“Avengers Endgame” Review: The End Has Arrived

Welcome to the End

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After an entire year of waiting, Marvel fans finally got what they were waiting for. Avengers: Endgame premiered on Friday, April 26, 2019. This long-awaited film smashed box office records. Endgame brought in $350 million in North America and an astonishing $1.2 billion worldwide.

As fans rushed to get their seats and settle in for the three-hour long movie, you could feel the excitement and anticipation. Light chatter filled the theater while patrons awaited the moment that the lights dimmed and the feature film began to roll. Fans watched intently as the film played. They laughed, they cried, they celebrated. The end had finally arrived.

Warning, Spoilers beyond this point.

The Beginning of the End

As the lights dimmed and the movie started, Clint Barton (Hawkeye) came into frame. Hawkeye was spending a typical day with his wife and children. We saw Hawkeye teaching his daughter, Lila Barton, how to shoot an arrow. He turns around for one second and when we turns back, Lila is now dust in the wind. As he begins shouting for his daughter, he realizes that his wife and two sons are also gone.

Hawkeye was not in Avengers: Infinity War. So, until this point, his fate was unknown. He was among the Avengers who survived Thanos’ life ending snap. Before the title sequence fans are reminded of the all too familiar feeling of watching half the universe turn into dust. However, the feelings do not stop there. After the title sequence, the movie cuts to Tony Stark (Iron Man). We see that Stark is still in space.

Captain Marvel Makes Her Avengers Debut

Stark is on a ship in space with Gamora’s sister, second daughter of Thanos, Nebula. We see them interact for a bit before the scene cuts to Stark recording a goodbye message via his Iron Man helmet. This scene is foreshadowing at its best (more on that later). Stark says that they have tried everything to get the ship running. However, they are floating literally light years away from Earth and the oxygen will run out by morning.

As Stark seemingly drifts off into a neverending sleep, a light approaches the ship and Stark struggles to open his eyes. As the light source comes into focus, Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) appears to save the day. Danvers returns the ship to Earth and we see the first interaction between Captain Marvel and the remaining Avengers.

Although her presence is welcomed, the Avengers question where she has been. Danvers smartly tells them that there are many other planets in need of help and they did not have the Avengers to protect them. Tony Stark, on the other hand, is weak and recovering from almost dying in space. After a bit of discussion, Stark makes it clear that he is not interested in participating. Even after the emotional reunion, it is clear that he has not forgiven Steve Rodgers (Captain America) for events that happened in Captain America: Civil War.

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The First Attempt to Avenge the Fallen

With the remaining Avengers assembled, they begin to plan. The goal is to reverse the damage Thanos caused with the Infinity Stones. The Avengers decide to find Thanos, retrieve the Gauntlet and the Infinity Stones, as well as bringing back those who disappeared. Their plan seems relatively straight forward.

With Nebula’s insight into her father and a little help from technology, the Avengers figure out where Thanos is hiding and set course with Captain Marvel in tow. They reach the planet where Thanos is, only to find everything quiet. Thanos has no armies and no defenses set up. They find him in a hut, seemingly injured.

The Avengers corner him and while holding him down go for the Gauntlet. However, the Gauntlet no longer holds the Infinity Stones. When the Avengers demand to know what Thanos did with the stones, he informs them that he destroyed them. Thanos says “I am inevitable.” Thor uses Stormbreaker to cut off the head of Thanos after Thanos informs the Avengers that he insured what he did could never be undone. Thor tells the Avengers he “went for the head,” a reminder that he should have cut off his head in the previous film.

Five Years Later

Fast forward five years and it appears that the Avengers have given up trying to undo the devastation caused by Thanos. Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) is holing up at Avengers Headquarters. Steve Rodgers is attending group grief meetings, attempting to move on. Carol Danvers, James Rhodes (Rhodie aka War Machine), and Okoye are each off attempting to maintain hero duties (while checking in with Black Widow via Hologram conference calls). It is not until Scott Lang (Ant-Man) makes his appearance that any hope is restored.

