Summary: After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe.
I have worked on this review for a while now. It was hard to really write it without spoiling it. I haven’t decided if I’ll do a spoiler talk or not, but this review is going to be for me to get out my initial thoughts and feelings.
Cast and Characters.
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man. We know who Tony is. We’ve known him for ten years now and he has become such a staple in the MCU. He is the benefactor of the Avengers and he creates his suits of armor to become Iron Man. In this film, Tony is in a dark place, he’s with Nebula in space after the Snap in the last film. He feels broken because he failed to stop Thanos, plus with the fact that Peter faded away in his arms, he’s lost all hope. Obviously, he does make it back home though and he has found hope in the dark times, but he just cannot help himself but to help the rest of his team in trying to reverse what Thanos did. Tony has always been willing to do what he thinks needs to be done, and in this movie, he has his reasons for everything he does. I love that we have seen Tony evolve over the last 10 years. It’s been amazing, and no one can play him the way Robert Downey Jr. has. He has managed to make, at least for me, Tony likable in situations that I would not find him likable. He’s made him emotional when he needs to be, cool, suave but someone who has a vision for himself, someone who has hope for what things could be. He has been a great character. Love him or hate him.
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America. He is the leader of the Avengers and of course a WWII vet and a super soldier. We start off with him wanting to find where Thanos disappeared too because of what he has done. It’s important to Steve that they at least find him and take him down. As the film goes on, we see him continue to be a beacon of hope for some people as he runs a group in a church of people who are still affected by the Snap. I mean, people lost their loved ones, so it makes sense that he would try to help others move forward with their lives and fight for hope. I love that he’s doing that because that’s what he stood for as Captain America and that’s just who Steve is. I like that this is where we find him in this film. Not to mention, he’s battling with that himself. Someone who’s been optimistic and believes in saving people without risking lives, someone who has gone to bat for everyone all the time, he knows they must do it again because it just can’t be the end. Steve is such a strong and good man and I have always loved that his values have never been shaken. His belief system is part of who he is and that’s what makes him so compelling. He’s not just a boy scout but a man who searches for the best and fights for it too. Chris Evans has been great as Steve and I have always liked Evans, and I love that he plays Steve as someone who has always been a good man, but as the movies continue, he continues to fight for that every day. You can see it in the quiet moments he has. Ugh I just love him. Cap is my favorite and Evans is my favorite Chris lol. PLUS, IN THIS MOVIE HE ALMOST MADE ME COME OUT OF MY SEAT TWICE! Good reasons but I had to collect myself lol.
Chris Hemsworth as Thor. He is the King of Asgard, per his third movie. He now wields Stormbreaker, a mystical axe after his hammer was destroyed. The Snap seems to have affected Thor the most as he feels like he failed in not going for the head, or even cutting Thanos’ arm off. He had the axe created because he knew he needed something to help in the fight, but he believes people died because of him and it clearly still affects him. Without giving away where he stands in this film because it’s a great reveal, Thor must learn along the way that he is still worthy, he is still a hero and he still can do what needs to be done because he is needed. Hemsworth is extremely likable as Thor, especially in these last three movies. His character development, physically and everything else has been a great move for him. Makes him much more compelling and interesting as I never really cared for him as much as I do now. I really like Thor’s journey in the film, and I’m very interested to see what happens going forward.
Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk. Without giving too much away of what he’s doing since he’s not in any of the trailers lol, Bruce has managed to find a balance in his life that works for him. He basically does conclude his character arc that was started in Thor: Ragnarök and it’s been nice to see him have more to do than just be a brain and a Hulk. He gets to do another nuanced performance like what he could do in the Thor film. Mark Ruffalo is so likable in this role.
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow. I think overall, she’s underutilized in the film, but she makes some choices in the film that brings her character full circle. I’m still not happy about them but she does make the choices that make sense in the end, I guess. I’ve never really liked Johansson as an actress, but I like her enough as Natasha. I like the friendly chemistry she has with both Evans and Renner and I think her character has become extremely instrumental in what we have seen. She’s been such a key component that her choices really seem to spur some moments later. I really like the scene after she checks in with other characters and she has this silent moment to herself. That’s probably some of her best character moments and acting.
