Avengers: Endgame: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #57

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews! As a heads up, this review will contain spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, but it’s been a year since it came out, so I’m pretty sure everyone’s seen it by now!

22 movies. 11 years. One epic final movie. With an all-star cast including Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johannson, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Renner, and directed by Anthony and Joe Russo comes the epic blockbuster that is Avengers: Endgame. Set five years later after Infinity War, the universe is still suffering from the fallout from Thanos’ snap and the Avengers have admitted defeat and are dispersed around the universe. There is no hope, but that is until Scott Lang is ejected out of the Quantum Realm. Instead of being stuck there for 5 years, he was only in there for 5 hours. This discovery is enough to spark hope in the Avengers and they go back in time and retrieve the Infinity Stones before Thanos ever got them, so they can reverse the Snap and bring back their fallen foes.

Robert Downey Jr returns to play Iron Man/Tony Stark. Like in all previous movies, Downey Jr proves he really is irreplaceable as Tony Stark. His performance in Endgame was impeccable. I was not expecting Stark to die in Endgame, and his death had me shocked. I think that this film fulfilled his character arc, showing him as a more paternal figure like we had a glimpse of in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Endgame builds on this, in a way that’s more emotionally complex and was demonstrated through the relationship between Tony and his daughter, Morgan, which was so brilliantly orchestrated. It was built up in the course of one movie, and the final ‘I love you 3000’ from Tony’s hologram brought tears to my eyes. Captain America was played brilliantly by Chris Evans. It was so great to see more of Cap in this film, especially as Infinity War didn’t feature enough of him. Evans’s portrayal of Steve Rogers was one of his best, as we saw the completion of his character arc too; not everything that’s special about him came out of a bottle (as he’s worthy of wielding Mjolnir) and he got to spend his life with Peggy. Evans brought a depth and complexity to Captain America which made his last hurrah as the First Avenger even more remarkable and enjoyable. Chris Hemsworth is back as Thor, and I must admit, my opinions on Bro Thor were split. I personally felt it did ruin some of what was created in Thor: Ragnarok, which started a new arc for Thor that I was really loving but on the other hand, the idea of having a Thor who’s been hugely impacted by his failure to kill Thanos in Infinity War and suffering from his failure is something rarely seen in movie sequels. I found the way that Hemsworth immersed himself in this new side of Thor was incredibly well done on his part, and I can’t wait to see what happens with Thor in the future. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Black Widow, and in my opinion, this was one of her best performances in the role. Her character had depth and, similarly to Cap, it was great to see more of her in this film. With more of Black Widow in the film, we gained an insight into how she had been affected by Decimation, as she had taken on the role of trying to prevent other catastrophic events from happening, even if it was an earthquake under the ocean. Romanoff takes on a larger role and Johannson’s execution of the role was fantastic. The death of Black Widow was a surprise and I look forward to seeing what happens in her solo film. We also meet Professor Hulk in Endgame, played by Mark Ruffalo. Professor Hulk combined the brains of Bruce Banner with Hulk’s strength, and as cool as it was to see him on screen, I found myself agreeing with Valkyrie, where I would have preferred him either of the other ways. Additionally, I would have liked to have seen more from his character, as it’s something quite interesting to look into, but there may be more of him in the future. One of my favourite characters in Endgame was Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, as it was great to see him in action again after so long. I liked the new Ronin arc for Clint and it’s something that was not only fun to watch on screen but I would like to be explored in the future. Renner’s acting ability was something that shone throughout the film, as he demonstrated his range of emotions perfectly, whether it be his heart torn to pieces over the dusting of family and Natasha sacrificing herself for the Soul Stone, or to the joy of his family coming back to life when he picks up that phone call from Laura. Josh Brolin returns to play Thanos, the villain who’s been building up in the background for the past 10 years. I loved the portrayal of Thanos in Endgame, though I would have liked to have seen more from him. He was the main character who was one of the MCU’s best villains, but I felt that he was somewhat lacking in this film. However, this is understandable seeing as Infinity War focussed on Thanos on acquiring the Infinity Stones to destroy half the universe, whereas Endgame focussed on the Avengers reassembling to undo the damage done.

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Captain America proves himself worthy of wielding Mjolnir

The music in Endgame was absolutely amazing. Alan Silvestri, the composer for The Avengers, Infinity War, and Endgame, was able to intricately compose the soundtrack for the film with beautiful scores that were perfectly suited the movie. One of my favourite scores from the film (and perhaps of all time) has to be ‘Portals’. I remember sitting in awe as Falcon swooped in with Black Panther through a portal, and as more of our dusted heroes appeared through portals to the final showdown, the score ‘Portals’ played, perfectly matched to the jaw-dropping scene.