Lang, who did not appear in the Infinity War film, was trapped in the Quantum dimension after Hope Van Dyke disappeared five years prior and was unable to pull him out. When a rat crawls across the controls and accidentally opens the portal to the Quantum dimension, Lang walks out having no idea what has happened.

A New Plan

After visiting a memorial to the vanished and reconnecting with his daughter, Lang calls into the Avengers Headquarters. Captain America and Black Widow realize his message is new. They bring him in to find out where he has been. Lang, having been involved with the Quantum dimension, explains that although he was gone five years in real time, only five hours passed for him.

They begin to discuss the idea of time travel. Yes, you heard that right. Time travel. Lang proposes a “time heist” which involves entering the Quantum dimension at one point in time and exiting at another. The only problem is, they have no idea how to do this. Luckily for the Avengers, there is another person who may be able to help – Tony Stark.

However, when they visit Stark, he is happily settled with Pepper Pots and now has a daughter. He dismisses the idea as foolish and dangerous. So, in true Avenger style, they find someone else to give it a shot. Bruce Banner (The Hulk) also has an amazing mind. When they find Banner, they find him in the “Smart Hulk” form. Banner and Hulk were battling each other in the past few films. Hulk refused to come out at all in Infinity War. After some comedic banter, the Avengers take off to put Banner’s brain to the test.

The Quantum Dimension and Time Travel

Banner uses what he knows of Quantum physics to attempt to send Lang back through time. However, when he pulls him back out Lang has aged. Banner tries several more times to pull current Scott Lang back. Once they get Lang back (after old Lang, teenage Lang, and baby Lang), the heroes take a break to figure out their next steps.

However, they are not the only ones whose minds are working in overdrive. Despite his refusal to participate, Stark has been attempting to figure out how to use the Quantum dimension and manipulate time. After almost giving up, Stark runs one more model and astonishingly figures out time travel. Stark has a brief conversation with Pepper and then makes his way to Avengers Headquarters.

After arriving at Avengers Headquarters, Stark shows the team the device he created. A GPS device to find the right point in time and travel there. Stark agrees to help with the understanding that no matter what, they leave the present intact. Stark wants to ensure that his daughter survives. However, before they can move forward, they need to assemble the entire team of the remaining Avengers. This means tracking down Hawkeye and Thor.

Avengers Assemble

Hulk and Rocket Racoon head off to New Asgard to bring back Thor. When they arrive, they find a fat drunken Thor policing Fortnite games. Thor, who has blamed himself for not going for Thanos’ head, has covered his guilt with a plethora of beer. It takes a little convincing, but Thor, Hulk, and Rocket Racoon are soon off to join the rest of the Avengers.

However, Hawkeye is not as simple. Hawkeye channeled his anger into a murder spree. Luckily, Black Widow is able to track him down and give him hope. Hope that the remaining Avengers may be able to reverse what Thanos did and bring back the vanished.

Once everyone makes it back to the Avengers HQ, it is time to begin the process. Hawkeye volunteers to do the test run and see if Stark’s technology truly works. He suits up and Hulk sends him back to a specific place in time. Hawkeye is able to return to a point in time where his family is still alive. Once Hulk pulls him back and he confirms that it does work, they get down to business.

Retrieving the Infinity Stones

There are only enough Pym Particles for each Avenger to make one round trip through time. This means that the Avengers must pinpoint where each stone was and find the best time to retrieve each stone. After going over the history of the stones, they decide on New York 2012, Morag and Vormir 2014, and Asgard 2013. By choosing the right year, there were three stones in New York as well as one each in Morag Vormir and Asgard.

The Avengers go in teams to each place. Hulk, Tony, Scott Lang, and Steve Rodgers go to New York to retrieve the Time Stone, the Mind Stone, and the Space Stone. Thor and Rocket Racoon jet off to Asgard to retrieve the Reality Stone. Hawkeye and Black Widow are in route to Vormir to retrieve the Soul Stone. Finally, Rhodie and Nebula go to Morag to retrieve the Power Stone.

