The end of an era for your heroes.
Avengers: Endgame has finally arrived. For those who have not seen the movie, beware. This review is filled with spoilers. I repeat, this is a spoiler HEAVY review and analysis of the latest Avengers film. Continue at your own risk
Joe and Anthony Russo created a masterpiece with Infinity War. Overall, Endgame was an excellent superhero film, but Infinity War had a better narrative. Endgame's action was ridiculously entertaining and the acting was some of the strongest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date. Major plot holes leave big questions in the film though. The film begins with the heroes attempting to right their defeat, but failing to find a viable solution. Thor kills Thanos, and life continues on crippled in half.
Five years later, we find our heroes struggling to cope. The main timeline exists in 2024 now. We see Ant-Man appear from the Quantum Realm, and he deduces that time travel is the key. He convinces the protagonists that time travel using the Quantum Realm is possible, and after a little bit of pushback, Tony agrees to help Hulk build a time machine. Cap, Iron-Man, Ant-Man, and Hulk (who is a mix of Banner’s intelligence and Hulk’s strength making him Professor Hulk) head to 2012 New York to get the Time, Space, and Mind Stones. Hawkeye (who became a murderous vigilante called Ronin after losing his family in the snap) and Black Widow head to Vormir in 2014 to grab the Soul Stone before Thanos gets it. Nebula and War Machine head to Morag in 2014 as well, to grab the Power Stone before Star-Lord gets it (as seen in Guardians of the Galaxy). Lastly, Thor (with a dangerous dad bod) and Rocket Racoon head to Asgard in 2013 to get the Reality Stone.
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Hulk grabs the Time Stone from the Ancient One at the Sanctum Santorum, and she warns him that all the stones must be replaced where and when they were taken in order to satiate the time stream. In fact, the Ancient One, Tony Stark, and Hulk all state at separate occasions that any variations could create new timelines. In the film, it is stated that if you travel to the past and create a new future, technically your old future is now your past and you have created a new timeline that is unknown. Keep that in mind, because that along derails Captain America's ending.
Death was more final in Endgame than Infinity War. Black Widow sacrifices her life on Vormir so that Ronin can get the Soul Stone, which was an emotional moment that felt used. We just saw Gamora die in the same way, and to the same exact music too, in Infinity War. It was a tear-jerker, but still, it felt like an old trick. Soon after, everyone returns to the future with their stones, but past Thanos learns of their plot and sends Nebula into the future as a spy.
This is where things get tricky. If each Avenger had enough juice for one round trip (except Cap and Iron-Man who went and found more in the 70s), Thanos would not have enough Pym Particles to time travel with his whole army, assuming Nebula used them to head to the future herself as a spy. We can assume that Nebula acquired more Pym Particles somehow, after making her jump to the future. When future Hulk combines the re-acquired stones in a new gauntlet and "snaps" all those who died back into existence, you would think the heroes won. Somehow though, past Nebula is able to bring Thanos and his entire ship and army through the time machine. Past Thanos arrives in the future and destroys the Avengers base and the final battle begins.
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When Cap picks up Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, and used it to fight Thanos, it sent the theater in hysterics. This is an epic battle, the best the MCU has ever displayed. The CGI was a bit much, but expected. When the fallen heroes join the fight, it truly becomes the most amazing superhero battle scene ever created. At the end of the battle, Iron-man gives his life, using the gauntlet to snap away Thanos and his army. Since he was the first to start the MCU, it makes sense that his story came full circle and he died to save the universe. After the fight concludes, Captain America is tasked with returning all the stones to their rightful place in time, along with Mjolnir. When Cap goes back in time though, he doesn't return. This is where things get funky again.
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Cap goes back in time and it is implied he married Peggy Carter and lives a normal life. He appears as an old man to Falcon and Winter Soldier. As romantic as this seems, it doesn't make any sense. If Cap stayed in the past and altered the timeline by marrying Peggy, he would have created a new timeline, according to the rules stated earlier by Hulk, Tony, and the Ancient One. If Cap married Peggy it would negate her entire tv series (which was on ABC), and also makes the specifics of Captain America: Civil War blurry. How did Cap stay in the past and just allow HYRDA to torture and use his best friend Bucky as an assassin for decades while he just laid up with Peggy? The entire ending was a fail, on that regard. Cap broke the time rules Endgame tried so hard to set up for the whole film. Unless the writers wanted to purposely show that the Ancient One and Hulk had no idea what they were talking about. Cap, who is known for never giving up, sat back through the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90,s and 00s and watched the horrible events of the world unfold but ignored it to be in love. That is a massive change from his established personality. Although that is possible, it's highly unlikely. Cap's ending is emotionally fulfilling, but the dynamics of it create a plot hole.
Endgame is an amazing movie and a spectacle to behold. Fan service is abundant (the scene with all the ladies battling Thanos is amazing). Seeing Black Panther reappear first and lead an army against Thanos was also dope. The battle was perfect, and the acting was the strongest of the MCU. Still, the dynamics of the time travel left too much to be interpreted. Where is Loki now? Is that timeline different now? How are Peter Parker's classmates still in high school five years into the future? How did future Nebula kill past Nebula without then erasing herself? Why is the Hulk doing the dab in 2024? It is possible phase 4 will introduce the multi-verse, a quick way to re-establish and clean up any timeline drama. That is where I believe we are heading in the next decade of Marvel films. Endgame is massive and amazing, and the pros far outweigh the cons. Just invest your heart into it, and not your mind. I loved it 3000.