The story followed neatly on from Infinity War and concluded the Infinity Saga with a satisfying ending that also left the audience excited for the future of the MCU. What will happen with Thor and the Guardians? What will happen now that Falcon is Captain America? Who will be the next big villain in the MCU? You’ve also got to hand it to Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who wrote the screenplay for the film. It had the comic book feel which, combined with the acting and music, created a spectacular movie as a whole.

Before I come on to my favourite scenes, there were admittedly parts that I didn’t like, some of it being general stuff and others being nitpicking. Firstly, Nebula maybe could’ve told the Avengers that going to Vormir meant that someone had to die for the Soul Stone. She also could’ve traveled back to the present time after failing to alert Nat and Clint of Thanos knowing their plan. Another thing that kind of annoyed me was how Scott escaped from the Quantum Realm. I understand it’s the 1 in 14 million realities that the Avengers win, but the chances of a rat tapping on the correct buttons to pull him out was crazy. Given that it’s Pym Tech suggests that the machinery behind the Quantum Realm is complicated, but not basic enough to the point that a rat can just walk on across the pad and let Scott out. There’s also a fine line between the perfect amount of comedy and too much, and for me, Endgame tiptoed over it. Some jokes were brilliant, like America’s ass, but in other places, the humour was forced in unnecessarily such as with Professor Hulk dabbing or War Machine saying that Thor has “Cheez Whiz” running through his veins during one of the film’s most intense scenes. Another problem for me was the sheer amount of characters being shoe-horned into the film. While some characters got the screentime they deserved, such as Iron Man and Captain America, I felt some other characters didn’t get enough, such as Professor Hulk. I also think the time travel itself was a little confusing to understand. It made sense later on in the film, but it wasn’t clear at first how the time travel worked.  

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Tony prepares to snap away Thanos and his army while sacrificing himself in the process.

Now onto my favourite scenes. It was a small moment, but the opening of Hawkeye losing his family was the perfect start. It not only allowed us to reconnect with one of our heroes but also picked up exactly where we left off; in the middle of Thanos’ snap. The next best moment for me was the team-up against Thanos in his retirement Garden. The early twist of Thor beheading Thanos was unexpected and left me wondering where the film would go from there. My favourite part of the “updating the audience where everyone was 5 years later” section was definitely seeing where Stark was. We’ve seen Tony evolve through these films from a cocky playboy into a more caring, paternalistic character. Endgame introduces us to Tony’s daughter, Morgan, and for the short time they spent together on screen, a sweet and loving relationship is shown that is one of the highlights of the film.  The montage of the surviving Avengers tracking down the Stones locations in the past was another favourite scene of mine, as it wrapped the timeline of the Stones and the MCU up in a way that has you reflecting on the past 10 years on movies. It’s all built up and comes together to this; the epic conclusion. The whole time travel sequence was such great fun to watch as it built on what I mentioned previously about reflecting on the past 10 years. We are taken back to 3 Marvel movies that the Stones have all been a part of and you can’t but brim with enjoyment as this all plays out. I remember sitting in the cinema just blown away by how far we’ve come and where we are now.  The highlights of this sequence were the battle of New York with Cap vs Cap, and traveling back to the ’70s to get the Tesseract, with Steve seeing Peggy and Tony finally giving his father a proper farewell. To me, these scenes were either just really awesome to watch or served a strong purpose. For Steve, I think him seeing Peggy again reminds him of a life he could have had, and this silent interaction is why he chose to stay back in time with her. For Tony, he’s always had that tension with his father, but now that he’s had that final moment of saying goodbye, we can goodbye to Tony because his character arc is complete.

One of the best scenes in the whole movie was Cap wielding Mjolnir. The dramatic reveal was amazing, with the tension that had built up with the high stakes of the moment and the epic swelling music in the background. The fact that Cap was worthy was teased back in Age of Ultron in 2015, and the payoff was awesome, especially with Cap using Mjolnir and his shield together. The whole end battle for me was perfect. From the portals and Falcon swooping in with the iconic “on your left” line to Spider-Man taking the Infinity Gauntlet from Black Panther and riding on a Pegasus with Valkyrie, ending with Stark’s final words, “I am Iron Man”, there was nothing I would change about this entire sequence. I was on the edge of my seat in awe throughout the whole of this sequence. This had been 10 years in making and it’s payoff made it worth every second.

