Avengers Endgame: The Greatest Superhero Movie in the History of Cinema?
First, I would like to make one thing clear, this is not a movie review article because anyone that saw Avengers: Endgame know this movie is damn near perfect. Even for those who have never seen a single superhero movie in their life will see Endgame and know it’s the s%$*. The numbers speak for themselves, Endgame had an opening weekend of over a billion dollars. Furthermore, based on the continued talk of the film after it’s debut weekend, Endgame is said to soon be the highest grossing movie in the history of cinema surpassing Avatar’s 2.7 Billion Box Office. Nevertheless, even if Endgame doesn’t surpass Avatar’s box office numbers, I think I speak for everyone that Endgame is the best superhero movie ever made. Instead, this article will focus on how each key player contributed to Endgame’s storyline. In addition, I will discuss why Endgame was phenomenal from start to finish by discussing it’s fight scenes, special effects, character performances and impact on the superhero film industry.
The Surviving Heroes
Rocket Raccoon/Bradley Cooper - As the only member of The Guardians of the Galaxy to not get snapped away, you would think Rocket would be in his own state of depression for losing his only family. Instead Rocket remains the same foul mouth raccoon he’s been known for since the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. He’s even able to snap Thor out of his own depression by reminding him that there was still a chance to save everyone. As one of the few survivors with any knowledge about space, he contributed a lot to the cause by applying his knowledge in finding the power stone and offering Ronin and Black Widow his ship to get the Soul Stone. Furthermore, it was fun seeing him blast away enemies with his guns.
Nebula/Karen Gillan - Nebula still had her own redemption story in Endgame as she faced her past self. It was also good for her to face her past mistakes as well. I enjoyed her interaction with the Avengers and found her chemistry with Iron Man and War Machine to be nicely done. The most satisfying thing about Nebula was that she went from being a loyal servant to a tyrant (that treated her horribly) to being a respected hero and seeing her make peace with Gamora; which was touching.
Rhodey Rhodes/War Machine/Don Cheadle - War Machine definitely kept a strong will after the snap offering advice to those who needed it. He kept his humor when he referred to Ant-man as regular size man and was serious about completing whatever the mission was at the time. He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind about anyone or anything such as his talk with Black Widow about Ronin and his brief confrontation with Captain Marvel about her absence for most of the MCU. Also, let’s not forget that one scene when he dropped a barrage of missiles on Thanos’ army. Priceless!!!
Ant-Man/Scott Lang/Paul Rudd- I think I will be the only one to say that the MVP of this film is definitely Scott Lang aka Ant-man aka Giant man aka Regular Size man (according to some). He came out of the Quantum Realm the most confused about what had took place but came out as the last beckon of hope for our heroes to redo everything. He provided the concept of time travel to the Avengers and from that point on; he moved the plot forward. Plus, his reunion with Hope aka Wasp and his daughter Cassie were some of the more touching moments in the film. It’s too bad he never got the chance to climb up Thanos’ butt and expanded from the inside; that would have been an interesting way to stop the Mad Titan.
Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers/Brie Larson - Well she was hyped to be the most powerful Avenger and to be the one to take down Thanos and while her arrival on the battlefield and her fight with Thanos was great I think Endgame could have done more with her earlier in the story. According to her, she had many other planets she needed to attend too, but I’m sure if someone told her the plan to travel back in time then I’m sure she could’ve left what she was doing to help retrieve the Infinity Stones. Regardless, Captain Marvel did prove to be a key player in the final battle against Thanos especially when Thanos tried to head-butted her with no effect. I am looking forward to seeing her in phase four as one of the new primary faces of the MCU.
Hawkeye/Ronin/Clint Barton/Jeremy Renner - Like many other survivors he was grieving over losing his family but instead of gaining a beer belly like Thor, he takes his grieve out on the drug cartels that did survive the Snap. Becoming a vigilante, he was slowly descending into the darkness, but with help from his remaining loved ones, he was able to regain his hope. Plus his use of his bow was spot on as always and his use of his sword was an added treat.
