Spoiling the Endgame: How Marvel’s 11-year venture pays off

Courtesy of Walt Disney Motion Pictures

After multiple viewings of the newest Marvel Studios film, “Avengers: Endgame,” we decided to sit down and talk about our thoughts in-depth. This discussion will be about the full movie, so spoilers will be all around.

 

Adam Alvernaz: Starting off, what were your general impressions after leaving the theater for the first time?

 

Colin Carney: After leaving I felt that the movie had delivered on everything that I had wanted to see and it wrapped up everything that I had wanted it to cover. So for me, the big takeaway was just the finality of the film and how it really felt like the final Avengers movie. I really appreciated how it wrapped up all the main arcs of the original Avengers and it left me with strong feelings especially with how many emotional moments the film had throughout.

 

A: I really appreciated the consistency of tone with the film and how it concluded with the same emotional weight that it started with. Even with the movie’s time heist portion and the climactic battle at the end, it still was able to give an emotional ending to the infinity saga. I was impressed with how well done the ending was as I felt there were multiple traps they could have fallen into, but surprisingly they succeeded on delivering a satisfying conclusion. Of course, there’s always going to be small flaws in the film that can be dissected, but overall the experience was never hindered by that.

 

C: The best part of the film for me was the characters themselves. Each Avengers film has felt like a season finale with each individual character film being like an episode in a grander tale. Each of the main characters were given a lot of development because of everything that had led to this film. So I really appreciated that, especially with how Black Widow takes a more active role in the Avengers even with Hawkeye as his character gets expanded on with his new persona, Ronin.

 

A: I agree, characters definitely shined as we followed the main six throughout the film. I do feel that there were some characters that were mishandled, such as Thor. “Thor Ragnarok” really set his character up nicely to be the new King of Asgard and it felt that he had really come into his own. Following this into “Infinity War” (IW), he gets fully enveloped in killing Thanos and avenging everyone he’s lost. Not to mention how much more comedic he has become and how he’s a lot funnier than when we were first introduced to him. Going into “Endgame,” we see a Thor that has really lost his way and regressed into a joke overall. This new fat Thor persona he has taken really hurt the potential of the character.

 

C: After watching it for the first time, I did agree with your point of view that he had become a joke machine and it felt very played out. After the second time watching it, I felt that his story of losing everything and spiraling into a depression was a good fit for his reaction to the snap. After five years, each character has their own development. Captain America became more integrated with society and Iron Man secluded himself to a quiet life with his new family. I liked the fact that Thor was a broken man and was able to come above it. I could probably do without the various fat Thor jokes, but I did like his broken and lost character arc after IW.

 

A: My main problem was around how his character had turned into a joke and I didn’t really like that direction. What saves his character for me was towards the end of the film when he’s speaking to Valkyrie. Giving up the mantle of king and giving it to her I felt was satisfying as it really solidified the idea that Thor was forging his own path and to be the person he wanted to,  not the person he was meant to be. Especially with him joining the Guardians, the ensuing hijinx is going to be an exhilarating tale that I hope does Thor well. Since we’re talking about characters, who was your favourite character in the film?

 

C: For me personally, I have to go with Tony Stark. I feel that his character had the most impact on the universe as a whole. I know it’s stereotypical, but he has always been my favorite because of Robert Downey Jr. I was happy with his character in this film about wanting to protect his family. His interactions with his family were really compelling and hit beats that were really set up from all other movies he’s been in. I felt like Downey’s performance was spectacular in this film and that he had some of the most emotional and compelling scenes in the film.

 

A: For me, Chris Evans as Captain America has the best characterization of all the Avengers in “Endgame.” His whole arc is about trying to survive and sustain a society in the world that is falling apart around him. His whole character moment of reintegrating himself into society and being the hero that the world needs is very compelling. He never gives up even though he is the last standing Avenger. Him wielding Mjolnir is really symbolic of this as it really hits that idea of Steve being the saviour the Avengers needed.

 

C: I did like Captain America’s story as well, personally all the characters had something special about them in this film. I said before, but Black Widow and Hawkeye were clear standouts for me as they had received much more development than before in terms of character arc. I thought that each character had really stepped up and proved themselves to be mainstays of the cast. I really enjoyed Nebula’s character and how she was portrayed as part of the main cast.

A: Nebula’s inclusion was done tastefully and I felt that they had used her character really well. Her whole arc with 2014 Nebula turning 2014 Gamora good was done very well. I really felt that Karen Gillan and Zoe Saldana had done exceptional jobs on portraying that mixed relationship they have. One character I felt had been done and portrayed well was Professor Hulk. I am happy to finally see this version of Hulk as it brings the best of both worlds, both character-wise and humour.

 

C: After absorbing all that the film had to offer, I did like his characters inclusion in “Endgame.” What I would’ve wanted from him would probably be more setup as to how he becomes professor Hulk rather than just an explanation. Fitting all of that into an already long movie however would have been hard and I felt that after the second viewing I appreciated it more than the first time I viewed it. I really like the goofy jock dynamic that he brought to the rest of the cast and he played off of everyone very well. If there was one character that was lacking in the cast, it was Josh Brolin’s Thanos. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t like his performance or the character in this film, on the contrary I think he’s one of if not the best Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) villain. The only thing that changed for me was that he played a smaller role in this film than he did in IW, where he was practically the lead, and that due to the time travel element, the Thanos in this film was younger and different.  I like that dynamic and appreciated it, and I felt that the focus on the heroes more than the villain was needed in this film, but when he was inevitably defeated I didn’t feel as emotionally relieved at his defeat as I would’ve if it had been the Thanos we knew from IW.

