Right. Here are all my spoilery thought about Avengers: Endgame, I highly recommend not reading this if you haven’t seen the film. My spoiler-free review is here.
I probably haven’t mentioned everything I noticed or wanted to say because there was so much and I see new things every time I see it. I’ve seen Endgame three times now and still think it’s an incredible end to a series of 22 films. My comments are a mixture of stuff that happened in order, and character focussed stuff. This post is probably a mess so you’ve been warned.
The opening scene man! It was both great and painful that it opened with Clint and his family having fun outside and then his family disappears. I thought it was a great way to show the effects of the Snap on people who didn’t have a clue what was going on.
I have got to give props to Jeremy Renner for this film. He is a great actor and one I’ve liked for years and I always thought he could do an amazing job with Clint if he was given the chance and in Endgame, he was really given time to shine. When Nat finds him in Japan (after a truly great long shot of him killing everyone in sight) and he tells her not to give him hope – the crack in his voice made me choke up. Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner really do have great chemistry and the two of them have managed to add so much to Clint and Nat’s relationship over the years.
When it suddenly clicked for me that it was Clint and Nat going to Vormir I really didn’t know which one would die. Would they kill Natasha when she was the only female hero in the MCU for so long? And if they did would it feel cheap? Or will they kill Clint so he can get his family back even if that means he doesn’t see them again? I was on the edge of my seat throughout that sequence and the fact that the two of them were fighting over who would die for the other was so tense but so perfect for both of those characters. They are best friends; they love each other in a way unlike how they love anyone else. Nat got a second chance in life because of Clint’s decision not to kill her. She’s the aunt to his kids, one of which is named after her, and told him not to blame himself when he’d been mind-controlled by Loki. Clint’s got a family he’s trying to get back by Nat’s a part of that family too. She’s seen him at his absolute worst and she never judged him.
When it looked like Clint was going to be the one to die but then Nat leaped after him, attaching a line to him so he won’t fall and his clinging onto her hand – I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. Even thinking about it now, when Nat told him “Let me go” and “It’s OK” I feel my eyes water. The fact that Nat was the one who tore herself from his grasp, that it was her choice to die for him, for her family, for the universe, I felt it’s so perfect. Because Natasha’s story arc throughout these films is finding her place in this family that’s made out of the Avengers. She’s not just the spy, she’s caring and loving, who’d do whatever it takes to get her family back.
Jeremy Renner completely sold Clint’s anguish both when he was still hanging from the cliff and when he woke up in the water with the soul stone. And then again when they all arrive back in their present and he just falls to his knees and everyone realises what’s happened.
Scott Lang! Like honestly if that rat hadn’t accidentally activated the quantum realm generator and got Scott out of there, there’d be no film and nothing would’ve been fixed. I thought Paul Rudd did a great job in the more serious and emotional moments, like reuniting with his daughter, because he’s so well-known for comedy it was good to see another side of him. The whole sequence of him getting older and younger as Bruce tries to figure out time travel was hilarious.
Speaking of Bruce, it was weird seeing a proper Bruce/Hulk hybrid but I ended up thinking it was pretty interesting. That being said, while Bruce has clearly got the strength of Hulk, what happened to Hulk’s mind? Because Hulk did have his own personality which you saw in Thor: Ragnarok. That’s one of those little things in Endgame that don’t quite make sense when you think about it too hard, but I can ignore it and still enjoy the film a lot.
Before going into Endgame, I said repeatedly that I really wanted Tony and Nebula to bond and become friends because they’re the only ones left on Titan and they’re so different but I think they’d work really well together. There wasn’t much of it but I did get that! I loved the scene of them playing games, Tony letting her win and then them shaking hands on it. I loved when Nebula made sure Tony got the last of the food because he needed it more than her. And when she so gently put him in the seat and rested her hand on his shoulder – I just loved all the little moments between them.
I then liked how when it was five years later, it was clear that Nebula and Rhodey had become friends. They clearly had bonded over telling it how it is, and their use of prosthetics. Any of the scenes between them two were great.
Speaking of Nebula, I found her arc really interesting and Karen Gillan does such an amazing job at showing what Nebula’s feeling while covered in makeup and prosthetics. I loved the scenes between 2014-Nebula and 2023-Nebula because you could see how much she’s grown over the years and that’s been down to getting away from Thanos, and finding friends and a family. Loved how it showed the differences between her relationship with Gamora too and how Gamora was ready to look out for Nebula in 2014, if only she’d let her. I think the whole time travel thing is a very clever way to bring back Zoe Saldana/Gamora while not lessening what happened to her in Infinity War.