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye. Another underutilized character even with the moments he’s had where he’s been great. He is a master archer and a former Avenger after the events of Captain America: Civil War. He lost his family in The Snap, so he has taken on the mantle of “Ronin”, someone who is basically wandering around lost because he wants to avenge his family but can’t, so he takes it out on thugs and what not. I like that this is where he is because he’s always been a cool-headed kind of guy, so it’s nice to see him in a dark place that he must fight against. Jeremy Renner is great in the role and I really like the chemistry he has with ScarJo in particular. They have many great scenes together.
Bradley Cooper as Rocket. He is the only surviving member of the Guardians. I love Rocket, he’s my favorite Guardian and he’s really sad because he’s lost the only family he’s ever known, especially Groot. Even though he’s a CGI character, he is very expressive. Between Sean Gunn posing for him and Bradley Cooper doing his voice, he’s such a great character. He works with the Avengers because he was with them on Wakanda obviously and he wants to get his family back just as much as the others want their loved ones back as well. He gets teamed up with Thor again on their mission and I really like them working together, they have great banter and Rocket gets a lot of nuggets of wisdom while speaking with Thor as well.
Karen Gillan as Nebula. Surprisingly enough, Nebula is a character who has grown on me a lot in the films she’s been in and she has a nice juicy role in this film. Obviously with Thanos being her adopted father and then the whole thing with Gamora, she knows a lot and is very helpful to the Avengers. She has a lot that she gets to do in this film, she’s working with them to avenge her sister, she’s working with them because I also believe she and Tony made a friendship connection while stuck in the ship in Space. Nebula has had the chance to make certain choices that allow for her character to really mature. Karen Gillan is great, I love the voice she has for the character and some of the emotional moments she gets throughout the film are handled well.
Paul Rudd as Scott Lang / Ant-Man. Following the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Scott comes back from the Quantum Realm and he’s missed everything that happened, so he’s coming into it brand new. He’s almost the audience members who might have forgotten what happened in Infinity War (if that’s you, what’s wrong with you?) as he gets to learn everything and be affected by it after the fact. I really like Scott, he’s just a cool guy and he’s very funny. I love how he reacts to things. Paul Rudd is a likable dude and Scott is endearing because of it. Also, their mission they go on in this film is Scott’s idea, so he gets to be super involved because he works it out himself before he takes it to Steve and Natasha.
Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine. He is a former Officer in the Air Force and he gets to do more in this film as well. Rhodey gets teamed up with Nebula during their mission and while we don’t spend a ton of time with them during their mission, they worked well together, surprisingly lol. Rhodey is always fine, he’s likable but he’s always just felt like Tony’s best friend who is the token black guy and he ways, he still feels that way, but I like that he gets to be more incorporated and he always manages to find humor in the situation even if he’s not trying to funny on purpose. Don Cheadle is always a win and he’s still good as Rhodey.
Supporting Characters. So, I really needed to separate the two brackets because we have the ones who are directly involved, and you have others who are sprinkled throughout the film.
Brie Larson as Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel. They really made it seem like she was going to be heavily involved and spoiler alert, she’s not. I’m sure some people will be happy about that apparently a lot of people don’t like her. But whatever. Anyways, Carol shows up after receiving the distress call from Fury during the end credit scene of Infinity War. If you watch her movie, you’ll see why she came when he called. She helps them in the beginning but then must return to space because there are other planets who are suffering as Earth is and she is someone who can help with that lol. I like Carol and I like Brie Larson as Carol and I like that she pops in when she’s needed and that she just gets integrated into the team.
Danai Gurira as Okoye. I was a little miffed that she is also not in the film much even though she’s on the poster and was in the trailers, but anyway, after the disappearance of T’Challa and whoever else in Wakanda, it seems that she has taken on the role of “leader” in their disappearance. She has a great entrance later in the film.
Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia “Pepper” Potts. She is Tony’s boo and, in this film, she’s with the Avengers while they’re trying to find Tony and then she and Tony manage to find a little slice of heaven in their corner of the world. I like Pepper and Tony’s relationship. She never takes any of his crap and always calls him out on his. I like her involvement as well.
Josh Brolin as Thanos. He is an intergalactic despot from Titan who collected the six Infinity Stones to inflict his will on all of reality. He’s retired because he did it. We get to see Thanos a bit more in the film than I expected and he’s still an interesting villain but he’s much more compelling in Infinity War lol. Josh Brolin still does a great job for him though.
Emotional Moments and Overall. Ya’ll I cried both times I saw this film. I cried harder the second time, but listen, it almost took me out and in a different way than Infinity War did. There is a lot of silent moments in the film that really allow us to sit with the characters in the aftermath of the Snap and how they have.
A Beautiful Ending. One of the biggest praises I think this film can receive is the fact that it manages to wrap up so many story lines and character arcs we have followed for ten years over a span of 22 films. I think that is a giant feat for this film. The characters we have come to love and admire, especially our original lineup of Avengers, really get to have great character moments, that allow us to see that while we’re coming to an end of their stories and journeys, they are still the people we have come to love and they deserve to have the world as they have given up so many things to save ours. I cried. I think mostly with the two characters who have spear-headed this universe. I think it’s beautiful, emotional, and while I still have my issues with some choices, I think for what was created, it was beautiful.
Character Arcs. Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, Thor, Natasha Romanov, Nebula and Scott Lang really get some nice moments for their characters in this film. A lot of these characters have arcs that spanned over many movies, which makes sense as people are always changing, always evolving, always learning and I love that we have seen this progress and they all progress even further in this film. We get to see Tony and Steve come face to face again after the events of Civil War. They must rebuild that trust and friendship again and I think it’s easy to see that Steve really wants to do that as soon as he sees Tony. Plus, Tony finally found something he’s been looking for all his life and he must make decisions on how best to keep that while also helping to save the world. Then there’s Thor with feeling unworthy because he thinks he failed. I mean there is so much good stuff and they still manage to juggle all of this. Some gets more than others, which I get but it still works!
It’s funny. I don’t think it’s like hilarious funny, but it has a lot of funny moments. I think with this new direction for Thor, he’s been funny as Chris Hemsworth has great comedic timing and the direction Thor takes in this movie is funny but also a little sad and I think it makes sense for where he ends up. Tony is funny when he needs to be as always, we know that Paul Rudd is in this one as Scott Lang and he’s great and even Chris Evans has some great moments. Everyone at least gets two or three humorous lines.
The Big Battle. Ya’ll, listen. This is the fight we’ve always wanted in terms of everyone who is involved. I can’t say it’s the best choreographed because that honor still goes to the Elevator Scene and the Highway Scene in Captain America: Winter Soldier. Honestly all the fights in that movie lol. But just the grand scale of it all, it’s so beautiful. It brought a tear to my eye. We really get to see Steve, Tony and Thor all shine in this fight as they are our “big three” from the first group of Avengers. We also get some other nice moments during this fight that I won’t spoil but listen, I almost jumped out of my seat the first go around when something happens with a character because IT IS GLORIOUS, AND IT WAS EVERYTHING TO ME AND I AM SO HAPPY.
Pacing Issues. This movie is long, and they have said that many times. It’s over three hours long and that’s not a problem for me, even though my body didn’t care, and I had to leave one the first time and TWICE the second time. So, upset. Anyways, there are times when the movie really slows down, and I get it, there’s a lot of introspection and what not, but it also feels like it’s long for the sake of being long. I don’t think that’s always a good thing. There are middle portions where it just feels like it could have been condensed or there could have been some more meat added to it. For example, Rhodey and Nebula’s scene was a set up for another plot point, but it didn’t have nearly as much meat as what Tony, Steve, Scott and Hulk had to do, or even what Natasha and Clint had to do. Plus, Scott must learn everything that happened and of course we already know that so it’s like, it’s necessary for the character but not really for the audience.
