Avengers Endgame in review

The Avengers Endgame movie was the climax of Marvel Studios’ decade long culmination of cinematic movies.  Dubbed the Infinity Saga, the release of movie signaled Phase 3’s beginning of the end (Phase 3 officially ends with the release of Spiderman: Homecoming) and heralded the way to Phase 4. 

“SPOILER ALERT” This article contains information from the movie.

The movie begins with the loss of Hawkeye’s family.  Thanos had just completed the big universal elimination event with Hawkeye’s family being part of the half of the universe blinked out of existence.  Afterwards, Captain Marvel rescues Tony Stark and the remaining Guardians of the Galaxy bringing them to earth.  After a brief recap of events, they embark on a mission to confront Thanos.  This is where they discover that Thanos had destroyed the gems to prevent anyone (including himself) from using them.  The encounter leaves Thanos headless and the team members unsure of their next move.

Fast forward five years and the Avengers have somewhat disbanded with each of the founding members each doing their own thing.  Tony Stark (aka Ironman) has settled down and lives a quiet life with his wife Pepper and his daughter Morgan.  Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) has become a counselor helping others rehabilitate. Bruce Banner (aka Hulk) has merged his Bruce Banner personality with his green goliath half.  Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) has become the new leader of what remains of the Avengers.  And Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) has NOT handled the loss of his family well.  Hawkeye begins a crusade slaughtering organized crime syndicates.  Lastly, Thor and what remain of his people create a settlement called New Asgard.  However, like Hawkeye he suffers from survivor’s guilt slowly gaining weight and blaming himself for failing to stop Thanos.

Thanks to the return of Scott Lang from the Quantum Realm, the Avengers reunite.  And with the help of the genius Tony Stark are able to execute a “Time Heist” retrieving the six infinity stones from the past.  The group is successful with their plan.  And not only do they obtain all six stones, Thor is able to retrieve his uru hammer Mjolnir (which was destroyed by Hela in Thor Ragnarök).  There is however one casualty – Black Widow had sacrificed her life so that Hawkeye could receive the Soul Stone. 

Upon their return, they incorporate the stones into their own version of the Infinity gauntlet that the hybrid Hulk uses to return everyone that Thanos snapped out of existence.  This however is NOT the end of the story, as Thanos from the past travels with his army to the future attacking the Avengers demolishing their base.  Thanos is able to do all this because he switched his time’s version of Nebula (let’s refer to her as Nebula 2014) with the present-day Nebula.

What follows the destruction of the Avengers base is a well-orchestrated series of events leading to a battle of epic proportions.  Separated from the group, Hawkeye rescues the gauntlet only to be tricked into giving it to Nebula 2014.  In order to prevent the gauntlet from falling into Thanos’ hands, present Nebula fatally kills Nebula 2014.  Meanwhile, the other heroes (Hulk, War Machine & Rocket Raccoon) are trapped beneath the rubble of Avengers compound.  To make matters worse, water is filling in the chamber threatening to drown them.  It is thru the actions of Scott Lang (aka Ant-man) that they are later rescued.  

Thor, Ironman and Captain America confront the Thanos from the past in the hopes of defeating him before he can get the Time Heisted infinity stones.  During the battle, Captain America uses Mjolnir (proving that he is worthy to use Thor’s hammer) to save Thor and attack Thanos.  In the end, Thanos proves too much for the three heroes and boasts that he will enjoy destroying the planet unleashing his army.  However, the restored heroes all arrive in time via magic portals (courtesy of Dr. Strange and his fellow mages) to join the fight.  What ensues is an action-packed battle between the heroes as Captain America finally utters that infamous battle cry “Avengers Assemble!”

Thanos realizing he might lose the battle attempts to get the “Time Heisted” gauntlet.  The heroes do their best to keep the gauntlet away from Thanos by trying to send it into the quantum realm. But in the end Thanos destroys the quantum realm portal before the gauntlet can enter it. And battles Captain Marvel and Iron Man wrestling it from their grasp.  Fortunately for the heroes, Stark was able to take the infinity stones from Thanos and imbed them into his suit’s glove.  Saying the closing line from the 2008 Ironman movie “I am Ironman,” Tony Stark snaps his fingers and eliminates Thanos and his legion.  The effort of using the gauntlet (due to all the power and radiation of the gems) takes its toll on Stark and he dies in the arms of his wife Pepper Potts.

In the closing acts of the movie, there is a funeral scene commemorating Tony Stark.  All the remaining heroes are there (including one grown up child – Harley Keener) paying homage to Tony Stark for his sacrifice.  Afterwards, Bruce Banner (aka Hulk) along with Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) utilize a portable version of the time portal to return the infinity stones.  Sam Wilson (aka Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) are there waiting for Steve Rogers to return to the present.  To everyone’s surprise, Captain America does NOT return from his time jump.  The group panics somewhat until they notice an elderly man sitting nearby. 

The elderly man is an aged Steve Rogers that explains he never returned from the time jump and decided to live out his life in the past.  Rogers then gives to Sam Wilson his shield and encourages Wilson to take on the mantle of Captain America….

Now although I will agree with a lot of individuals that Avengers Endgame did not disappoint (I enjoyed the movie with my family), there are some issues I had with the movie that I would like to address:

First off, the time travel premise that they utilized.  That is, events that they change in the past would NOT affect their current timeline.  As Bruce Banner and the Ancient one explained, events will create alternate realities (Loki escaping with the Tesseract, 2014 Thanos and his armies disappearing from time and dematerializing in 2018, Nebula killing her 2014 version). I feel the movie did NOT follow that premise.  That is because when Steve Rogers decided to stay in the past with his true love Margaret “Peggy” Carter, he should NOT have existed in the current timeline as an old man because his actions would have created a different reality apart from the one he left…

Second, When Steve Rogers traveled to the past to return the infinity stones to the point in time that they were taken, he carried the actual infinity stones.  Not their original forms….that is, the Space stone was inside the Tesseract, the mind stone was in Loki’s Scepter, the Power stone in an Orb and the Reality stone was inside Jane Foster as part of the Aether.  I don’t think that Captain America possesses any scientific or magical skills that could help him place the stones back into their original formats….unless he first returned the time stone to the Ancient one enlisting her help…

Third, If the Soul Stone was returned to Vomir (and that would be a very awkward meeting between Captain America and the Red Skull) then why is Natasha Romanoff still deceased?  Does the soul stone only require you to sacrifice something to retrieve the stone but NOT grant something when you return it?  Isn’t there supposed to be a cosmic balance somehow?

Last, why was there NO Adam Warlock.  Remember the end credit scene at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2:  Wherein a cocoon was shown and Ayesha (leader of the Sovereign race) decided to name the entity to emerge “Adam”?  Was this NOT a reference to Adam Warlock, the next wielder of the Infinity Gauntlet?

This end credit scene from Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 is the only one that was released that does NOT tie into any Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. Was it originally the plan of the MCU to incorporate Adam Warlock as part of the Infinity Saga but then was scrapped? It makes one wonder, why even have the end credit scene if there was no intention of utilizing the character?