Thor’s character has caused a lot of debate. I won’t lie, the first time you see him and he’s shirtless and fat I did laugh when I first saw him. I think it was more down to the surprise of him looking like that as it’s so different to what we’ve been led to think Thor should look and be like.
But I think it works and I don’t think the film makes a big deal about his weight. Thor is depressed. He failed and blames himself. Even Thanos’ name sends him reeling. I have to give Hemsworth props because he does so well at balancing the humour and the seriousness with what Thor’s been going through over the past five years. He’s been hiding from his people but when Bruce and Rocket come to him for help, he goes with them. He travels back in time, gets to talk to his mum (that’s one of my favourite scenes) and he calls Mjolnir to him – proving to himself that he’s still worthy. That his depression, anxiety, panic attacks and failures don’t stand against him. He’s still a hero and someone worthy of love.
The characters that do make quips about how he looks are characters that are known arseholes. There’s Rocket and Rhodey (Rhodey loves Tony but he’s also a sarcastic person who tells it like he sees it) but then Tony can see Thor’s not fit to wield the gauntlet and Bruce helps him like Thor helped him when he needed it.
After Bruce manages to snap his fingers and bring everyone back, that calm before Thanos’ ship absolutely obliterates the Avengers compound is so earned. But when Thanos’ ship attacks, it kicks the film into another gear entirely. While up to that point, there’d been action scenes and exiting moments – it was like a heist (a time heist) so there wasn’t the big showdown and it was more character-driven (love the scene of Bruce, Tony and Nat lying around planning where to find the stones, it was so cute and showed how relaxed they are around one another). Side note: I love heist films so I very much liked the first two acts of Endgame but the final act was truly something else.
I loved Ant-Man coming to Rhodey, Rocket and Hulk’s rescue and how Rhodey got out of his suit to save Rocket. Clint was again amazing in that sequence, running from the space dogs with the gauntlet, shooting arrows and slicing them with his sword.
Then there’s Tony, Steve and Thor vs Thanos. I loved that fight, it showed how well the three of them work together, even after all this time, and then Steve lifts Mjolnir! The audience I saw it with at midnight went mad when that happened. I thought it was great and Thor’s reaction was brilliant too.
With Tony and Thor down, there’s the most stunning shot that looks like an oil painting, Steve to the left of frame, looking small and alone, against Thanos and his army to the right of the frame. Steve’s still standing and ready to fight and then Sam’s voice is heard in Cap’s ear. “On your left.” When the first portal appears with Okoye, T’Challa and Shuri stepping through I had a huge grin on my face, and then as more and more portals appeared and pretty much everyone we’ve ever met step through – it gave me goosebumps. The music “Portals” by Alan Silvestri is magnificent and it makes me tear up when I listen to it. Everything about that moment works so well. Pepper flying in in the Rescue armour, Valkyrie on her Pegasus, Wasp, the whole Wakandan army, all the magic users with Wong, and Strange, the Guardians and Spider-Man arriving from Titan – I think there’s even some of the Ravagers there too. Steve’s face is full of wonder but then Thanos is just stunned as this Thanos is from 2014 and doesn’t know how protected Earth is.
The whole battle sequence is amazing and I love how the heroes play hot potato with the gauntlet as they try and get it where it needs to be. You get to see how all their powers work differently, and I love how they all work together when really only a few of them know one another. And then there’s the poor people who were dusted that have only been alive for like 20 minutes and are back into the fray. I adore Tony and Peter’s reunion, it’s so earned because let’s be real, Tony invented time travel almost solely to get Peter back.
There’s so much going on in the final battle and I love it all. I love how the reason why Thanos calls down the bombs from his ship (which can and does kill his own troops) is because Wanda is about to kill him. She’s truly one of the most powerful avengers. And then the ship stops firing and fires at the sky instead because Carol has arrived and she’s more dangerous than everyone else on the battle field combined. I also love when Carol and Thanos are fighting and he headbutts her and she doesn’t even flinch.
A lots been made of that shot/scene in the final battle of all the female heroes coming together to help Carol get the gauntlet to where it needs to be. Is it performative feminism? Yes I think so. Do I care? No. Because seeing all those women together, being awesome and fighting side by side put a huge smile on my face and I absolutely loved it. Like many moments in the final battle, this is one I’m going to watch on repeat and pause it at different moments to see exactly who’s doing what and where.
I’ve seen Endgame three times now and the bit that has consistently made me cry is the end and Tony’s death. I love Tony Stark a lot and he’s grown to be one of my favourite characters in the MCU. Before going into Endgame I thought there was a good chance he’d die because Strange gave up the time stone for him and I thought that meant that Tony was the key to fixing everything. Plus in terms of the overall arc of the MCU, Tony started it all so it’d be almost poetic if he died saving them all. Still, I didn’t want him to die but if he had to die, I’m glad he went out in a blaze of glory like he did.
