So I didn’t get to watch the second movie yesterday, and at about four hours long for the TNT airing it took a while to watch. Originally titled Avengers: Infinity War part 2, the title Endgame may be more fitting for a number of reasons I’ll get into during the review. Yesterday I looked at the first movie and its downer ending. And don’t tell me it had to be a downer ending. A cliffhanger doesn’t force you to abandon all hope or come out of the theater depressed. Or at least it doesn’t have to and Infinity War (part 1) pretty much did that for me when I hit stop on the DVR.
I’m at a loss what else to add here that won’t come up in the review and I’m probably going to miss my usual posting deadline as it is, so let’s just jump into it already.
Yes, I used the short trailer on this one. The movie makes up for it by being really long. Also, spoilers from this one too because it’s really unavoidable, but it’s not like the internet isn’t already ruining the endings of movies for us, including this one.
RELEASE DATE: 2018
RELEASED BY: Disney and Marvel Studios
RUNTIME: 3 hours 1 minute
STARRING: still way too many names to list here
SCREENWRITERS: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
DIRECTORS: Anthony and Joe Russo
BOX OFFICE: $2.798 billion USD, according to Google
ESTIMATED BUDGET: $356 million USD, also according to Google
The Plot: Thanos has won, and half the universe has ceased to exist. The survivors try to move on but Earth (and we’re told elsewhere in the universe, or at least it’s suggested) has still not overcome five years later. Hope comes when Scott Lang, the Ant-Man, returns from a microuniverse that may allow them to travel back in time, collect the Infinity Stones before Thanos destroyed them, and undo what he did not by changing history but simply by “snapping” everyone back. Of course the solution is going to be more difficult than it seems.
Why did I want to see it?: It’s the second half of the big story. If you have to ask this is the first article you’ve ever seen from this site. Hi there. We talk about all kinds of stories across as many media as I can. Join us, won’t you?
What did I think?: This should have been three movies, given how long the first two were. Did Hollywood lose their trilogy obsession? I mean clearly they lost interest in a cinematic universe. Going by Marvel’s recent stuff I think they stopped caring as well. I feel like the phase count should actually be
- A shared continuity of movies forming a larger narrative like the comics they’re based on but you don’t need to see all of them to enjoy it if you decide not to.
- The hell with continuity, I just want to make stories that satisfy my own ego because I refuse to work with others or continue off of someone else’s work except for cheap and lazy marketing purposes.
From what I here Loki‘s metanarrative on Disney+ is a celebration of the latter. “It still happened, but in another timeline that wasn’t something I worked on.” You can kiss my All-American Ass sideways, and if you get that reference you’ve actually seen the Avengers movies, including this one. Also “get that reference” was an unintended bonus reference. Life is funny that way.
And “endgame” is exactly what this movie feels like. Iron Man, the movie that started the Marvel Cinematic Universe, dies and the MCU’s original concept dies with it. Stuff may continue from this movie but the shared universe feels as hollow as the adaptation from the source materials because Hollywood looks down on comics. That’s how Zack Snyder and Todd Philips get to ruin characters that have existed before they were a concept themselves. Okay, enough about the shared universe or lack thereof. It’s not completely gone and there’s a chance to keep it going with people who actually care. Sorry, forgot we were talking about Hollywood for a moment. All they are about are money and the praise of other Hollywood types.
The point is, all of this feels like a finale to the MCU and plenty of people at the time thought it was. Star Lord and Gamora’s romance is now as dead as she is, Black Widow’s dead, Captain America is gone and I’ll get to that in a moment, and technically the time line is still fragged because 2014 Thanos and his army are destroyed, unless Tony sent them back in time without their memories but it looks the same as the death of half the universe from the first movie.
As for Steve Rogers staying in the past to be with Peggy Carter…screwing up that history and the daughter Peggy had with her husband in the original timeline. You decide if this is as bad as Wonder Woman bedding a man possessed by the ghost of her dead lover in Wonder Woman 1984, aka the reason I didn’t bother recording it during the HBO free preview last weekend and still have no interest in seeing it. It sounds like I’m not missing much though. Back to Steve, I’ve also heard complaints from story critics about this being out of character for Steve, rather than staying in the present and continuing his duty, and I kind of agree. I know the writers and directors were probably trying to give him a happy ending, but it does mean that Steve is also gone.
Meanwhile Thor hangs out with the Guardians Of The Galaxy, with Nebula replacing Gamora. Now I’m less inclined to see the Guardians’ two movies knowing that at least this part Peter and Gamora’s relationship is over via death. It gives me less interest in caring about the two of them and thus an important character part of the movies. And we know they’re going to turn Jane into lady-Thor. BECAUSE THE MAN’S NAME IS THOR YOU CLOD! If a new director took over from Taika Waititi does she take over his name too? Would Maggie Smithers become the new Taika Waititi? Yes, I know the comics did it too and it was just as bad. I don’t mind Jane getting god-powers but give her an identity of her own! All we really asked for. Also don’t need to see Thor and Peter vying for leadership so I don’t care about a third movie either. Basically this movie made me lose interest in getting caught up with those movies, which I don’t think is the way you’re supposed to do it.
Finally in the complaints department we have Captain Marvelwhoisn’tBillyBatsonbecauseMarvelComicsareabunchofjerks. She is such an afterthought in this movie that I don’t really care about her either. Rocket Racoon makes a comment about her getting a haircut for some reason. She acts all stoic, she’s part of the girl power moment in the final battle that feels more forced than in Infinity War, like it’s just there to be there and thus isn’t as satisfying as the similar scene in the previous film. They could have done this movie without Carol Danvers and nothing would be missed. Even Hulk/Bruce served some purpose in the first movie but here they have to find excuses for her to not be part of the main story because it’s obvious she was more forced in than K-9 in his early Doctor Who episodes. It’s not even a good promo for her solo film because she’s such a non-entity in this one.
With all that out of the way, was the movie terrible? As a movie, no. There are still some fun moments, some good character moments, the grieving moments are given their proper weight as we see the negative effect Thanos had (after he gets killed off when he destroys the stones and Thor takes revenge before the five year skip), at least on Earth because other worlds wouldn’t be as interesting to the Earthlings watching the movie. Also, the final battle is beautiful, even the forced girl power moment to a lesser degree than in the first film, and the interactions with the past versions of the Avengers and Guardians, in both footage from those movies and the new shots, are nice to see. The old and new footage mesh well enough to enjoy the movie.
It’s just the fact that this is the end of a great run, they killed off any chance at another Iron Man movie unless Rhodey takes up the mantle (but as much as I like Rhodey I’d rather Tony get another movie and Rhodey get his own War Machine movie) takes some of the fun out of it, and losing good characters because they can only undo the Thanos snap for the sake of the timeline may work narratively but is a sad thing personally.
Was it worth the wait?: In a way I’m glad the deaths were ruined for me so I was prepared for them, so in this case waiting was actually the better result for me personally. I don’t think I’d be adding these to my home video library because I just don’t like how it ends or what it signifies as more supposed MCU movies come out. As a finale this was mostly a good sendoff, but I just didn’t want it to end, so this is one game I really don’t want to play.