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Avengers: Endgame Cannoli Send a noteboard - 01/05/2019 01:49:47 AM

It's not much of a movie, but it's a long string of fun scenes, that's so big and so full of stuff it threatens to crush the human stories. Remember, this is an adaptation of a literally static, literally two dimensional visual storytelling medium, not the great American novel. You're here for fun and spectacle. There have been at least 20 films before this, and this is a conclusion to most of the storylines in them. Also, there is time travel and some of the timeline stuff is suspect at the end.

Also, pee first.

The time travel stuff is really good. It's used to call back to the history established in these films. In fact, the great bulk of the middle of the movie is a heist film, involving the original six Avengers, plus War Machine, Nebula, Rocket & Ant-man. The latter three of whom shine in this movie in one way or another, and Nebula fits in better with the Avengers than she does with her ostensibly affiliated team. This is, I would say, her first real characterization as a good guy, rather than a reclamation project of Gamora. Rhodes is a bit looser and with many of the comic relief guys gone, picks up some of the pop culture riffing slack.

For a movie that depends so much on its own setting's history, the effect on the original six Avengers is appropriate and interesting. The big three, Thor, Captain America & Iron Man have different reactions to the ultimate defeat in Infinity War, and different degrees of effort are required to get them to take up the fight again, and their character arcs all involve dealing with their respective origins and personal histories and losses in order to confront the personal challenges ahead. And they are the centerpiece of the boss fight at the climax, one less than the other two, because he's basically comic relief in this movie. His badass awesome moment was in the prior film, so he takes a step back here. What's more, Avengers Endgame really celebrates their relationships and affection or admiration for one another. And gives them all a retirement I might not have expected going in, but none of which you can really argue with or complain about. Meanwhile, with such an unimpressive solo cinematic career, the Hulk actually moves forward and resolves, off-camera, the issues that plagued him in Infinity War, so we get a shocking new development of the character and his power, which substitutes for a real character arc. Black Widow and Hawkeye, who had no solo stories, but the closest personal backstories of the whole team, actually really develop and embrace their relationship in light of the external relationships from Age of Ultron not being so much of a thing for either one anymore. Really, they're the love story of this movie.

Plotwise, the brief first act involves cleaning up the loose ends from Infinity War, and the initial reactions to the loss and their determination to resolve the problem which runs into a snag. So the survivors go back to Avenging and handling threats. After a time jump the new surviving roster is Black Widow, War Machine and Okoye, with Rocket, Nebula and Captain Marvel doing the interplanetary end of business. Captain America and Hawkeye are working on their own, Thor, Iron Man and Hulk aren't, not being in the same states we saw them last and arguably unfit for duty and really, Thanos is the latest Marvel villain to deserve a GIF of Tony Stark saying "Not a great plan" because the post-snap world sucks and is still wallowing in grief and loss instead of being thrilled at having twice the resources they used to.

But Ant-man was in the Quantum Realm at the time of the snap and by the time he gets out, he figures out how to get the Infinity Stones to fix things. And that's the big middle part that has been remarkably unspoiled by promotional material and is surprisingly enjoyable.

And then at the end, there is a big fight scene which is even more awesome than the battle for Wakanda and the battle on other-Titan combined, just because it's so dark and gritty but so uplifting. I swear I found myself repeating Tennyson's Gallahad poem in response to one moment that was just one of those things. One of those step-up moments, that is an existential victory because he's doing it, but also set up in a way that vindicates the character in the plot as well. And then there's a moment where a voice whispers Captain America's nickname and it feels like you just heard the horn of the Rohirrim or Darth Vader shout "What!?" When people start cheering in the theater my usual reaction is "STFU" but this was kind of acceptable.

And Captain Marvel is not nearly as annoying as she could have been. She's blessedly absent for the main part of the movie, and while her appearances in various fight confrontations are as overblown as her solo movie would lead you to expect, they are kind of drowned by everything else that is going on too. Aside from one hugely stupid & epitome of gratuitous PC cringey moment, there is none of the SJW bullshit Carol's arrival or Fury's pager in the post-credits scenes might lead you to expect. Think of the girl-power-unity moment from Infinity War on steroids but you couldn't miss it if you wanted to. But it's just a moment. There's a lot going on, it doesn't change much and you can pretend it didn't happen. This is about the original six and they're the ones who matter in the ultimate showdown. Everyone else is just there for decoration and moral support.

Some people have complained that the much celebrated characterization of Thanos from the previous film has been sabotaged or walked back, but I liked what he did in this movie AND that contrast with the prior one, and I think they form a consistent and coherent and morally satisfying picture. I just don't think those people like what it says.

There are no post-credit scenes. Instead there is that thing where the cast "signs" the credits with animated signatures, so you can leave when the movie ends.

It was a lot of fun, and if the MCU dives down a SJW rabbit hole from here on out, you can pretend this was the end and nothing after this happened. It's not some life-changing cinematic masterpiece, it's not even Thor 3 or Captain America 2 or Avengers 1. It's not what sad black people think "Black Panther" was or cat ladies think "Captain Marvel" was or women's lit majors think "The Last Jedi" was. It's less of a great movie than a fun party where all the other guests are fictional. But fun is the operative word.

Cannoli
“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” GK Chesteron
Inde muagdhe Aes Sedai misain ye!
Deus Vult!
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This message last edited by Cannoli on 01/05/2019 at 10:29:17 AM
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Avengers: Endgame - 01/05/2019 01:49:47 AM 91 Views
Could you imagine a dumber way for ant-man to get out of the quantum realm ? - 06/05/2019 04:38:43 AM 23 Views
It's a metaphor maaaan - 06/05/2019 08:55:14 AM 18 Views

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