Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Avengers: Endgame

Here we are again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  You know how this works...I watch a movie I own, then blog about it.  It's time for Avengers: Endgame!  This is in my notes at August 18, 2019.

Avengers Endgame Poster

Way back in the summer of 2007, I remember lamenting with friends.  "We've got both Spider-Man 3 and Fantastic Four 2 out this summer.  Too bad the movie studios can't co-operate, and have Spider-Man go to the Fantastic Four for help, like in the comics.  That would be sweet."

And now, Avengers: Endgame, where about 80% of Marvel's heroes team up in a gigantic army to take down Thanos and his forces.  We're living in the future!  It's the type of thing we thought we'd never see. 

I cried twice when I saw it in the theatre:  at the beginning, when Captain Marvel rescue Iron Man.  And at the end, right before the final battle.  I was holding it back with "On your left," but then lost it with "Avengers assemble." 

And speaking of that final battle, let's finally retire the whole "giant CGI armies battling each other" climax.  There's no topping the one here in Endgame.  I was lamenting about this with a friend, and I also shared it on my blog.  Let's compare this giant battle with the Distinguished Competition's super-team, Justice LeagueJustice League also opens with a giant, CGI battle, as the forces of the human race, the Amazons, and the Atlanteans join forces to drive the forces of Darkseid off the Earth.  We don't care about this battle, because we don't know anyone in it.  But in Endgame, we've spent 10 years and 22 films getting to know everyone in this battle.  We know them all and what they're fighting for.  Therefore, we care.

DC was in such a rush to catch up to Marvel that they tried to open with this.  But because Marvel took 10 years building up to it, it hits with such emotional resonance. 

We start three weeks after the events of Infinity War.  Iron Man returns to Earth, and he and Cap have it out.  (Remember, this is the first time they've seen each other since Civil War.)  Iron Man effectively leaves the team, but the rest of our heroes are still looking for a solution.  They decide to get the Infinity Stones from Thanos and use their power to undo the damage.  But when they find Thanos, they're too late.  Thanos used the stones to destroy the stones.  All hope is lost. 

Five years later...a forgotten device is re-activated in a storage locker, and out pops Ant-Man.  He'd been stuck in the Quantum Realm since the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp.  While five years passed in the real world, only five hours passed in the Quantum Realm.  Since time moves differently in the Quantum Realm, he goes to the Avengers with a plan:  go back in time and get the stones from their past selves.  We get the team back together, and thus begins their adventure through time!

Perhaps the biggest risk they took was they did to Thor.  Thor has been wallowing in depression for the past few years.  He screwed the pooch by not going for the head.  The people of Aasgard have been thoroughly defeated by Thanos.  So Thor has been wallowing in self-pity, and has become a bloated, alcoholic mess.  Seeing the overweight, disheveled wreck he has become is originally played for laughs, but as the movie goes on, we see how hurt he is.  When his time-traveling adventures takes him back to the time of Thor: The Dark World, and he reclaims Mjolnir, it's very satisfying when he whispers, "I'm still worthy."  I mean, that's what happened, right?  He thought he lost his worth. 

The next best character arc in the film has to belong to Nebula.  We finish her journey from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as she literally confronts her past self and moves beyond the evil person she once was. 

Most disappointing has to be the Hulk.  Between films, in an effort to get the Hulk back, Bruce Banner gave himself another dose of gamma radiation.  Now we've got Banner's brain in Hulk's body...the best of both worlds.  It would have been nice to have seen that.  Apparently, it was going to happen in the war zone at the end of Infinity War, but the directors felt it would have created too happy a moment in their downer ending. 

And the acting.  Robert Downey Jr is amazing.  That scene at the beginning, where he's dressing down Cap, and you can see his sheer terror at what he's faced...it's just good stuff. 

Avengers: Endgame is such an amazing film.  It's fun, it's exciting, and an amazing payoff to this 10year journey.

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