marvel Studios, Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and everyone on and off the camera could not fail; it wasn’t an option—and it was fortunately not in the books, either.
And now that I’ve been on this high for more than a week, it’s time to finally talk about it. Need it be said that there are spoilers ahead? Look away if you haven’t seen it; you’re not allowed here (yet).
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Avengers: Endgame begins somber, following Thanos’ controversial snap that wiped out half of the universe’s population. Our remaining heroes try to rally together—amidst self-doubt, fear and desperation—in order to bring everyone back. And let’s just say that while they aren’t who we remember, they are who we should expect.
The OG Avengers’ Arc
Captain America no longer has that perpetual hop in his step. His “We can do this together” mantra has shifted to a more distressed “We need to do this; this needs to work.” Iron Man, once back with his team and Pepper Potts, is quite literally a shell of his former self. He’s hopeless and wants nothing to do with the Avengers initiative. Black Widow, who has always wrongly been pegged as a follower, becomes the foundation for everyone else to hold on to. And Hawkeye, to put it simply, has gone rogue.
They’re all great character arcs that humanize these people who have cemented themselves in our lives—but I did leave out Thor and the Hulk for a reason. In my opinion (and you’re free to respectfully disagree), Thor was chosen as the cheap comic relief. My Asgardian King didn’t deserve to be turned into the token overweight drunk. And save for the moment that he had with his mother, there was no real saving him. And the sudden introduction of Professor Hulk? Kind of half-assed, if you ask me.
But if sacrifices had to be made, my personal biases agree with the ones that were offered.
That Goddamn Storyline
I’m just going to say it: the story telling of Avengers: Endgame is a goddamn masterpiece. The way it ties up loose ends and goes back and over and in between older movies is so intelligent that this MCU-fan (read: not comic nerd) still has no complaints. Yes, the pacing at the beginning could have been quicker and yes, there were dull moments in between the action, but you barely notice this because every scene is seemingly pivotal.
What happens on screen was so intelligently crafted that even the painful moments are something we as an audience just have to gratefully accept. There is no time and space for a real argument as you watch it all unfold because each piece of the puzzle fits perfectly.
You are left on your seat, an emotional wreck one moment and your triumphant fist in the air the next, and you are thankful for the roller coaster of a ride that the movie has you on. And what I would have given to be in that room as the script was created, thrown away, edited, burned, re-written and finally approved? I couldn’t even tell you.
Those scenes that made me weep
Some real spoilers coming your way, but these are the things that need to be discussed.
When Nat literally fought Clint so that he could keep his life and still get the Soul Stone, it felt like I was saying goodbye to an older sister I was just beginning to get to know. When Tony fumbled his way around and finally found his footing with Howard Stark, I couldn’t help but smile.
But the biggest moments happened during that climactic fight scene. When Captain America wielded Mjolnir, I couldn’t help but curse in happiness. And when he was going to give everything he had left, with Thor and Tony defeated around him, I was ready to close my eyes. But then Doctor Strange’s portals started to open and all the fallen Avengers came back with literally thousands of backup, there was no time to relax.
When everyone played a game of American football to get the gauntlet as far away from Thanos as possible, I was worried. But when Spider-Man entrusted the same to Captain Marvel, and the women of the MCU assured they would take care of her, my little feminist self knew it would be okay. And, of course, there was this exchange of lines that I’m likely to always remember:
I am inevitable.
And I am…Iron Man.
What we’re left with
The Marvel Cinematic Universe as we’ve come to know and love is finished. We’re entering the next phase with new faces donning the same weapons and roles and with some goodbyes still ringing in our ears. We can theorize all we want, plan out the next steps in our heads, but if Marvel Studios has proven anything, it’s that they’re always capable of better.
I hope I never see the day that they prove me wrong.
Art Alexandra Lara