 

A: I definitely agree with that, especially after IW where we really got to sympathize and understand Thanos as a character. I didn’t really see a problem with Thanos as in “Endgame” we see the mad titan aspect of Thanos which I felt really fit the films overall finality. I would say that it is a downgrade from IW, but it was still sufficient for the final sequence. I understand that it is very jarring going from an exceptional version of Thanos to a lesser more evil character. I still find that he is one of the best villains that the MCU has to offer. I think one of the bigger risks they took was introducing time travel, but I’m happy with the direction they took with it.

 

C: I did really enjoy the time travel aspects to the film as they offered some really great moments for our characters to explore their past and interact with characters they otherwise wouldn’t have. My main gripe with it is how Tony Stark discovers it because of an offhanded experiment. I felt that it was too fast and was done just for the sake of moving the plot along. Once again, it’s just a nitpick as I really loved seeing all of the interactions between characters who are no longer alive in the Marvel universe. Some of the best character moments in the film come as a result of these interactions such as Thor’s talk with his mother Frigga, and especially Tony’s conversation with his father, Howard.

 

A: I think that the scenes like this were all done very well and reaffirmed some of the themes and arcs that we see our characters undergo throughout the rest of the film. When Thor talks to Frigga, we see her reaffirm that belief that he only has to be the person he wants to be. Tony talking to Howard about having kids and being a father. I am really glad for them to get the closure that they never were able to have outside of their own respective films.

 

C: I absolutely agree as I feel it rewards those who have seen every film, especially during the first Avengers film where we see Brock Rumlow and Jasper Sitwell interact with Captain America before they’re revealed to be HYDRA agents. Seeing Captain America take advantage of that to take the mind stone from them is brilliantly done and adds to their inclusion of films prior to “Endgame.”

 

A: Certainly, seeing all of these past characters was such a treat and added to the history of these films whilst giving subtle nods to those who have followed these films throughout. Undeniably, my favorite part in the entire film is the Avengers assemble scene in the beginning of the end battle. Captain America wielding Mjolnir and seeing everyone appear after being dusted in IW was such great fanservice and gave every Marvel fan something to smile about. I think that scene really spoke to the finality that the film carried as it is probably the last time we will see each of these characters sharing the same screen again. The cinematography in that scene is great as it mainly focuses on where the gauntlet is and each character that carries it. It gives each character a moment to shine as they each hold a part in securing the gauntlet.

C: That fight itself is perfect as it begins and ends with Thor, Iron Man and Captain America. The entire battle is fanservice in the best possible way as it shows everything that Marvel Studios has wanted to portray since the beginning with “Iron Man” in 2008. I really appreciated the big establishing shots of both armies with their respective leaders and characters. It was done very well and looked excellent overall. For me the highlight of the battle was with Iron Man snapping away Thanos’ army and his death after. That scene with War Machine, Pepper Potts and Peter Parker trying to console him is great. It’s a heartfelt sendoff where each character that he has built a relationship with has a chance to be next to him as he passes. Following his death, the holographic eulogy and subsequent funeral where we see all the Avengers in attendance brought tears to my eyes, especially Happy’s cheeseburger interaction with Tony’s daughter, Morgan.

A: I couldn’t agree more, it’s one of the best ways to end a characters story and arc. Ending his character with the same way it started is a perfect way to send off his character. Following that with Captain America’s ending was perfect as well. Him talking to Bucky and Falcon knowing he won’t see them for a while is great. Bucky knows this and tells him that he’ll miss him even though Steve reassures him that he’s going to be gone for a few seconds. Then when we see him leave and return as an old man is great. Especially with his eventual end as he returns to be with Peggy Carter and passes off the shield to Falcon. He’s done all he can for the world and he knows that he deserves to take a rest and leave the future to the next generation of Avengers. I felt that it was a great ending to his story and really fit his character perfectly. Other than that, where does this movie rank for you in the grand scheme of Marvel films.

C: I definitely think that the film is in the top three for me. It rewards fans for knowing everything that has led up to “Endgame” and delivers on all of the expectations that fans had after “Infinity War.” I loved everything that it had achieved and how near perfect the film was. All characters get a moment and have weight to their performances and pays off on the emotional and epic scenes that Marvel is known for.

 

A: It’s a great capstone to Marvel’s 22 film odyssey and I think that it is the definitive Avengers film that sets up and ends everything that the series has been leading up to. It probably will be the final film that many fans will care about watching on release. Going forward with the next Spider-Man film and the many Disney Plus TV shows, I feel that Marvel has huge shoes to fill. Marvel is leading up to something bigger and better with all of these new characters that they have to play with. While “Endgame” feels like the final story, it really is the end of the first book in a bigger universe that Marvel is planning on developing in the years to come.

 

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