Bruce Banner/Hulk/Mark Ruffalo – Here’s the thing… while the whole Banner and Hulk becoming one in body and mind was okay, I personally thought it was unnecessary. The fact we see Hulk not smashing anything and wearing shirts from J Crew were simply a form of fan service to make up for the lack of Hulk in Infinity War. I believe the first part of the movie could’ve just been Banner and then when the final battle against Thanos took place, the Hulk could have came out to smash. I’m a little disappointed. The Hulk could’ve gotten his rematch with Thanos too. I’m sure Marvel could have given Hulk a power-up of some kind so he could have given Thanos a few good blows. Still seeing Banner bringing back everyone that was snapped away was surprising and satisfying. Since he wasn’t apart of the final battle he still had to do something memorable.
Black Widow/Natalia Romanova/Scarlett Johansson - As the first female avenger, Black Widow stands as a symbol of women empowerment. While she never had her own solo movie (not yet anyway) she still stole the show with her various appearances throughout the MCU. Her death was possibly the second saddest part of the film, but like most superheroes she died for a noble cause by sacrificing herself for the Soul Stone. It was sad not seeing her fight along side her fellow Avengers, especially at the end against Thanos one last time. In addition, it was especially sad not seeing her assemble with the other female avengers (since I’m sure she would’ve been leading the charge), but I’m positive Black Widow will remain an influence for future female avengers entering phase 4.
Thor/Chris Hemsworth - Thor no doubt took the effects of the snap the hardest as he sees himself as the strongest avenger and the only one that could have defeated Thanos. This affected him both physically and mentally as he went from a proud Warrior of Asgard to a fat alcoholic that plays Fortnite. Good news though, he aimed for the head during his second confrontation with Thanos. The bad news though was it was a little too late and he lost his pride as a result. Like Nebula, Thor’s story was one of redemption. Thor, being able to wield Mjølnir, still was in a way a sign of his redemption despite his depressed state (after all, he was still worthy). His last heart to heart with his mother gave him the strength he needed to move on with Thor realizing it’s okay to have flaws like everyone else. Plus, it was awesome seeing him wield both Mjølnir and Storm Breaker at the same time.
Captain America/Steve Rogers/Chris Evans - The First Avenger does what he does best and that is he was a beacon of hope to everyone around him. Five-years later (after the snap), Steve serves as a grief counselor to those still struggling to move on after the snap. During the entire film, Captain America continues to be the leader he has always been known for. He even manages to make peace with Tony, but the captain’s most amazing moment in the film was when he wielded Mjølnir and gave Thanos a well deserved thrashing. Let’s be honest though, we knew all along the Captain was worthy. Towards the end of the film Captain America finally gets his happy ending…after returning the Infinity Stones and Mjølnir to their original times…Steve then decides to stay in his own timeline and live his with his love Peggy Carter. As time finally catches up with him, he is now an old man, has one final talk with Falcon/Sam Wilson and passes on his shield making him the new Captain America.
Iron Man/Tony Stark/Robert Downey Jr. - What can I say about the man that started the MCU in all honesty? In the beginning, Tony Stark was just a genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist who became so much more when he became Iron Man. He became a good friend to Rhodey, a loving husband and father to Pepper and Morgan and a great mentor to Peter Parker aka Spider-Man. He became someone that put serving others before him and most of all…he made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of humanity and the Universe. Tony Stark’s death was such an emotional moment in the MCU that it will no doubt go down as one of the most impactful moments in MCU history. He loved his daughter 3000 and we loved him even more.
Thanos/Josh Brolin- Once again Josh Brolin brought The Mad Titan to life. If you read my previous article on Infinity War then you already know how I feel about the Mad Titan. If not then click the link.
If there’s one thing that makes or breaks a superhero movie it’s the fight scenes and Endgame truly delivered some of the best fights ever produced in cinema. There was the opening fight when the Avengers attacked present day Thanos, then there were several fights that took place when the Avengers traveled to the past: Captain America (2023) vs Captain America (2012) Nebula (2023) vs Nebula (2014) and Ronin vs Black Widow. These fights added a dramatic tone as Nebula faced a redemption fight, Black Widow and Ronin fought to be the one to make the ultimate sacrifice and Captain America had to face a version of him unaware of what’s to come. I’m sure Captain America wanted to tell his past self the dangers of what was going to happen in the future, but felt doing so would have endangered their reality. Still at least he was able to tell his past self that Bucky was still alive and he acknowledged that he had ‘American’s Ass’!!!
