"The Good, the Bad and the Unresolved"
AVENGERS: ENDGAME in some ways resembles a Wagnerian opera with a lot of good and some annoying bad, as well as several loose plot points and self-referential nods to previous Marvel movies. The opening is one of the best movie openings in a long time, and the ending is emotionally powerful. In fact, in many ways, the movie expresses the most important rule in filmmaking, which is to touch the audience’s emotions with very sad scenes as well as very funny scenes, keeping the audience intrigued for much of the movie. That said, some of the false threads should have been cut, and the movie would have been reduced to a much more reasonable, compact and more compelling time frame.
In the previous Avengers movie, INFINITY WAR, the evil, crazed environmentalist, Thanos, obtained all the ultra-powerful “Infinity Stones” and snapped his fingers, killing half of all the sentient creatures in the universe. ENDGAME opens with Clint, the Avenger known as Hawkeye, having a picnic with his family. Suddenly, Clint’s family disappears, breaking his heart and everybody in the audience’s heart.
Meanwhile, the remaining Avengers blame each other for their failures, with Tony Stark castigating Steve, Captain America, and Thor retreating into a beer bottle and letting his body go to flab. Natasha, the Black Widow, says they have to find a way to reverse what’s happened. Somehow, since it’s five years after Thanos snapped his fingers, Ant-Man comes out of the quantum realm in the midst of the van they were using to transport him, which is now located in a junkyard.
Ant-Man leaves the junkyard to reunite with the rest of the Avengers. He says they can do a “time heist,” but Tony Stark insists you can’t do it, because it’s physically impossible. In the midst of some very funny dialogue, Ant-Man convinces everyone he’s been in the quantum realm for only a few seconds but returned five years later. Finally, Bruce Banner and Tony think they can figure out a method. Each of them pursues their time heist solution differently. In a funny theme, Banner tries to send Ant-Man into the quantum realm. Although he comes back, he doesn’t come back the same Ant-Man until Banner can get it right. Stark, however, figures out a bigger machine that can take the people back in time, but they have to figure out the serum that Hank Pym used to create the original Ant-Man.
In the midst of a lot of Marvel flashbacks, cuts, reminiscences, and scenes of Clint slaughtering so-called gangsters (which doesn’t make sense), they finally figure out how to go back in time to retrieve each of the Infinity Stones to reverse the destruction Thanos caused to destroy half the universe, including their friends. When each one goes back, they have to confront some of their own past. For instance, Thor weeps when he sees his mother, and Tony Stark meets his father designing weapons for S.H.I.E.L.D., which Tony now knows is secretly run by the Neo-Nazi group called Hydra. There are beautiful scenes between Tony and his father and Thor and his mother, and there’s some compassionate scenes about retrieving the “Soul Stone” that requires the taking of a life.
Next, the Avengers have to find Thanos, who’s living in his own version of the Garden of Eden. However, Thanos realizers through his captive daughter, Nebula, that there’s a redeemed Nebula trying to find him. So, he sends the unredeemed Nebula to replaces her redeemed Nebula future self and destroy the Avengers.
Plot point after plot point, character arc after character arc, motivation after motivation leads to the final battle. Who will win? Who will die?
AVENGERS: ENDGAME has one unified plot with many characters and themes merging into it. In the interest of finding the emotional moment in each scene, some of the plot points are unresolved and some of the storylines are left hanging. At one point in the movie, this gets to be tedious and may be confusing if you haven’t seen all the previous Marvel movies up to now. That said, the good outweighs the bad, but AVENGERS: ENDGAME has a lot of foul language, including strong blasphemies, intense action violence and other immoral content that warrant extreme caution. On the good side, family is of prime importance in the movie’s main storyline. Also, people are respected as equals, and individual life is appreciated. Patriotism, freedom and free enterprise are portrayed in a strong positive light as in previous movies.
On the negative side, some children are taught to curse. Even Captain America curses, even though it doesn’t ring true to his character from previous movies. ENDGAME also contains strong references to witchcraft and a gratuitous, annoying reference to perversity in one scene. Eventually, some important relationships come to naught. Also, it becomes clear that some beloved characters aren’t going to appear in the next Marvel movie unless it’s in a flashback. Most annoying to one reviewer was the constant nods to political correctness.
Marvel has developed a good formula. They just need a little more attention to detail. Clearly, they love families. So, they should avoid getting edgy and using so much foul language, since it alienates the very people they want to reach. Some of the reviewers thought Marvel has reached its summit. If so, they’re sowing the seeds of alienating the huge audience they’ve built up in the past 22 movies, not counting the first three SPIDER-MAN movies released by Sony. However, there have been filmmakers and studios that looked like they were peaking, then they self-corrected and went on to greater achievements.
AVENGERS: ENDGAME picks up five years later where the last movie left off. The remaining Avengers are still mourning the loss of their friends at the hands of Thanos, an evil environmentalist loon. Ant-Man comes out of the quantum realm and insists they can use the quantum realm to go back in time, retrieve each of the Infinity Stones, and reverse the destruction Thanos caused. Thanos, however, has some tricks up his sleeves. Plot point after plot point and character arc after character arc leads to another final battle. Who will win? Who will die?
AVENGERS: ENDGAME has one unified plot with many characters and themes merging into it. That said, some plot points are unresolved and some storylines are left hanging. At one point, this problem becomes a little tedious and even confusing. ENDGAME also has lots of foul language, frequent intense violence, and some other edgy, immoral content that’s also harmful to children. On the positive side, however, the movie contains an emotionally powerful, morally uplifting main plot that extols family and fatherhood. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for AVENGERS: ENDGAME.