Some Character Choices. I obviously don’t want to spoil anything, but I didn’t really like how some characters ended up in the movie. I don’t know if I can charge that against the movie or not, but I know I didn’t really like it. I get it, I really do. I’m thinking of two specific things, but I was not happy with what happened and for the sake of the movie, I guess it works, for the sake of those characters, it works but I just did not like it! lol
Overall, I love Avengers: Endgame for what it was able to accomplish and basically for being the ending to a beautiful story. The biggest thing for me was the characters and the acting. Sure, the action is great, but the real selling point is the characters and their connections to each other, their arcs and their desperation to fix what’s been done. That’s the true selling point. Everyone is top notch in this film, particularly Downey Jr., Evans, Hemsworth, Gillan, Johansson (which is high praise for me lol). The emotional points are extremely important for the film and the characters. I think it’s funny with a lot of character reactions and great dialogue pieces. Also, the last battle sequence is fun! I think we get to see a lot of characters shine and of course, I jumped out of my seat and had to catch myself during that scene lol. And of course, the ending is beautiful and bittersweet. I have a few issues with the film but a lot of them get into spoiler territory, but I think the pacing was off, it probably didn’t need to be three hours long and I didn’t like some character choices. But I think Avengers: Endgame was worth the lead up for the 22 films if just for the characters. Watch this film to get the finality of this ten-year story we have experienced!
Rating: 4 out 5 stars.
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Spoilers below this LINE!
I read this article that said the creators were really pushing Avengers: Endgame for Oscar nominations. I don’t think this is ridiculous to be honest, however, not for Best Picture. While I loved Endgame, what it represents and what it did, I don’t think compared to other MCU films that it’s the best one. For me, Captain America: Winter Soldier is still the best film and that one should have been nominated back in 2014. I would have even given Sebastian Stan a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his extremely tragic and nuanced performance as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier. Endgame could be a contender for a lot of technical awards and I would even say Robert Downey Jr. or even Chris Evans for Best Actor, would they win? Probably not but I think they both could get those awards.
Now, for the REAL spoilers. I have seen people talk about the “GIRL POWER” moment in Endgame where Captain Marvel shows up and Peter has the gauntlet and she’s going to try and take it back into the quantum thingy in Scott’s brown van. So, Carol has it and Peter’s like “I don’t know how you’ll get through that”, then Wanda shows up and says, “Don’t worry” and Okoye comes into the picture “she has help” or something like that and literally all the women from the movies come into the scene. Pepper in her iron armor, Valkyrie, Shuri, Okoye, Wanda, Mantis, Gamora, Nebula and the Wasp and they start clearing the way for Carol to make it through. I cheered as it was awesome. So, I’ve seen that people are saying it’s not an earned moment and that it was forced and what not, but I don’t think I agree. I get that, especially since Natasha wasn’t included as she sacrificed herself, so Clint could get the Soul stone. I know people are upset because they killed Natasha and there wasn’t a funeral for her like there was for Tony, not to mention, she’s the first female Avenger and HOW DARE THEY NOT HAVE IN THAT KIND OF MOMENT and I think the biggest thing is here is that Natasha gave her life to not only save her family, but to save Clint who was going down a dark path and he has a wife and children. She felt like she had to do it to save him, especially after he saved her way back when. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still upset about her death, but I see why they did it. She also paved the way for all these women to be in this fight and kick some ass. It could have happened sooner, but I think it’s fine that it happened in that moment. It was also a call back to when Natasha herself appeared with Okoye to help Wanda when fighting Proxima Midnight in Avengers: Infinity War. It was a legit callback to Natasha’s line “Don’t worry…” they even had Wanda say it.