Avengers : Endgame – An Extended Overview (SPOILERS)
A gargantuan, Hollywood blockbuster. Avengers Endgame is a film for the ages and caters to almost all audiences. A sheer masterpiece.
This film carries on from the breathtaking cliffhanger in Avengers Infinity War. This film satisfies the fans beyond expectations. The film is critically acclaimed through its ranking at #19 on IMDb’s highest rated movies (8.7/10). It is also certified as fresh at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and has many other high ratings and accolades. The movie has currently grossed ~ 2.75 billion dollars as of Jun 30th 2019. It seems that Marvel aim to beat Avatar’s 2.78 billion dollar box office haul, especially following its rerelease on June 28th 2019 for the weekend (UK).
The characters have been perfectly played by actors suited for the role for some time now. Beginning with 2008’s breakthrough Marvel movie ‘Iron Man’, starring Robert Downey Jr., the casting has been fabulous – bar Edward Norton who left the role of Hulk after 2008’s ‘The Incredible Hulk’. The Marvel executives have led us on a trail of riches since then, which have come together to pave the way for Endgame.
This movie is a part of the very conclusion of the majestic Infinity Saga. The movie completes the character arcs of most of the original Avengers in exemplary style, with many chapters of villainous threat and heroism coming to a close in this era-defining masterpiece.
The action begins with Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) with his family at his home. He is teaching his daughter how to shoot an arrow as she hits a bullseye. We then hear his wife asking them what sauce they would like on their hotdogs. Proceeding this, Clint turns to his daughter who has disappeared. We see a dust of ashes in the air and realise she has been wiped out of existence. Clint then turns back to his wife and son who have also disappeared. He is left in distress as searches for them to no avail.
The scene then cuts to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) and Nebula (Karen Gillian) on a ship, stranded in space. Tony records messages and sends them to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), his partner, without knowing she’ll receive them. He gives a situation report of each day he is stranded in space as he talks of what he thinks are his final moments alive. There are dwindling oxygen levels and Stark, sitting on the floor, closes his eyes and lies on the floor. The audience are convinced that he has died but he awakens and we’re all relieved. It is at this point when Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), who must have used the message medium Tony used to contact Pepper to locate the ship, finds Tony and Nebula and brings them back to earth and back to safety. Tony is in poor health and is angry with Captain America (Chris Evans), who he reminds of the ‘suit of armour around the world’ they planned to create. He also reminds him of the promise of them being together to face all enemies, which did not occur in Infinity War.
It is at this point where the surviving Avengers, in the immediate wake of Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) snap, reunite along with Captain Marvel. They are in search of the infinity stones which would snap the half of the universe that had been destroyed back to reality. Nebula is asked where Thanos may have retreated and retired to and informs them. We join the Avengers at Thanos’ retreat. Thanos is in a rather casual ‘t-shirt’ (rather odd given he is an intergalactic Titan) and is questioned about the whereabouts of the infinity stones. Thanos says that he does not have them, but is countered by the Avengers who iterate that he had used them just a short time ago. Thanos replies by stating the used the infinity stones to destroy the infinity stones. This was due to his mission being accomplished and their use being useless to him as a result.
Nebula exchanges words with her father/creator in a calm scene. It is at this point where, in an abrupt and shocking sequence, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) swings his axe-hammer Stormbreaker through Thanos’ neck, beheading him. He comments on his actions being a retaliation to Thanos saying ‘You should’ve gone for the head’ (in Avengers Infinity War). This is somewhat comical but violent nonetheless, especially to younger audiences. Realising that they cannot rescue the lost, the heroes split up and become a depleted force without purpose.
We are re-introduced to post-Thanos Earth, set five years after the events of Infinity War in 2023. Cap is in a recovery group and the first openly gay character in the MCU, played by one of the Russo brothers, is introduced. They discuss their struggles in the half-barren earth and confide in one another.
The scene ends and a storage/disposal facility is introduced. The van, which Ant-Man and his former team used to enter the quantum realm, is invested by a rat. In a moment of sheer luck, this rat scurries over the button, which activates the machine and brings Scott Lang back to earth. In shock at the state of the earth, which he has re-entered after only a short time in the quantum realm, he looks desperately for his daughter in a memorial site. However, he sees his own name on a plaque and is hit by bemusement. He does not find Cassie’s name, so returns to his family home where he finds her, five years older, and is relieved. They embrace and the scene ends.
Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is introduced and is holding a conference with the surviving Avengers at Avengers HQ who appear as holograms. They discuss current affairs in the bleak post-snap, half populated world. Then, there seems to be a reference to a yet unmentioned Marvel character, Namor aka The Submariner. General Okoye talks of underwater disturbances but Black Widow dismisses their importance. Marvel have also hinted that he will have his own solo movie in the MCU in the near future. Jim Rhodes (Don Cheadle), aka War Machine, stays after the other heroes depart and notifies Black Widow on the whereabouts of Hawkeye. He is in Tokyo and is an assassin who murders Japanese gangsters.
