Review: Avengers Endgame

Opened with heartstrings jerked, hard

Move to flashbacks

I shall love Marvel forever for Pepper’s character development

That’s the end of my review for today. No, I am not spoiling it for the rest of you! But I will talk about the whole series arc, and what it gives me, the writer, as well as me the person and me the Mom.

Last night I went to see Avengers: Endgame with my children. This was partly to celebrate my youngest daughter attaining the age of 17, and partly… well, I hadn’t thought it through until we were all talking on the way home. My son will be 14 in a few months. Iron Man, his favorite of the 22 movies, came out eleven years ago. When he was 3. He has literally grown up with these films, they all have.

I’m not going to spoiler the movie, to the best of my ability. I will say that I’m tempted to go back and see it again, only this time with a notebook in hand. I want to write down some story beats for, um, recycling. I don’t believe I’ve ever been in any movie theatre before where the entire audience cheered, shouted, laughed, and clapped as much as this audience did. And that means the writers did something wonderful. They captured the hearts and imaginations of a lot of people. I’m sure there will be those in the comments that didn’t care for the Avengers arc. Eh. Nothing is good for everyone. Personally, I cannot stand the writer behind Game of Thrones, but even before he showed his repugnant inner self to the world, I’d read the first of those books, and knew I was going to hate the television show. So while everyone else is raving over it, Merch is everywhere, I’m over here going meh. This is normal. However, the Avengers arc is worth studying even if you didn’t personally care for the over-the-top comic book nature of the plot. Because it captured all these people and brought them together in something millions and millions of shared experiences makes very special.

I walked into Endgame last night having not seen all of the prequel movies. I rarely have time to sit and watch a movie. I also don’t sit still well, usually. I need to be doing something else with my hands while I’m watching. So when I tell you laughing that my Fitbit recorded the movie time as ‘asleep’ yesterday, you might get an idea of just how immersed I got into it. It didn’t matter that I’d dropped part of the plot threads. Even one of the major ones. The movie managed to make it all make sense, and keep the action going. My brother in law had warned us all that there is no place to take a pee break. He was right. Even my kids sat through the whole thing. Other than the tiny fussy baby in the back of the theater (who only made noise a little time during the movie, thank goodness), the whole audience was entranced and enthralled. I saw attendees ranging in age from seniors to wee smol children. This is the kind of storytelling I strive to attain.

Something else about the Avengers series. Yes, it’s comic book. Yes, everyone knows it’s not real life. There is no Hulk, or radiation that makes you into a superhero. But what there is, and what this modeled for my son and so many others, is heroism. Not the kind of heroics that are supers doing super stuff, but the smaller, quieter, more human traits of honor, self-sacrifice, and standing for what is right no matter what it costs. Perhaps the best of the characters in the movies are the most human. Hawkeye, Black Widow, Captain America. In the end, when it came down to it, they were the ones who had to work hardest and be the most vulnerable to keep up with the unreal powers of Thor and Captain Marvel, but you know what? They are better people than those two characters. And small spoiler alert (but I don’t think you’ll mind) in the end, Captain Marvel plays a very small role. The focus of the movie is on the very core concepts of the Avengers. Humanity is worth saving. I wrote that Captain Marvel was Human Wave, and so was this movie, even more so. 

And that’s a message I think we can all get behind.


26 thoughts on “Review: Avengers Endgame

  1. in Infinity War, Bruce Banner can’t turn into the Hulk, and can barely operate the Hulkbuster armor….

    but he goes out and fights anyway.

  2. Sib has followed all the movies and side-plots, and raved about Captain Marvel—specifically because the writers pulled in earlier plot threads so neatly that everyone was going “Oh gees, of course. Why didn’t I see that?” Those who knew the movies loved it, and those who hadn’t followed everything weren’t left out.

    I had writer envy. 🙂

  3. I can’t comment on the movies, but with regards to the sidenote about Game of Thrones?

    I dropped it less than half-way into the 1st book because I went in expecting more magic in my “Fantasy”, & nothing I’ve heard about the series or the authors puppy-kicker tendency have changed my mind about engaging with that universe (& may negatively impact how likely I am to read any subsequent works he creates).

