Benjamin Wollmuth is a lover of literature who enjoys sharing his thoughts on everything from movies and video games to books and music.
Don't read any farther if you have not yet seen Avengers: Endgame. Don't do it to yourself. Go see the movie, come back, and discuss it with me. It will lead to a great movie experience. I promise.
11 years. 21 movies. All leading up to this moment. The epic conclusion of the "Infinity Saga". Storylines coming together to close out this first era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And readers... it was beautiful.
I find it hard to talk about movies like this. I am very biased towards comic book and superhero movies, especially the MCU. I almost always come out of a Marvel movie with a smile on my face, with the exception of Thor: The Dark World.
I loved Infinity War. It was an epic film with a very surprising ending. Endgame had to take what happened at the end of Infinity War and fix it, as well as end a bunch of storylines that had been started back in 2008 with Iron Man. This movie was three hours long, which might seem excessive. However, when the movie ended, I wished it was longer. I wished I could have seen more. Endgame was visually and emotionally pleasing, bringing an end to so much in the most beautiful (and saddest) of ways. When there wasn't intense and awesome action, there were beautiful character moments, truly proving that the MCU is not great because of it's awesome action, but because of the realized characters. Without these great characters, these films would be nothing.
With all of that said, here's why Avengers: Endgame is a satisfying conclusion to the past 11 years of the MCU.
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Messing With Time
While time travel can cause major problems in a fairly cohesive timeline that is the MCU, I can see problems popping up in the future. For me, however, the time travel in this film worked. It was the perfect way to end a huge, overarching story. Go back in time and relive those past moments that you had, whether it was by yourself or with the team. Cap, Tony, and Hulk get to see themselves after the battle of New York. They get to relive that moment. Thor gets to talk to his mother, who, in the present is dead. Nebula gets to reconnect with Gamora, who, in the present, is also dead. Reliving these past moments reminds characters, as well as the audience, of the events that got the characters to where they are. Plus, if Cap really did put each infinity stone back where they came from, a lot of timeline issues that could have happened (as explained by the Ancient One in the movie) most likely won't happen. I have seen theories on how alternate timelines were most likely created, but who knows if we ever get to peek into those timelines. The Avengers messing with time did not change how past events played out––Ultron was still created, Thanos still snapped his fingers, etc. What they did was fix everything, while also spawning new questions that fans will have that might never be answered. Who knows. Right now, I'm not complaining. I guess MCU fans will have to wait and see if the time meddling will affect the future at all.
Our Heroes Are Back!
I, like a lot of people, assumed that those who were snapped away in Infinity War would come back for one big, epic climax in Endgame. Sure enough, it happens. And let's be honest here... it was probably the biggest and best battle in all MCU history. Sure, not every character got a lot of the spotlight, but what we did see was amazing. The shot of Captain America standing alone against Thanos and his enormous army was thrilling. And then the portals opened and everyone came through... and I cried tears of joy. The entirety of the MCU was led up to this point. Every hero ever introduced (that was still alive) was there, fighting to protect Earth and the entire universe from Thanos' destruction. Captain America finally says the words "Avengers assemble" as the entire cast of the MCU rushes into the fight of their lives. This is what the past 11 years were leading up to. What could have been an over-bloated mess of fight was made perfect, all thanks to the visual designers and the Russo brothers.
The Character Moments
As I mentioned in the intro, the MCU is amazing because of the characters. What makes these movies so great are the awesome character moments and the way the characters interact with each other. This movie has all of that. Some are really nice. Some are really depressing. To MCU fans, they were all beautiful. Watching Clint Barton lose his family at the beginning of the movie was assumed by most, but still really sad to watch. Watching the Avengers reunited with Tony was very fulfilling. Watching Thanos' head role off his body was very satisfying to watch, but also heartbreaking because 1) Thanos is the best villain in the MCU by far (Loki is close, but became more of an antihero) and 2) the stones are gone, so the Avengers really can't bring their friends back. Thor got his moment to finally aim for the head, giving him some form of redemption. As the movie progresses, we see beautiful moments with the reuniting of Clint and Natasha, and then the eventual death of Natasha, which was really sad and unexpected. The aforementioned moment with Thor and his mom was tear-jerking, knowing what happens to her. Tony reuniting with Pepper, Steve reuniting with Bucky, The Guardians of the Galaxy reuniting, Clint finally seeing his family again, watching Cap dance with Peggy, and then watching old Cap pass the shield over to Falcon were all very happy moments. Witnessing Cap pick up Mjolnir, seeing that he truly was worthy, was breathtaking and so very satisfying. Watching Thanos and his army dust at the end of the film was visually pleasing. However, the saddest moment of the film was the consequence of snapping away Thanos and his army: the death of Tony. He took the stones and he snapped his fingers... and I knew what was coming. Watching Peter cry––and then watching Pepper cry––made me cry. The looming shot and Tony's dead, blank face made me cry even harder. The funeral at the end of the film made me cry even harder than that. It's beautiful, yet so sad.
Everything I just talked about are the reasons why Avengers: Endgame is the perfect conclusion to the Infinity Saga. It's sad to think about and realize that the MCU will now be without Black Widow, the mysterious spy who had finally found a true family, Captain America, the First Avenger, and Iron Man, the man who kicked off this amazing ride back in 2008. It's sad. It really is. Yet, it is fulfilling. The universe is saved. Tony snapped for the greater good of humanity because he truly did have a heart. Captain America got to live the life with Peggy that he wanted to live before he crashed that plane in the ice back in 1945. Black Widow learned her dad's name and sacrificed herself to save so many others. Sad, yet satisfying. They truly were heroes. People are alive again and the MCU will live on. We may have lost some heroes, but they will always be remembered. Always. Avengers: Endgame really was a perfect conclusion, and I will forever stand by that.
© 2019 Benjamin Wollmuth