Captain America joins the scene, after being introduced shaving his beard, and talks to Black Widow. She is eating a peanut butter sandwich which Steve is offered – a statement of the mediocrity of the once mercurial team they were apart of. Rogers talks to Romanoff who is still glum after Thanos’ actions five years ago.
Scott approaches the Avengers HQ and gets the attention of Cap and Natasha. Cap asks if the footage is old but Romanoff says that it is from the front of the facility. Scott discusses his brief time in the quantum realm as 5 hours which constitutes for 5 years in real time. He proposes the idea of time travel which could negate Thanos’ snap and it seems a very viable option. The heroes could travel to the points in time where they know the stones were, before Thanos finds them. If they claim them all, a gauntlet can be made and the stones inserted to bring back the half of the universe which has been reduced to dust.
They require direction and knowledge so the trio visit Tony Stark, who is living peacefully with his wife, Pepper, and his daughter Morgan (named after Pepper’s ‘eccentric uncle’ mentioned at the begining of Infinity War). They are interrupted by the heroes and Tony is initially reluctant but embraces the idea. Scott states the basic idea of the quantum realm and its relation to earth time and Tony tries to think of how to use this for time travel but he cannot. He renders the idea impossible.
A heartwarming scene epitomises the connection between father and daughter as Tony puts Morgan to sleep and reads her a short story. Tony says that he loves her and Morgan replies with ‘I love you 3000’, the biggest number she can think of. Following this, Tony meddles with thought of time travel and after some deliberation discovers a solution. He is joined by his daughter who hears him say ‘shit’ and she copies him in yet another light-hearted scene.
As a result, Cap mentions someone who has a ‘bigger brain’ and could solve the problem as they travel to meet him. They visit the Hulk, who has transformed into Professor Hulk, a hybrid of Bruce Banner and the Hulk and discuss the idea. They all return to Avengers HQ and test Banner’s theory. It ends up pear-shaped as Scott is the test dummy and returns on multiple occasion old and young. This is a funny and amusing scene for viewers as Bruce is not sure what he is doing with the controls.
Tony later leaves home to join the remaining Avengers and is greeted by Steve. Tony brings Steve’s attention to his car’s boot where he unveils a new vibranium shield. This is a pivotal scene and gives a greater sense of togetherness between the superheroes. With his shield, the audience see Cap rejuvenated and with more confidence.
The guardians arrive at Avengers HQ with a few others. One of which is War Machine, who in his large suit sees Scott Lang as his regular human self and says to him ‘Hi, regular-sized man’. Prior to this the ship in which they arrived blows away Scott’s taco – adding insult to injury. However, this is played as a mild joke and is presented comically.
The guardians inform the gathered heroes of Thor’s whereabouts. He is in a Nordic town named ‘New Asgard’, where the surviving Asgardians reside following Asgard’s destruction in Thor Ragnarok. Bruce and Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) are sent to persuade Thor to join them to avenge the dead. When directed to his abode, Pr. Hulk and Rocket Raccoon are informed of Thor’s alcohol accumulation and consumption, along with him never leaving the house except for provisions. We see Thor as a fat, lazy and disheveled person, a shadow of his former self. Him and his friends from Thor Ragnarok, including the hilariously entertaining Korg, are lounging, playing Fortnite. When talking to the heroes, Korg interjects and reports toxic behaviour from another player in the game. Thor responds by asserting his status as a Demi-God and alleviates the situation. A rather funny scene to say the least. The heroes plead with Thor who is reluctant and Pr. Hulk mentions Thanos – a name which Thor bans in his home. Tensions rise but Thor is lured by beer on the ship and leaves in a heartbeat.
Hawkeye is seen again, but in 2023, where he is an assassin in Tokyo – a nod to his comic book alter-ego Ronin. He murders a number of Yakuza and is face-to-face with his final opponent, who he slaughters. He turns around and sees Black Widow, who he asks about her reason for finding him. They hug in the torrential rain in an emotional moment.
The heroes assemble and Tony produces a time travelling device powered by Pym particles (invented by Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man). These particles use the quantum realm to enter the past. It is warned that the timeline cannot be changed. Travelling to the past makes the past become one’s future and the present become one’s past, therefore, the past cannot be change. Scott warns each hero that they only have two trips to the past, one to go into the past and the other back to 2023, their present. Black Widow points out that there were three infinity stones in New York at one time – in 2012, during the event of Avengers Assemble. Clint is the test subject of the time travelling device and is sent back to his family home where his family are still alive. He calls for his daughter as he enters the back door. He is retrieve from the past just before his daughter sees him and is left sad but glad that the device worked.
The Avengers journey through the space-time continuum and enter different time periods where the stones are. Captain America, Iron Man, Pr. Hulk and Ant-Man travel to the Battle of New York during 2012 to retrieve the mind, time and space stones. Rocket Raccoon and Thor travel to Asgard during the events of Thor The Dark World for the reality stone. Nebula and War Machine travel to Morag in 2014 for the power stone and Black Widow and Hawkeye travel to Vormir to get the soul stone.