    But that being said, I still really appreciate the he was involved in the creation of the Wild Cards universe, & expect that at some point in the future I will actually by & re-read Tuf Voyaging, now that I no longer use my local library system due to have developed a distaste for Dead Tree Format when electronic formats are so much more convenient (Yes, my library does have a subscription to at least one of the electronic lending services, but last time I tried to use it I needed to know *in advance* what I wanted from it, it was not viable for pseudo-random browsing by genre).

    1. I tried to like the GOT books. Book 1 was incredible, and I was expecting great things.
      By the time I got to about book 3 or 4, I was fairly burned out and disgusted. Most of the characters I liked were dead, and it was obvious that GRRM would (and could) never, ever bring the thing to the awesome & epic finish the story was promising.

      My suspicion is that GRRM never though he would have a massive hit on his hands, and intended something he could drag on forever for a modest living.

      The show, from all appearances, is going to bring about that ending.

      1. I read book three and looked at book four and realized I didn’t care. It didn’t help that a lot of book three moved nothing forward.

    2. The only reason I finished Dance of Dragons, was the sunk cost fallacy.

      The first book was great. The second book was eh. The third book was the highlight of the series. After that, each one got progressively less interesting, with the last one wandering into the actively repulsive.

      It started strong, with the various characters mostly being different interpretations of Wars of the Roses personages running around in a low fantasy world with a looming supernatural threat. Some filler as pieces were reset in the second. And then consequences. Solid. But the character development of the third book was largely abandoned, the plot was lost, and extraneous new plotlines took center stage. Also, every book seemingly had to be darker, grittier, and more offensive than the one that preceded it.

      I only watched the first episode of the show.
      Martin’s perv factor was high enough when much of it was only implied, going blatantly gratuitous in a visual medium made me want a hot shower with Lava soap.
      Also, I was very annoyed at things which had been described in loving detail being depicted wrong. Don’t just tweak red maple foliage if it’s obvious CGI. (One objection of many, because once you start…)

    3. I read the first few GOT books after the show started airing because I wanted to see what all the hype was about, and I don’t have HBO, and I’m not a big fan of television.

      My take on GOT is that GRRM hates his readers. He built a huge, wonderful, world for a setting. Created interesting characters. Then, as soon as you start liking a character and wanting them to succeed, he kills that character off, sometimes in the most off-handed disrespectful way.

      At one point, a character that the previous chapters had spent quite a bit of time on, so I was expecting him to be a lasting character, was part of a battle. BUT, instead of telling what happened to that character, the battle was told through the perspective of a couple other characters… then after the battle, it was just mentioned that so-and-so died. WHAT!?!? Why build a character up? Why follow that character around for page after page, then have another character report him dead and move on like that character was nothing?

      That was when I saw it. He had already started building up another character (who, btw, also died a stupid, inconsequential death). He did that over and over and over. Build character, kill character. Build character, kill character. Eventually, I got jaded and when the next character started to build up, I didn’t care.

  4. When it was good, it was very good. Annoyingly we don’t get extended editions from Marvel because there are plenty of points where more character interaction would be awesome. Course, it would make the movie about 4 hours long.

    1. I think in a project like the MCU, extended or special editions would be stupid and evil. Stupid, because fragmenting the base, making it harder to tune the next movie for the audience of the previous ones. Evil, because I sat through a showing of extended LoTR films put on by some die hard fans. When something doesn’t work for someone, more is not better. Forcing each movie to work or not in a tight space permits someone to more cheaply establish whether or not they like the MCU.

      The conflicting versions argument also applies to film and novelization versions of the movie. And I’m nuts enough to think that examining the novels and movies of the entire MCU sounds interesting.

      Of course, I am an argumentative nutcase, and like multiple choice canons for the options they provide fanfic. Being one of a rare few to read the books would give me many cherrypicking options to support the most contrarian possible opinion on the civil war issue central to fanfic discussions.