I love that Tony is surrounded by his family as he dies. I say love though it makes me sob. From the moment that Rhodey lands next to him and puts his hand in Tony’s hair, I’m a mess. Then there’s Peter who’s only just gotten a hug from Tony, telling him they won and it was ok and to not die and crying. I love how Pepper moves Peter away so she can get next to Tony, and how you can see Rhodey put his hand on Peter’s shoulder. Tony’s little “hey Pep” as he struggles to breath kills me and the way Pepper tells him “We’ll be ok. You can rest now.” is wonderful because it’s like she’s giving him permission to let go and it’s only after he does that she truly breaks down.
When I first heard Tony’s voice over I was like “wait what’s going on???” but him leaving a message in case of his death is so perfect. I loved how the four people the camera focused on in that scene were Pepper, Morgan, Rhodey and Happy – they (more than the Avengers) are his family. Tony, Pepper, Rhodey and Happy are the original family of the MCU and no one can deny that.
Seeing everyone at the funeral makes me cry. I love that Harley is there and I take that as proof that Tony kept in touch with him, checking in every now and then and talking to him about the Iron Man specs.
I like how General Ross is there, showing that Tony’s sacrifice is more than bureaucracy. I loved how Fury was at the back, looking over all the heroes like he always has been. Side note: everyone’s funeral outfits were amazing.
Then there’s the scene between Clint and Wanda. And if you’ve been on my blog before/read my spoiler rants/tweets you’ll know I love their relationship and I like to think Wanda’s like Clint’s second daughter and she’s the cool aunt to his kids. So I loved that scene between them and how they put their arms around one another.
Just when I think I’m composed and I’ve stopped crying – there’s the scene between Happy and Morgan. Morgan asks for a cheeseburger, Happy says they’re her dad’s favourite and he’d get her all the cheeseburgers she wants. God bless Jon Favreau in that scene because his acting sets me off sobbing again every time I’ve seen it.
Let’s talk time travel. Like many films with time travel, if you think about it too closely, there’s probably going to be some inconsistencies/confusion. On the whole, I think the time travel in Endgame makes sense and I love the scenes of characters from the future in the past – especially the whole New York in 2012 bit. I cannot believe they got back so many actors for that sequence! Thee’s Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow, Maximiliano Hernández as Sitwell and they even got Robert Redford back as Alexander Pierce! Also really liked Thor using Mjolnir as a defibrillator on Tony.
The only bit of time travel I don’t quite get is when Steve stays in the past, marries Peggy and gets old with her. Steve staying in the past with Peggy isn’t that much of a surprise to me and I don’t mind that’s how his ending went. But, I don’t like how it then maybe stops Peggy from being the person she was, still loving Steve but also managing to find love and get married to someone else. I’ve seen some articles saying he ended up in a different reality/alternate universe so the Peggy we know who, lived a full life, got dementia and died still existed. I like that idea as I don’t want Peggy’s agency and choice taken away by Steve’s actions.
I did like how Sam’s now got the mantle of Captain America and I think he’ll be a great Cap but I wish there would’ve been more scenes of Steve and Bucky together as their friendship seemed to get short-changed a bit at the end there.
I think that’s everything I’ve got to say about Avengers: Endgame. I really did love it a lot. I think it’s a great conclusion to over ten years of hard work and it’s the sort of film that really has so many in-jokes and references that fans will appreciate.
I don’t know where abouts Endgame will sit on my personal MCU ranking. I don’t really rank the MCU films as I either like or love 90% of them (only ones I’m not a fan of really are Doctor Strange, Age of Ultron and The Incredible Hulk). I can’t wait to be able to watch Infinity War and Endgame back to back. Over the next few weeks I’m pretty busy, but I think there’s a good chance I’ll see Endgame at least once more before it leaves the cinemas.
It really is the end of the era when it comes to the MCU and the characters we’ve followed for rover a decade. I don’t know where the MCU is going to go next (I’ve yet to watch the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer and want to do my best to avoid it) and I’m intrigued to see what sort of story arc they’re going to do next now Thanos is defeated.
If you’ve managed to make it to the end of this ridiculously long post – it’s over 3,000 words long – then congratulations! I’m always happy to talk about Endgame and the MCU in the comments and on Twitter.
EDIT: I knew as soon as I posted this I’d think of other things I wanted to mention. The main one being, I loved that Tony told Steve exactly what he thought of him when he got back to Earth. Steve needed to hear it and Tony ripping off his arc reactor and putting it in Steve’s hand was such a power move. That being said, I also liked how it was time that allowed both of them to learn to trust and forgive one another.