‘Avengers: Endgame’ Finishes On a High Note
For 11 years now, we’ve been following the movies of Marvel Studios, each one adding to the growing mythology that all lead to Avengers: Endgame. From the very first Iron-Man film to the recent Captain Marvel, each of the 22 films related to each other and now we’re coming to an end of an era. Oh sure, there’s still plenty of Marvel stories to be told (Spider-Man Far From Home comes out July 2), but this is the last one to feature a cameo of Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee and one of the few that doesn’t feature an extra scene at the end of the credits. Even if we have another Avengers movie, it will look decidedly different. You can only go so long with such a huge cast.
The movie opens with a nice scene with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) showing his daughter how to shoot a bow and arrow during a family picnic. He looks away for a moment and suddenly his family is gone with only a little red dust blowing in the wind, a reminder of how things ended during Infinity War. Villain Thanos (Josh Brolin) had collected all of the infinity stones, snapped his fingers and half of humanity turned to powder.
The other remaining Avengers (Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, War Machine, Okoye, Nebula, Rocket along with new member Captain Marvel) are bent on finding Thanos and taking him down once and for all, but of course it doesn’t quite go as planned.
Five years later, Natasha (Scarlet Johansson) is now leading The Avengers, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is leading a support group for people who have lost loved ones, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is living the life he always wanted in a remote cabin with Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) and their young daughter, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is drowning his sorrows in beer and Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) has embraced his mean green side.
Meanwhile, Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man (who at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp was on a secret mission in microscopic form) comes back to full size without any knowledge of what happened to the world while he was away. After meeting up with the Avengers he shares a wild idea of time traveling to bring back everyone in the world they lost.
The idea is fairly simple on paper – all they need to do is go back in time to grab the infinity stones before Thanos nabbed them and snap their own fingers. Similar to Back to the Future 2, what follows are a few favorite scenes from the past films with the “future” characters interacting with some of the characters of the past including one memorable showdown between two Captain Americas.
Much like Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame (which is three hours long) is probably longer than it needs to be. The action takes a back seat to a lot of dialogue. It is probably the talkiest movie in the franchise, but I really didn’t mind. A lot of the character’s story arcs came to a satisfying end giving each a proper send off. The film also features one of the largest casts ever bringing back just about every Marvel character in the previous 21 films in one form or another. Granted, some are only cameo roles and if you blink, you’ll miss them. Some who had large roles in the last movie have little to do here. This list includes Don Cheadle, Chadwick Boseman, Brie Larson, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, Zoe Saldana, Evangeline Lilly, Tessa Thompson, Rene Russo, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Letitia Wright, John Slattery, Tilda Swinton, Jon Favreau, Hayley Atwell, Natalie Portman, Marisa Tomei, Angela Bassett, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, William Hurt, Cobie Smulders, Winston Duke, Linda Cardellini, Maximiliano Hernandez, Frank Grillo, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, James D’Arcy, Jacob Batalon, Robert Redford, Chris Pratt, Samuel L. Jackson and the voices of Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Taika Waititi.
As a family-friendly film, Endgame shares important messages about the importance of family, friendship, forgiveness, sacrifice, looking out for others and on and on and on. While it is refreshing to not hear a sing “F bomb” throughout the entire PG-13 film, the movie more that makes up for it with a bunch of equally offensive “S bombs.” (Apparently Hollywood thinks some swear words are more offensive than others.) Still, Endgame ends on a high note showing once again how a story about grown adults in superhero costumes can be shown to inspire and even shed a few tears from audiences of all ages.