“Endgame” brings the end of an era

Photo from imdb.com.

Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” marked the end of a 22 movie narrative known as the Infinity Saga. During opening weekend, “Endgame” raked in $1.2 billion worldwide. The film also broke the record for biggest domestic opening in history with $350 million surpassing the previous record of $250 million from “Avengers: Infinity War,” according to vox.com.

The film was a breathtaking conclusion to an 11 year roller coaster of emotions for Marvel fans. Although there are parts of dismay for the colorful band of heroes, the film frequently had comic relief to ease the more intense and sincere moments.

Although the true purpose of the film is the sequel to the events from “Infinity War” and how to reverse what had happened after Thanos snapped away half of the universe’s existence, the film serves more purpose to the fans. Endgame wraps up many character arcs and story details that emerged a decade ago.

WARNING: SPOILERS INCOMING

The movie opens immediately after the Snap, with the remaining heroes gathering to figure out their next move. They then flash forward to five years after the Snap to 2023.

Scott Lang, who was seen being trapped in the Quantum Realm at the end of “Ant-man and the Wasp” as a result of the Snap, escaped because of a rat stepping on the controls to the portal. Now keep the Quantum Realm in mind, because the rules of time and space don’t apply to this dimension.

The next two hours showcase the team travelling back in time to retrieve the Infinity Stones before Thanos can collect them.

I personally expected several of the outcomes of the characters (like Cap and Tony) based on fan theories. While this didn’t detract from the severe emotional distress I felt for their fates, it also made it less impactful.
The peak moment for me in the film was when all the snapped characters re-emerged from Doctor Strange’s circle spell to aid Cap, Tony and Thor in the fight against 2014 Thanos. This was quickly followed by Captain America being able to wield Mjolnir, Thor’s trusted hammer that can only be held by the “worthy.”

“Endgame” featured TONS of Easter Eggs in references to past movies and the comics. It also included the last of the Stan Lee cameos since his passing in late 2018.

The downfalls: the time travel concept was difficult to understand even with their explanations and every ten minutes I kept asking “where the heck is Carol?” Seriously, Captain Marvel was so hyped up to only appear in 15 minutes of screen time.

Despite it being the end of an era, “Endgame” left many doors open for new stories and timelines. Live action shows WandaVision, Hawkeye, Loki and Falcon/Winter Soldier have all been announced for Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+.

All in all, on top of it being a humorous, beautifully filmed flick, it was also an experience to sit in a theater to watch the conclusion to over a decade of MCU films with other Marvel fans. Action scenes took a backseat to character development and an end to our beloved superheroes’ arcs.

Marvel features a lot of great heroes but some of the most notable character arcs that are concluded in Endgame include the Hulk, Captain America and Iron man.

In “The Avengers” (2012) we see the very beginning of a character arc for Bruce Banner, portrayed by Mark Ruffalo. The Hulk in the Infinity Saga Avengers is similar to the alternate versions of Hulk in the comics. Fans have seen Bruce at his very worst struggling with the uncontrollable Hulk from seeing him take on the form of Planet Hulk in “Thor Ragnarok” (2017.) Finally in 2019, fans got the chance to encounter Banner as the one and only Professor Hulk, who has the brains of Banner but the strength of the Incredible Hulk.

Captain America, played by Chris Evans, has one of the more interesting character arcs in the Marvel franchise. Unlike Tony Stark, Steve Rogers grew up during the height of the Depression. Rogers is portrayed as a scrawny young adult who couldn’t enlist in the war with his best friend Bucky Barnes, played by Sebastian Stan.
Becoming a super soldier, Rogers emerges from ice with the loss of not only Bucky, but also Agent Peggy Carter, his past love, and his whole culture from Brooklyn that will forever rest in the past.

Fans watch Rogers grow into an individual who is willing to go against the authority of the United States to protect the world from dangers and bad guys. He travels back in time to return the Infinity Stones using the last of the Pym Particles.

Rogers never comes back to the present because he stays with Peggy. Rogers eventually returns but much older and retired from the wielding shield. The character arc concludes when Rogers passes the shield onto Sam Wilson, who previously held the mantle of Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie.

“Endgame” is the last surprise for the heart and soul of the team, Iron Man played by Robert Downey Jr., doing “whatever it takes” to save family and friends. Tony promised Pepper Potts that there will be no more surprises.

Over the past decade, fans have watched as Tony Stark’s ego and heroism has led up to his final moments with his death in “Endgame.” We have seen a small glimpse of Tony’s soft side in “Iron Man 3” when Harley Keener gets the hero out his emotional state and that he is a mechanic at heart.

Fans get another chance in “Endgame” to see the soft side yet again, as Stark is retired as Iron Man and now lives with Pepper and their daughter, Morgan.

Stark is soon pulled back in when members of the team turn to him to help with time travel.
Tony has always played by the rules hence his actions in “Captain America: Civil War”. The film portrays Tony as once again following the rules but this time the rules of the time stone. In “Endgame”, Tony asks Dr. Strange in the final battle if this is the one possible future he saw in “Infinity War” that resulted in a victory.

Although Dr. Strange never answers him, Tony was the key all along. Right before taking the infinity stones from Thanos in the last stretch of the movie, Dr. Strange holds up one finger to imply that this is the one possibility for victory.

Tony then snaps away Thanos and his army but, being that he is a mortal, Iron Man’s fate is soon met as he passes away on the battlefield.

“I love you, 3000” are some of the famous last words Marvel fans will forever mutter from Tony Stark. Soon fans are right there with their heroes at Tony’s funeral.

The film paid the ultimate tribute to Tony as there was no end-credits scene but rather audio of Tony building the first Iron Man suit in the cave of Afghanistan. This is speculation, of course, but it all started with Tony and now it ends with the sound of Tony putting together small parts to shape the future of the Avengers.

Published By: Stephen Dumnich

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