      (Actually, I probably want to look at the books simply because they might be easier for me to get, and easier for me to get into.)

      1. There was a deleted scene from the first Thor movie where Loki became the King of Asgard, because of Thor’s banishment, the line of succession logically fell to him.

        Granted, it was while Odin was indisposed, but still, it would have changed so much of the perspective of the movie, if it had been kept in. Loki is very much his mother’s darling.

  5. There was one minute or so of contrived feminist pandering that had me groaning, but it ended quickly.

    And Thanos has cemented himself as one of my favorite characters of all time just for how he dealt with a certain insufferable wench just as she butted in to show the useless males how it’s done. Happily, I only had to suffer through 15 minutes of Captain Grl Pwr in an otherwise flawless movie.

    Best of all: they didn’t pull a Last Jedi and humiliate, degrade and invalidate all the male heroes’ accomplishments so that the designated feminist hero can look better. The SJWs will have to wait for the next arc of movies to start ruining the MCU the way they’ve been ruining print comics.

    This one…this was was for the fans, and it was pure joy.

  6. One thing that’s annoyed me with many of the MCU movies is the bathos.

    There’s a big, dramatic moment.
    And it’s immediately undercut by a cheap visual gag or snark.

    I get the impulse to wink at the audience. Doing it too much is a weakness of mine.
    But sometimes you’ve got to be earnest and embrace the cheese with A LARGE HAM.

    1. I think a lot of those moments come across as natural. A lot of times in real life, when facing some extreme situation, people have managed a quip or two. Sure there are the intentionally comedic films like Guardians of the Galaxy, but I’m forgiving of the other movies because they come off naturally.

      Example: In Infinity War, Spiderman asks what’s going on and Iron Man says: “This guy’s from space and he’s trying to steal a necklace from a wizard.”

      Funny? Yes. But also completely true and natural to the characters and situation.

      1. Have you read the source material, Luke? It’s a Marvel tradition going all the way back to the earliest issues of “The Fantastic Four” way back in the Silver Age. The more hoity toity and dramatic the moment, the faster comes the snarky quip.

          1. IIRC, it’s Spidey’s admitted coping mechanism. Things are BAD if he’s not running off his mouth any more.

            (Apparently this is also true of the main party in Goblin Slayer! – to the point that the youngest member of the party finds it reassuring.)

            And firing off quips is apparently a coping mechanism for a lot of people. I mean, I live with someone whose literal first instinct to someone’s distress is to try make that person laugh or smile.

          2. Sure, no argument about characters for whom it’s in character.

            But (for one example) Dr. Strange isn’t one, and the cloak tickling his nose at that precise moment was gratuitous bathos.
            Then compare that to the almost beat for beat scene in Spiderman 2, in which the moment *wasn’t* undermined. Centered on a character built around guilt and wisecracks.

  7. “Other than the tiny fussy baby in the back of the theater.”

    I believe there is a special place in hell reserved for people who bring babies to the cinema.

    1. It wasn’t a baby, but I took a girlfriend to the movies one time and she had a mild allergic reaction to something (probably perfume) and coughed/sneezed a few times during the movie. Not a lot. Just a little bit (nowhere in the realm of coughing or sneezing “fit”). After the movie, a guy followed us out of the theater screaming expletives at us and threatening to go get his gun out of his truck and shoot us for “ruining the movie”. Really, it wasn’t THAT much noise, and she kept it down as much as possible. Definitely not anywhere near on par with baby crying.

      I covered her escape by putting myself between them so she could get in the car, then I smiled and told the guy to have a nice day (which really ticked him off) and calmly got in my car and drove away. He gave us the ol’ stink-eye and pointed at us as we drive away. Like that was going to do anything.

      Not sure what I would have done if he ran for his truck.

  8. I’ve been “Spoiling” Endgame for my friends by telling them about the scene where Tony Stark drowns a litter of kittens.

    but I don’t think they believe me….

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