I also liked how there were obstacles our heroes had to go through to get the stones. Banner convinced the Ancient One to give him the Time Stone, Thor and Rocket snuck into Asgard to get the Reality Stone from Jane Foster, War Machine and Nebula grabbed the Power Stone before Star Lord, Ronin and Black Widow fought to make the ultimate sacrifice for the Soul Stone and lastly, Tony and Steve brokered peace to get the Space Stone. This worked out perfectly as Tony not only made his peace with Steve, but was also able to make amends with his father, Howard Stark.
The final battle against Thanos and his army will go down as one of the best final battles in the history of cinema and pop culture. The CGI in particular helped bring the fights to life as we have the big three: Iron Man, Thor and Captain America approaching Thanos and this in and of itself had him on the edge of my seat. The final fight showed Iron Man’s new suit; shooting some of most realistic CGI laser cannons ever made. Thor’s use of Mjølnir and Storm Breaker and Captain America’s wielding his signature Shield was epic. Additionally, Captain America wielding Mjølnir and bringing the thunder to Thanos was pure awesomeness as well. What truly made it epic was the scene with Dr. Strange opening up multiple portals and enter the heroes that were once snapped away returning, along with the armies of Asgard and Wakanda, ready to join in the fight.
In between the individual battles there were plenty of emotional moments: Iron man hugging a revived Peter Parker/Spider-Man, seeing Scott and Jane reunite and work together, even Star-Lord had a brief reunion with ‘past’ Gamora. It was nice, although it ended as one would expect….a knee in the nuts. One real satisfying moment during the battle was seeing every female Avenger including Pepper Potts/Rescue, Captain Marvel, Scarlett Witch, Valkyrie, Nebula, Gamora, Mantis, Okoye and Shuri assembling.
The most incredible moments were the final scenes of the Avengers keeping Thanos from getting the Infinity Gauntlet. That was the best part of the entire movie. When Thanos grabbed the Infinity Gauntlet and did that ‘mega snap’ with his fingers all while saying he is ‘inevitable’ I really thought he won again and all that work was for nothing. But in the last minute, Iron Man grabbed the stones and said his famous line…. ‘I am Iron Man’, I knew that signaled that the battle was won. I give the Mad Titan credit though, he took his defeat well and accepted his death without complaints despite being in shock of what just happened.
Avengers Endgame is truly the best superhero movie ever made. It’s better than any DC movie, better than any Transformers movie, better than any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and better than any Spawn or Hellboy movie.
Endgame will now and should be the new standard for all superhero movies, because it’s going to be talked for years to come. It balances the action, drama, suspense and comedy perfectly. While Endgame is the end of the Infinity Gauntlet Saga, it’s also a new beginning of a new chapter in the MCU. I firmly believe we haven’t seen the last of Vision, Gamora or Loki and Marvel is again planning something big surrounding these characters. After all, Marvel wouldn’t have added a scene where Loki escapes with the Tesseract if it wasn’t of importance. I doubt this is the last we hear of time travel playing a purpose in the MCU and all of the characters that died before the snap. I even bet that some of the previous deceased characters will return in someway.
If I had one complaint it would be that the movie didn’t add more of Stan Lee seeing that this was his final cameo. However, I acknowledge that this film was three hours long and Lee’s death was unexpected. Furthermore, I’m sure some scenes had to be cut so the film wouldn’t be unbearably long. With that said, I’m sure if it was possible, the movie could have added a little more of ‘Stan the Man’. With Endgame, I laughed, I cried and even cheered several times along with a theater full of people. Endgame was so good I saw it twice. Yes, the film has its plot holes like how Steve Rogers manages to return the Infinity Stones to their original places in time without having to convert them back into the forms they were before they were taken, but I believe the bad out weighs the good here.
Finally, I would like to thank Marvel Studios for 11 years of greatness. I knew from seeing the first Iron Man movie back in 2008 that this was the beginning of something awesome. With the Infinity Saga now over I am so excited to see what phase four will bring including the new villains that will replace Thanos. The best part of all this is that there are so many possible choices to replace Thanos. Some notable examples include Doctor Doom, Kang the Conqueror, Mephisto, Annihilus, The Beyonder, even Galactus. All that’s left to say is that the DCEU or any Superhero movie franchise better step up if they want to achieve even a smidgen of the success and greatness the MCU has achieved with this movie.