Avengers: Endgame gets an 8.6/10 from me. The fantastic screenplay combined with great acting made it the perfect ending to 10 years of cinematic build-up. Upon rewatching (and re-rewatching), I’m still amazed at how this was pulled off, and it’s no surprise that Endgame is the highest-grossing movie of all time. Marvel have completely changed both the superhero genre and cinema itself in the past decade, and I can’t wait to see what happens to the MCU in the future.

Thanks for reading this review. I’m undecided on what to review next, but it’ll either be The Mandalorian, my favourite sitcom, or a classic movie. I hope you are all well in these difficult times and I’ll see you in a couple weeks.

Ryan Recaps: Before you see Avengers: Endgame

So, you’re going to see Avengers: Endgame, the movie event of the year, but need a recap of where we left the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). This post will bring you up to speed so you can fully enjoy the final film in the Infinity Saga. This will contain some spoilers for past Marvel movies as well as other information for the Avengers: Endgame that has been confirmed by Marvel by trailers, posters or other media.

Who’s dust and who’s dead?

Following Thanos’ decimation, the dusted are Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Star-Lord, Drax, Mantis, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Groot, Bucky Barnes, Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne. We also saw Vision, Loki, Heimdall and Gamora die during Infinity War, and a poster reveals that Shuri is no longer with the remaining Avengers.

Are they really gone for good?

It’s not known whether the dusted and dead gone for good, or if they still exist somewhere else, like in the Soul Stone or somewhere like that. Nothing is really known about their whereabouts, but speculation that they come back somehow is based on future MCU movies, such as Spider-Man: Far From Home, Black Panther 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3. Maybe Endgame will explain if and how they come back, but who knows?

Who’s still alive?

Still alive to avenge their fallen friends are the heroes who survived the snap. Left alive are Tony Stark (Iron Man), Nebula, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, War Machine, Bruce Banner, Okoye, Rocket Raccoon and M’Baku. Others who are still alive as confirmed by Marvel by posters and trailers include Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Captain Marvel, Pepper Potts, Happy Hogan, Valkyrie and Wong.

So who’s where?

Based on where we saw them last, here’s where the surviving heroes are. Left abandoned on Titan are Tony Stark and Nebula, surrounded by the ruins of the planet and the dust of their fallen allies. In Wakanda, we have Thor, Black Widow, War Machine, Bruce Banner, Captain America, Okoye, M’Baku and Rocket Raccoon. Ant-Man was last seen abandoned in the Quantum Realm in the mid-credits scene of Ant-Man and the Wasp. Hawkeye is still on Earth somewhere as is Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts. I think it’s safe to guess that Wong is back guarding the Sanctum in New York, meanwhile, Captain Marvel and Valkyrie are out in space somewhere, waiting to make a return.

What’s the plot of Avengers: Endgame?

Nothing is really known about the plot of the movie. From trailers and official footage from Marvel, we know that the film will show Tony Stark and Nebula returning to Earth somehow, where they will team up with the other remaining Avengers and go after Thanos to defeat him for once and for all, maybe attempting to undo the snap which put them in this position whilst doing so.

So what’s Thanos been up to?

At the end of Avengers: Infinity War, we saw a smiling, satisfied Thanos on a new planet. His Infinity Gauntlet was severely damaged after the Snap yet it’s unknown whether the Infinity Stones themselves are damaged. Trailers for Endgame shows Thanos on his farm living out a peaceful life after succeeding in his mission, with his armour hung up on a scarecrow too.

What about that time travel thing?

If you want to avoid theories, then skip this out. Behind the scenes pictures show Tony Stark, Captain America, Bruce Banner and Ant-Man with the same watch on their wrist in what looks like the Battle of New York from 2012’s The Avengers. A scene from the second Endgame trailer shows Tony and Steve reuniting for the first time in what looks like Manhattan, so this agrees with the heavily supported idea that time travel will be involved somehow in defeating Thanos and bringing back their fallen friends.

What about the film itself?

Avengers: Endgame marks the end of Marvel’s Infinity Saga, and after 11 years and 22 films, it comes down to this. The film could also be the end of some of our favourite heroes. With a runtime of 3 hours and 58 seconds, this looks to be one of Marvel’s biggest films yet, if not ever (so far). Seeing as Infinity War had the largest opening weekend ever so far ($640 million), it’s fair to say that Endgame will beat that. Speculation is that it will make around $800 million on the opening weekend, so will hit $1 billion incredibly fast. Infinity War also made over $2 billion, so I’m thinking that Endgame should be able to reach that fairly quickly.

I hope this brought you up to speed and prepared you for Endgame. Feel free to comment any questions you may have. Avengers: Endgame looks to be a huge film that will be a payoff to 11 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Join me soon for a spoiler-filled review of Endgame, but until then, enjoy the film, and remember, #DontSpoilTheEndgame.