In 2012, the heroes enter the original Avengers HQ where the Avengers cuff Loki and Tony has a briefcase containing the Tesseract containing the space stone. The Avengers take the elevator but Hulk took the stairs. Tony instructs Scott and Tony (2022) drops the briefcase with Scott pushing it to Tony but the Hulk busts out of the staircase hallway and pushes Tony, who drops the briefcase and reveals the Tesseract in front of Loki. Loki escapes.
Cap retrieves Loki’s sceptre from the SHIELD/Hydra agents from The Winter Soldier. Cap says ‘Hail Hydra’ and is given the case containing the sceptre in an elevator. However, he is confronted by his 2012 self and fights with him and succeeds. Him and Tony instruct Scott to return to 2023, while they go to the 1970s where the old SHIELD bunkers and staff are and the Tesseract along with extra Pym particles.
Bruce goes to the New York Sanctum and is confronted by the Ancient One. She states that time branches are created when an infinity stone is removed from a place in time. Banner proposes that returning each stone to the exact place it was taken, after they have used them, will remedy this problem. Banner mentions Dr Strange’s decision and she gives the stone to him as Strange is the greatest sorcerer supreme.
We join Nebula and Rhodie on Morag, where they encounter 2014 Starlord. They hit him on the head and he is left unconscious. Nebula then retrieves the stone from the cave where it is protected. War Machine returns to 2023 but Nebula cannot as her 2014 self, a part of Thanos’s team with Gamora, prevents her. Nebula’s memory files tamper with 2014 Nebula and Gamora and Thanos realise there is another Nebula on Morag. 2023 Nebula is taken hostage and beaten as 2014 Nebula assumes 2023 Nebula’s position and goes to 2023 to give way for Thanos’s fleets to enter the future.
Thor and Rocket Raccoon retrieve the Ether (reality stone) from Asgard from Jane. Thor is uneasy and is found by his mother who comforts him. Thor then leaves after retrieving Mjolnir with Raccoon and the stone. Natasha and Clint travel to Vormir where they are greeted by the Red Skull (Ross Marquand). The rules of gaining the stone are explained and one of them must be sacrificed. The duo, as close a siblings, fight until Clint jumps off only to be grappled by a hook from Natasha. Natasha hooks Clint to the ledge saving him as she falls. An immensely tragic and emotional scene.
The heroes all reunite in 2023 and news of Nat is spread. Tony makes an Iron Gauntlet for the stones to be placed in. Hulk is nominated to use the gauntlet and has his arm severely hurt. He snaps his fingers and it seems to have worked as Clint’s wife phones him. However, the meddling 2014 version of Nebula opens the way for Thanos’s warships. The HQ is bombarded with missiles. The heroes are depleted but rise. Clint sees the gauntlet and grabs it until Nebula (2014) arrives. She is distracted by Gamora (2014) and Nebula (2023) kills her. Clint takes the gauntlet and runs from the blood hunters.
Thor, Iron Man and Cap confront Thanos in an epic fight. The trio look all but done until Cap attracts Mjolnir in an incredible scene, proving himself worthy. They attack Thanos once more. Cap is contacted by what turns out to be Red Falcon. He is delighted and relieved as masses of the wiped out heroes enter through Dr Strange’s portals. This is an amazing scene. An enormous battle then commences as Thanos’s forces fight against the Avengers’ forces.
When losing, Thanos orders a reign of missiles upon the entire battlefield. This invokes havoc and the gauntlet is sent on a journey to safety. Thanos and the heroes tussle for the gauntlet until Iron-Man uses it, as he says ‘I am…Iron Man’. He clicks his fingers but is left fatally injured. In yet an another heavily emotional and cathartic scene, he dies.
Following this cataclysmic battle, a holographic message which Tony left is watched. He ends the message with ‘I love you 3000’. Tony’s funeral is very emotional. All of his friends and family show up and pay homage.
Soon after, we see Cap about to enter the past to place the infinity stones back in their rightful places. He does so but does not return at first sight. Instead, we see him on a near bench, old and frail. Falcon approaches him and says that he ‘got the life Tony was always saying I should get’. He gives his vibranium shield to Sam Wilson as the Captain America legacy is carried on. The movie ends with Cap dancing with his love and wife, Peggy.
The post-credits scenes included a tribute to Stan Lee and his cameos. We also see a deleted scene of Pr. Hulk saving people from a burning building. He is seen at the early stages of CGI with Mark Ruffalo’s voice. He is called by Cap to set up the meeting in the diner. The final scene is a snippet of Spider-Man Far From Home. It is of Maria Hill and Nick Fury in a sandy Mexican town where they encounter Jake Gyllenhaal’s Elemento and the villain he is tasked with defeating.
This film is a solid 10/10