Avengers: Endgame

Like the rest of humanity apparently I went and saw Endgame this weekend.

It was ok.  All these movies good to some extent.  Even the ones people like less aren’t bad.  For these movies this was fine.

I was initially hostile towards Infinity War because you knew they were going to undo it.  Black Panther had literally just made All The Money in the world.  But it grew on me over time.  It’s rewatchable and its different.  It is the Empire Strikes Back of Marvel Movies.  It has real weight to it and again they finally got a villain right by figuring out you need to give them screentime.

I knew serious film people would like the first act of Endgame which is essentially wallowing in misery.  The second act was the most interesting to me, predictable but I thought it was clever.  Then the last act is a bit of a CGI fuckfest with a lot of group shots.

I was surprised that I really didn’t care for the end battle in this one.  I complained about the Big Battle in Civil War being stupid and it was.  But it was well made and fun as hell to watch.  This one wasn’t nearly as interesting and I’m not sure why.  I know in part it’s because there’s so much kind of sadness surrounding this movie.  There are jokes but I can’t remember any of them.  There aren’t so many memorable one-liners or giffable moments.  It’s a bad way to judge a movie but there it is.

Endgame and Infinity Wars have a very specific thing in common.  They have scenes in their trailers that aren’t in the movie.  And they’re intentionally not in the movie, they’re in the trailer to trick you.  Infinity War has the scenes where Thanos shows off the Purple and Blue stones when at those points in the movie he has more.  And the big hero running scene shows the Hulk when he’s not in that movie in his big green form.  In Ragnarok, the Mjolnir destruction scene takes place in a field, in the trailer it’s an alley. Endgame has the scene with Black Widow shooting and doing a fast reload.  That scene is there to trick you so it’s a shock when she dies.  Personally, this just takes me out of the movie.  I’m thinking, oh, they lied to me in the trailer, at that moment I’m thinking of the trailer and not the scene I’m watching at that moment.

This movie doesn’t have an after-credits scene.  There is the sound of a hammer and anvil at the final Marvel logo but that’s it.  The only loose end in the plot is Loki escapes while gagged, it has to be that right?  It would be great if we didn’t do post credit scenes anymore so long as they tell us they’re doing that.  Kevin Feige should come out and say, “No more post credit scenes guys.”

I liked that this movie undid the Peter Quill/Gamora romance.  We ended Guardians 2 with the two of them very specifically not in a relationship.  And as Lindsay Ellis explained in awesome depth, they should not be in a relationship.  Then Infinity War comes out and they’re in a relationship at the start of the movie.  And they did this because they knew they would kill her and then bring back a pre-romance version of the character.

One problem with this movie is Captain Marvel.  I saw Captain Marvel a couple weeks ago and I really liked it.  More than I liked Endgame.  And she was very marketed as being a part of Endgame.  But watching Endgame its clear the writers didn’t want her or didn’t know what to do with her.  Much like JJ Abrams passing Snoke to Rian Johnson, the Russo Bros just did not have a plan for Captain Marvel.  She’s in the first five minutes and the last five minutes.  Yeah she comes back and kicks a lot of ass but she’s gone 90% of the three hour movie.  I found myself asking every 45 minutes, “where’s Captain Marvel?”  It reminds me a lot of Vision who disappears during Ultron and Civil War when it would be inconvenient to have his overpoweredness in the scene.

They did a Girl Power charge in this movie similar to the last one where all the female characters are suddenly fighting together.  It was gimmicky 30 second scene in Infinity War, in Endgame it’s a little more implausible because like 10 characters have to find each other on this giant battlefield.  If this does something for you I wouldn’t wanna yuck your yum.

I guess that’s all I have to say.  It was fine.  In hindsight Infinity War was very good, Ultron was kind of shit.  This one walks a middle path.  And it provides a satisfactory endpoint for the original heroes.  Cap and Iron Man are out.  I really hope Valkyrie being made ruler of New Asgard doesn’t mean she’s not going to go on adventures.  I have to believe they want to move on to a less integrated shared universe for a little while so they don’t have to work so hard to tie these together.