April 26, 2019—a big day for pop culture fans. Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie released a collaborative single to the confusion of Panic! At the Disco fans everywhere, and the final Avengers film was released. Like many other Marvel fans, I had my tickets booked from the moment they went on sale. I’ve been anticipating this moment since I walked out of the theatre from Infinity War, sad, angry, and confused. As the lights dimmed and a collective hush fell across the theatre, I was both nervous and excited. Would my beloved T’Challa and Shuri return? Would the Russo brothers force me to exist in a Groot-less universe? The resulting three hours were nothing like what I would have expected.
After the first 20 minutes, I genuinely wondered if everyone had been lying and if the film was not over that quickly. What seemed like the most obvious storyline played out—what was left to do but mourn the fallen? Alas, it was the unexpected (for the Avengers, not us) return of Ant-Man that spelled out the path for the rest of the film, despite being one of the more underrated members of the Avengers crew. With a combination of quantum physics and the unwavering determination of the team, a new timeline was forged that would carry the rest of the film.
For someone not as well versed in Marvel lore, like myself, there were certainly a few surprises. Without spoiling the plot, let me just say that I did not expect the Hulk to be my movie crush over Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. Even Emo Hawkeye caught my eye if I wanted to travel back to my angsty teen years. Just when I thought I had guessed the next step in the film, I was wrong. Yet the Russo Brothers are known for their ability to hide plot points the audience knows is coming from the characters themselves, resulting in the one and only predictable tension point in the film.
Given where Infinity War left off, I didn’t expect to have quite so many laughs (though Marvel is known for their great one-liners). Of course, there were still plenty of tear-jerking moments that made me very glad to have my partner beside me, holding my hand anytime I looked like I might start crying, which was often. There are very few films that I can honestly say, hand on my heart, made me feel a full range of emotions, but this was it.
After a full three hour film, there was a lot to unpack, and a week later, I still find myself thinking about the film and all the things I thought were going to happen that never did. There were certainly a few characters I expected to see more of, whose absence was understandable, yet disappointing (one such character can be found in my previous film review). The small gesture of girl power in the film was inspiring Beyoncé sing-a-longs at the time but afterward felt a bit contrived. I also have a newfound appreciation for characters like Tony Stark, Natasha, and Thor, who I never fully connected with before this film.
Endgame’s ending was bittersweet—I think most will appreciate those bestowed on Steve, Sam, and Valkyrie. Others perhaps don’t have quite the ending we thought, but were done in a way that didn’t leave too many questions unanswered. For those that didn’t have their story tied up in a neat little bow, we will just have to wait until their next installment.
We have reached the end of the collective journey of the Avengers. To the MCU, I have only this to say: I love you 3000.
And to those who would go see Endgame after reading this review, I promise you, there is no post-credit scene.
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