In short: Loved it. A very satisfying culmination of this Infinity Saga. The Russo brothers achieved something monumental in their direction here, managing to close the loop on almost all the original Avengers in a satisfying manner, while delivering action, drama, and humour throughout 3 hours.
Overall rating: ★★★★★
(This was almost 4.5 stars, but then I thought about what a feat of storytelling this is when you take everything into account and decided it’s worth 5.)
The rest of this is just going to be filled with spoilers. You have been warned. xD
- Very well-paced, with only a couple of slightly slow parts. But I will acknowledge that the slow parts involved the characters I care about the least (Nebula, Thanos, Gamora) so that is probably one reason I felt those parts were slow. They were very necessary parts to the story, but I was less interested in them.
- The narrative is clear. Again, the Russos have done a very good job of having things happen concurrently in different places (and different times) without confusing the audience.
- I was extremely happy with the Steve Rogers screentime in this movie. (And he looked so handsome, having gone back to his clean-shaven self. Bonus points right there.) The part where he saw Peggy in the SHIELD office in 1970 wrung my heart. The very last scene that shows him dancing with Peggy in their home wrung my heart too but quite differently. I cried both times. I’m so glad that Steve got his happy ending. He deserved it! Perfect closure.
- The now-aged Steve giving the shield to Sam was a wonderful little handover scene. We all knew Sam was likely to take on the mantle next, and it was done so nicely.
- The Russos pulled a great bait-and-switch on the audience, setting up a potential repeat of the famous elevator fight from Winter Soldier and then pulling the rug out from under us by having Cap pretend to be a Hydra agent, stunning Sitwell and getting the sceptre without even batting an eyelid. Well done, Russos.
- Steve picked up Mjolnir! Used it! That was spectacularrrrr. I think half the cinema hall reacted along with me – there were audible gasps of delight and a number of cheers. It was a great pay-off for that little scene in Age of Ultron when he made Mjolnir wobble.
- Thor becoming fat because he never got over the whole incident and grieved by stuffing himself with alcohol and doing nothing. I think that was brilliant. And hilarious. Thor was the source of half the laughs in the movie. It was a good shock to the audience when he showed up looking like that. No muscly Thor in this movie. But so funny.
- The humour inherent in having all of them zip back to 2012 New York, 2013 Asgard, and 2014 Morag was very well deployed. The New York and Asgard bits were especially fun (because I enjoyed those movies a lot). I also appreciated the seamless integration into old footage and the appropriate additions of new stuff to fill it out.
Watching Thor and Rocket scuttle past Loki’s cell as Loki idly tosses and catches a cup was a hoot. So was having Bruce watch 2012 Hulk smash his way through some Chitauri and a car, with the dread of having to behave like that to keep up the pretense.
- I liked the additional Loki scenes… I think? I’m not sure. Yes, I enjoy seeing Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. I did enjoy how Loki was quicker on the uptake than all the people around him; he clearly noticed that something wasn’t quite right (and that worked to his advantage because he managed to grab the Tesseract once more and vanish).
But that repeated joke from Dark World, where Loki shifts into Captain America guise for a few moments didn’t feel quite as funny here. Perhaps it was too brief. Perhaps it was just plain unnecessary. I’ll need to rewatch this.
- Frigga. It was really nice that when she first turns up in this movie, she’s telling her ladies-in-waiting to get books and things for Loki. It was very funny when she scared Thor half out of his wits by coming round the other side of the pillar. (Plus: Like mother, like son? Both Loki and Frigga are good at sensing when something’s off.)
- The drama of Clint and Nat at Vormir was really well done. I thought it would be Natasha, but the way they were trying to beat each other to the punch was convincing enough that there were moments when I thought it could be Clint instead. Their mutual grim resolution and agony I believe 3000 times more than I believe Thanos’ agony at having to sacrifice Gamora (back in Infinity War).
- It’s so so sad that Tony Stark only got 5 years with Pepper and Morgan, but it was a good death. He literally died saving everyone, something that he’s almost done a number of times in the past. Narratively, it made a lot of sense. And it was heart-wrenching. Peter Parker’s dismayed “Mr. Stark?” brings to mind the same scene but with reversed roles in Infinity War. Then Pepper’s calm reassurances that they’d “be okay [without him]” before he dies… Before she breaks down too. I cried at that scene as well.
- They didn’t overuse Captain Marvel. That’s a good thing because she’s basically Superman without the kryptonite handicap. I think there was just the right amount of her in the movie.