Capturing the Stones

Each stone is captured successfully but not without a few mishaps. For example, Iron Man and Captain America run into an issue with the Space Stone, which is still in the Tesseract. Loki is able to grab it and use it to get out of dodge. Scott reminds them that they only have enough Pym Particles to one round trip. However, Stark has an idea. He and Captain America travel back to Camp Leigh, New Jersey in 1970. Both the Tesseract and Howard Pym (and more Pym Particles) are in the same area at this time. They are able to gather the stone and more Pym Particles to travel back to the present. Additionally, Stark gets to see his father alive. Get ready for an emotional moment!

Hulk almost runs into an issue getting the Time Stone. Dr. Strange is not the Sorcerer Supreme yet and Hulk must get the Stone from the Ancient One. She explains that removing even one Stone can alter the course of time and create alternate realities. He promises to return each stone to the time in which it was taken, once they use them to fix what Thanos did. However, it was not until Hulk told her that Dr. Strange gave up the stone willingly to Thanos that she decided to hand it over.

Thor and Rocket Racoon make it to Asgard and it is revealed that this day in time is the day that Thor’s mother died. Thor must battle with his ability to overcome this and power through to retrieve the stone, which has been absorbed by then-girlfriend Jane Foster. Not only is he able to do so, but he also gets to speak with his Mother who is able to help Thor get his mind and priorities straight.

Plot Changing Complications

Hawkeye and Black Widow faced an even larger dilemma. The guarder of the Soul Stone, Red Skull, explained that there must be a sacrifice to retrieve the stone. A soul for a soul. We saw exactly what this means in Infinity War. Thanos had to sacrifice Gamora. Both Black Widow and Hawkeye attempted to sacrifice themselves and save the other. In the end, it was Black Widow who jumped over the edge and made the sacrifice so that Hawkeye could be reunited with his family. However, this may not be the end for Black Widow (more on that later).

While each set of Avengers faced their own dilemma, Rhodie and Nebula seemed to have a smooth retrieval of the Power Stone. They see Star-Lord dancing in true Guardians of the Galaxy style, knock him out and access the temple where the stone is located. However, 2014 Nebula is connected to present Nebula. 2014 Nebula starts malfunctioning and playing memories. Because Thanos can access her memories, he is able to see what the Avengers are doing and knows their plan. Moreover, since this is before he has actually gathered the stones himself, he knows they will all be in the same place in the future.

As the Avengers all travel back to present day, they have things to contend with. For one, Black Widow is not with them. Hawkeye is emotional and they all take a moment to mourn their friend. They are not yet aware that Thanos knows. They begin working on making a Gauntlett to harness the power of the stones. Meanwhile, Thanos captured present-day Nebula who tries to warn Gamora of what is to come. By accessing her memories, they learn how to travel to the present day.

The New Infinity Stone Gauntlet

Once Tony Stark creates the Gauntlet, they must decide who will wear it. After a bit of debate, it is clear that Hulk is the only one who can survive using the powerful Infinity Stones. Hulk dawns the Gauntlet and with much effort snaps his fingers to bring back the vanished to the present day. Hawkeye receives a call from his previously vanished wife and Scott Lang notices that the birds and animals are reappearing.

However, the Avengers do not have long to celebrate before Thanos and his ship breakthrough time and fire on Avengers HQ. A fight immediately ensues as Thanos attempts to retrieve the Gauntlet and this time erase all life from existence. As the Avengers battle Thanos once again, a few major things happen. For one, Captain America is able to wield Thor’s Hammer, Mjölnir. Only those worthy of the power can wield Thor’s Hammer. An epic fight scene follows between Cap and Thanos. Nevertheless, Thanos is able to stop Cap and it appears the odds are against the Avengers, again.

The Vanished Return

Just as it seems the Avengers will lose to Thanos again, a portal opens and Black Panther steps through. Black Panther was among the vanished. As cheers rise for the returned Avenger, more portals open and Avengers begin to pour through. We see the Guardians, those from Wakanda, and the rest of the Avengers including Scarlett Witch and Peter Parker (Spider-man).

Spider-man approaches Tony Stark and tells him that after he turned into dust, he woke up next to Dr. Strange. Strange told him “it’s been five years, they need us” and began opening portals. We can conclude that everything that happened was necessary. Dr. Strange saw 14,000,605 scenarios and only one where the Avengers won. Strange knew that it was time to fight the ultimate battle and defeat Thanos, once and for all.

