Avengers: Endgame

A few of my friends got upset with me, accusing me that I spoiled part of Captain Marvel with my review. However, what I would like to point out to that person, or anyone else who might be reading my posts, is that if you are reading about a movie that you are likely going to see, perhaps you should be prepared for spoilers anyway? Anyway, lesson learned, so there will probably be spoilers ahead.

In Avengers: Age of Ultron Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) rather cooly comments in the middle of battle, “The city is flying, we’re fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes sense.” After watching Avengers: Endgame, while definitely entertained, I had kind of the same feeling.

I guess this is where spoilers start, though if you have not seen any of the movies leading up to Avengers: Endgame then I do not know what you have been doing with your life. In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos (Josh Brolin) accumulates all six infinity stones, which allow him to fulfill his ultimate goal of killing half the sentient life in the universe. How do these stones do this? Remember: flying city, none of this makes sense.

So Avengers: Endgame picks up very soon after the finger snap heard ’round the universe in Avengers: Infinity War and all our familiar heroes are understandably upset . . . to say the least. Hey kids, want to see Thor (Chris Hemsworth) decapitate his enemy out of pure revenge? Still, this leads to perhaps the funniest (for me, personally) depression spiral of all time as Thor retreats to New Asgard to live out the rest of his days as The Dude (Jeff Bridges) from The Big Lebowski, complete with cardigan, beer belly, unkempt beard, and sunglasses. No White Russians, though. How did all the survivors of Asgard get to earth after the last time we saw them they were all on a ship that had been destroyed by Thanos? Remember: flying city, none of this makes sense.

The obvious way of fixing all this, which is ultimately the point of Avengers: Endgame, was to use time travel. In serious movies, plots that involve going backward or forward in time are messy. Such stories work better when they are not meant to be taken with a straight face. The deal here is that the Avengers had to collect the infinity stones at previous points in time and then return them to the exact moment they were taken from once everything was set back to the way it was supposed to be. Confused yet? Remember: flying city, none of this makes sense. They threw in some science lingo to make it sound smarter. And in all honesty, somebody explained it to me after the fact, which helped. But unless you are paying attention, things can go off the rails.

Then again, perhaps that is the key to really enjoying a film like Avengers: Endgame. Remember: flying city, none of this makes sense. I guess it really does not have to assuage my hyper-logical mind. Ultimately, the Marvel movies work, and this one is no different, because while there are complicated things going on, they do not linger on complications. They speak to the heroic in us all, the child-like devotion to right and wrong. For some of us, and I really do credit my faith in this regard, that commitment to being heroic never left me. That is why my favorite character has always been Captain America (Chris Evans), because his iron-willed desire to do good “Whatever it takes” is consistent throughout the Marvel movies.

Thus the moment in Avengers: Endgame that spoke to me most comes when Captain America is standing alone, broken shield, beaten and battered, against Thanos and all his horde. He is willing to lay down his life for his friends, as are all the Avengers in the end (though I will not spoil in that much). And Jesus did say that there was no greater thing one can do. So forget the flying city and that nothing makes sense. Instead, get your popcorn and enjoy some of the best fan service ever in the climactic battle that sums up the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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