- The final fight was pretty good. They focused mostly on the “personal” fight with Thanos, which was more effective than a massive crowd battle. But when he brought his army out, and then the glowing yellow circles started popping up with all the Good Guy backup from Wakanda, the sorcerers, and even Valkyrie (who procured a winged horse from who knows where)… That did have impact.
- Alan Silvestri did the music! Great choice. The Avengers theme came up numerous times in varying forms. And I loved every time the Captain America theme made an appearance.
- Scott/Ant-Man’s evident admiration and awe of Captain America is always amusing to watch.
- The Bruce Banner/Hulk treatment. On the one hand, it makes sense that he’s found a way to reconcile his Hulk side with his human self. But it felt like Bruce was behaving a little oddly? A tad too bubbly? You could put it down to his inner peace at having figured out how to balance his two sides perfectly. But it didn’t work for me.
- Right at this moment, I do not like that Loki got away with the Tesseract. This is just clearly the means to justifying a Loki series. And much as I love Tom Hiddleston’s Loki… I don’t like this. Bringing back Loki from 2012 into a present-day series means that the character loses all the growth he’s had through The Dark World and Ragnarok and the beginning of Infinity War. So we’re back at square one with Loki. Sigh.
- And honestly, I spent half the movie wondering whether Loki was going to reappear randomly since he got hold of the Tesseract. So that was a tiny bit distracting.
- Carol (Captain Marvel) came across as a little arrogant? Granted, it’s understandable since she’s so much more powerful than the rest of the Avengers but her claiming that they didn’t defeat Thanos earlier because she wasn’t around seemed a liiiittle bit much. Made me all the happier that she was gone for most of the movie.
- Well. Time travel is always confusing and things like Loki zipping away with the Tesseract, Thor’s taking Mjolnir from the past, and Steve’s choosing to stay in the past do put a big question mark in the back of my mind regarding how that might have affected the timeline… (Did Steve tell Peggy about Hydra?? Or did he let it run its course? He must have, but wow, the determination to keep his mouth shut. Then again, Steve Rogers would have the discipline for that. A bigger question might be: how did he live out his life? Did he have to change his name, stay away from Howard Stark and all the people who might recognise him? He’s not exactly low-key…)
- Did appreciate the joke about time travel concepts in Star Trek and all those other movies. Back to the Future gets a mention too. XD I wish there’d been a DeLorean cameo somewhere. hahah
- Interesting to note how a different soundtrack makes the iconic 360-degree shot of the Avengers in New York feel quite different.
- I’m surprised they got Natalie Portman back, even though it was a very brief appearance. I thought she didn’t want anything to do with this MCU after Dark World.
- Where did Valkyrie get that winged horse from all of a sudden? And is her name just Valkyrie? Why? Didn’t Thor himself refer to “the Valkyrie” in Ragnarok as a group of women warriors? Why is this one particular woman now just Valkyrie?
- What would have happened if Nebula and Rhodey had been the ones to go to Vormir instead of Nat and Clint? I mean, they’d have no sacrifice to make. It was awfully convenient for the plot that Nat and Clint, the two in the group with the oldest and closest bond would have to go to the place that demands a sacrifice of something you love dearly. (And Nat was all Clint had left at that point.)
- I admire the directors’ guts in letting Thor stay in his overweight mode the entire movie instead of having him magically become trim again. I had to laugh when he “put on” his armour and his beard automatically braided itself. xD
- Are we going to see Thor again, though? He just waltzed off with the Guardians… He doesn’t have a “closed” arc in the same way that Tony, Steve, Nat or Clint did. Same goes for Bruce. Are they still going to hang around this universe?
- Morgan H. Stark is a really cute little girl…
Endgame was a really good ending to a very long setup through almost 20 movies. There are some plot holes if you really think about it, but when you’re watching the movie, they don’t take you out of the story all that much. The Russo brothers have managed a feat on par with Peter Jackson’s filming the three Lord of the Rings movies at one go.
I was entertained, I laughed, I cried (both happy and sad tears). The movie’s three hours long, but I already want to watch it again. So for me, at least, it has a high rewatchability factor.
Random Quotes I Liked
- “I went for the head.”
- “Right up to this moment, I thought you were a Build-a-Bear.”
- “It was either him or a tree.”
- “I’m starting to think we mean different people here, Natasha.”
- “I KNEW IT!”
- “Avengers, assemble.”
- “I am inevitable.”
“And I am… Iron Man.” (C’mon, who didn’t think he’d say that?)
- “Do you want to tell me about her?”
“No, I don’t think so.”