Meanwhile, Thanos is being hit from all sides. Scott Lang and Hope are attempting to start up the Quantum dimension machine in the van, while the rest of the heroes are fighting Thanos and his minions. After being backed into a corner and losing his weapon, Thanos demands they “rain fire” from his ship. The ship begins shooting everyone and everything below. Once more, it appears they are in a tight spot. Enter Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel Joins the Last Battle

Captain Marvel flies in and single-handily destroys Thanos ship. She then squares up to stop Thanos. As she is standing there, the other female heroes join her to put an end to Thanos who has gotten his hands on the new Gauntlet. Tony approaches Captain Marvel who gives him a signal. As Captain Marvel flies past Thanos to grab the Gauntlet and head into the Quantum dimension, Tony (Iron Man) Stark approaches Thanos to fight him. Thanos, believing he has won, lifts his hand to snap his fingers and repeats his words “I am inevitable.” Fans gave a collective gasp as it appeared Thanos was about to destroy everyone.

However, the screen pans to Tony Stark who is now wearing the Gauntlet. In true hero fashion, Stark, knowing that he would not survive and therefore leave behind his wife and daughter, snapped his finger. This snap turned Thanos and everyone there from the past into dust, saving the universe. As Hulk said, none of the Avengers could survive the power of the stones. We see Tony Stark, our beloved Iron Man, pass away. The tears flowed freely as fans realized that one of the leading heroes had died.

Sacrifices Made, Lives Saved

In this three-hour emotional wrap up of the Infinity Saga, there were some major losses. Black Widow was lost to the Soul Stone, seemingly final as Hulk explained that he tried to bring her back with his snap. Tony Stark, may he rest in peace, sacrificed himself knowing that he would never again see his daughter in order to save the universe.

Both of these deaths are hard to stomach, but each died a hero’s death. They died fighting a winning battle against a tyrant. Although fans are rightly upset, their legacy will live on. Tony Stark recorded a hologram of himself with his suit (foreshadowed by one of the first scenes in the movie) to say goodbye in the event he did not survive. He knew going in that his death was a possibility.

The End of the End

After the battle and an emotional funeral for Tony Stark, the movie wraps up a few more stories. Steve Rodgers travels back in time to replace the stones. He decides to stay in the past, building the life he always wanted with Agent Carter. Stark appears in the present as an old man who had led a full life. Rogers passes his shield onto the Falcon, signaling the end of Captain America.

Thor decides to give the throne of Asgard to Valkyrie. He passes on the responsibility of the kingdom to her and her leadership skills. He then joins the other Guardians of the Galaxy (or Asgardians of the Galaxy as Thor called it) on the ship along with Nebula. A few jokes are made between himself and Star-Lord about who is in charge of the ship. However, prior to that, we see Star-Lord using the ship’s interface to search for Gamora who is presumably gone forever, as her soul was traded for the Soul Stone by Thanos.

Hawkeye is reunited with his family. Scott Lang is also reunited with his. There are quite a few wrap-ups in the end, but we are also left with questions. What happened to Captain Marvel? Where did she go? Why was Star-Lord searching for Gamora? With the two leaders gone (Tony Stark and Steve Rodgers) who will step up to lead the Avengers?

What is in Store For the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Avengers: Endgame set up Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 perfectly. We see them all together again (minus Gamora) with a few new people on board. Star-Lords search for Gamora makes one wonder, can souls be retrieved once they are traded for the Soul Stone? If so, does that mean that Black Widow could be found as well?

In response to those questions, there is a new Guardians movie due out and a solo Black Widow film. Perhaps we will see these two characters again. In the Marvel Comics universe (MCU), death does not always mean gone forever. Moreover, Marvel is setting up for the rollout for Phase Four. The Infinity Saga was Phase Three in the MCU. With several solo movies, including Spider-man: Far From Home and the Guardians movie on the books so far, there are a number of possibilities of what is to come. Stay tuned to New Right Network for more information and Fan Theories.

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