There will be no spoilers in this paragraph, but there will be spoilers after the jump below. All that needs to be said is that this movie has some flaws, but I loved it. I loved every second of it. This movie is meant for fans who are familiar with the Marvel cinematic universe. The more you know about Marvel movies, the more enjoyment you get and vice versa. I’d say you’d at least have to watch Infinity War to have any idea of what is going on. If you hate superhero stuff, you will still hate this movie. If you have any affection for Marvel superhero movies and have watched Infinity War, Endgame is a movie you must watch. Some more thoughts on the movie after the jump below.
My biggest gripe with this movie is that it is a time travel movie. I hate time travel in fiction. It is a crutch. It is lazy writing. It invalidates the weight of all plot points because they can now be undone. It’s what writers resort to when they’ve written themselves into a corner and are too stupid to figure out a way to get out of it other than the Deus Ex Machina of time travel. Time travel is one of the most popular methods to escape bad writing and poor planning on the author’s part.
Endgame is a time travel movie because there is no other believable way for them to resolve the events of the twenty something prior movies. I understand that. The Marvel cinematic universe is something that has never been done before. Over twenty movies that take place within the same narrative continuity, except that they were all directed and written by different people with different goals and ideas. Of course time travel was necessary. How else where they going to tell a satisfying ending while reflecting on and reconciling ten years of films?
So I understand why they made this a time travel movie and I tolerate it. Endgame is largely fan service. As the conclusion to ten years of film making, we needed a vehicle to revisit the Marvel cinematic legacy. We needed an explanation to see old actors who’ve left Marvel and characters who died. We needed a way to fight bad guys again after we already dealt with them. And, most disappointingly, we needed to bring some characters back from the dead.
Even with the inclusion of lazy time travel writing, I still loved this movie. There were just too many payoff moments that were built up to over the past decade of films; a million nods and winks to fans. I felt myself getting choked up numerous times throughout the movie. That last battle scene was one of the best battle scenes I have ever seen and filled with rewarding details for long time Marvel fans.
I also loved the meaningful deaths in this movie. This film is one of those weird confluences between fiction and reality. In reality, the actors who played these superheroes are getting old. They can’t keep hitting the gym and eating tasteless chicken breast as they get older. Why would they want to? They’re rich actors. It’s about time for some of them to retire, which sets up the perfect time for some permanent deaths for their characters. Furthermore, these actors took part in creating the largest and arguably the most beloved cinematic universe of all time. It is time for them to take their final bow and for us to applaud their efforts over the years.
Overall, Avengers: Endgame is a payoff to longtime fans of Marvel movies, with the most devoted fans receiving the greatest payoff. Endgame falls into classic narrative traps like relying on time travel. However, there are so many payoff moments for longtime fans that these flaws can be overlooked. Most importantly, I look forward to where the Marvel cinematic universe goes after the events of Endgame.