(The Vintage Tempest)
Expectations are high for Avengers: End Game to see how Thanos will ultimately get defeated. I know some points from Ant-Man & The Wasp are key to this film more than the self-titled movie introducing Captain Marvel. To see the heroes make use of the quantum realm can mean anything… and just what happens is a huge spoiler which I will not directly address in part one of a two-part article. Massive plot reveals will be explored later.
Overall, the experience of seeing Endgame is worth the wait of everything the past films built up to. It’s well-paced, packed to the gills with Easter Eggs to sate the Marvel Cinematic Universe fans and gives audiences everything expected of a blockbuster film. Warning: a few Act One reveals follow.
The story picks up a few days after Infinity Wars, as everyone tries to make sense of “The Vanishing” (aka Thano’s finger snap). Including Captain Marvel in this film shows she can come to Earth’s aid when absolutely needed. However, when the galaxy is huge, just where she goes depends on how she gets the message that some world needs help. She has more power, if not equal, as The Phoenix from the X-Men universe. Given that FOX is now under Disney’s wings, I had thoughts if this film will show the classic team.
I always wondered if the producers considered any of Jim Starlin’s original treatment in the comic books and am thankful this film universe has chosen to go down a different route. The Thanos of the comic book universe attempted to woo Lady Death. It can make for an okay story, though I doubt longtime fans or readers want that. In what writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely‘s crafted, after working on six of the films, is a different path. I’m not surprised at how they make use of quantum theory, and to not give away the plot, the science is the least of everyone’s worries. I laughed at all the references to past films and television shows to explain why the team is going down this route. I saw them all, and I can say it is a complete catalogue of the best in this sub-genre of science-fiction works.
In between planning how to do bring back the dead, a few character arcs–namely that of Natasha (Scarlett Johansson), Steve “Captain America” Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony “Iron Man” Stark (Robert Downey Jr)–come full circle. All those loose threads concerning where they feel they belong in their lot in life (and questions of reliving their past) are answered.
Less is done for the remainder of the survivors from Thano’s snap, namely Bruce “Hulk” Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Clint “Hawkeye” Barton (Jeremy Renner). I wanted to see more of the archer since he was the first hero audiences get to see. Something could have been done to explain where he went, and I feel a lot got cut.
After the events of Infinity War, restoring the universe to what it was is not easy. Thano’s goal as Evil Buddha to bring equilibrium to all societies is not without after-effects. This discourse is quickly discussed and like in Infinity War, an opportunity is missed to make this film address global resource management. Villains rarely grow, and for this character, to see how much of a despot he truly is at least has more weight than previous encounters with him.
This film is more about closure for a cinematic universe that is eleven years old. Not every talent wants to continue playing the same roles for years on end. The Russo Brothers are great at balancing between lengthy narrative development sequences to the next big fight. Of all the Avengers films, the first film, Infinity Wars and Endgame are all I need. I feel this trilogy is close to rivalling the majesty of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings on a visual level. Whether it’s a gauntlet or ring that needs to be destroyed, the next step is in showing if the world is now at a better place. The next film is interestingly titled Spider-Man: Far From Home and that may be the case since this hero has to deal with high school graduation and what’s next for him as a certified super-hero.
As for what’s next in this universe, the next phase marks a new beginning. Little is known in Marvel Entertainment‘s grand plan, but we know that a few sequels are on the slate. No dates are announced for Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Of this set, it’s Guardians that will be one to pay attention to as the others are most likely going to be self-contained.
4 Avengers out of 5