My Top 10 Favorite Things About Avengers: Endgame [SPOILERS]
On Friday night, I saw a movie that I’ve been hoping for ever since I read the Infinity War comic book series as a kid. At least, I think I hoped for it–at the time I may not have been able to conceive that movies of this size and scope would ever be possible.
I get very nervous–perhaps too nervous–about spoilers when it comes to movies like this, so I’ve avoided trailers and reviews. In fact, I ignored significant parts of the internet all day Friday. I wasn’t so much worried about the outcome of the movie, as it’s clear how high the stakes are, but I really just didn’t want to know anything about the plot.
However, I’d really like to talk openly about my favorite elements of the movie today, so I’ll block off a big section for that. As for whether or not I enjoyed the movie, the answer is absolutely yet. I don’t yet know where it fits into my overall list of favorite MCU films, but I thought it was a monumental achievement to wrap up a 22-movies series in such a satisfying way (and still have a film that stands on its own in terms of narrative arc and entertainment factor).
I do have some small quibbles that I’ll mention near the end of the spoiler section, but they’re very minor.
These aren’t really in any particular order.
- I loved the choice of the first scene of Hawkeye with his family. The snap is a big, global event, but I think we needed to see how it impacted a specific character–that’s more effective than showing a big number.
- Just 20 minutes into the movie, Thanos is dead. What?! I did NOT see that coming, and I realized then that I had no idea what this movie was about. Was it a trick by Thanos? Is there another bad guy in Endgame instead of Thanos? Would time travel be involved? Obviously we knew the answer then, but the uncertainty presented by such an early dispatch was brilliant.
- I really liked the 3-act structure of the film: The post-world snap, the time heist, and the finale. The first two acts served to remind me of how much I care about these characters and their story. It’s kind of weird to say, but parts of the movie felt like an homage to the MCU itself…in a good way. We got to see scenes we already know and love from different angles.
- I loved that the movie focused only on a few characters (mostly the original Avengers). As impressively as Infinity War jumped around between different groups, I thought it worked well to make this movie a little more intimate.
- Chunky Thor! His belly delighted me every time it appeared on screen. I also loved when he briefly had two hammers (which also had the impact of instantly braiding his beard).
- I rarely emote verbally in movies, but when Captain America wielded Thor’s hammer for the first time, I audibly gasped. How awesome was that?! I also love Captain America’s me-against-the-world moment when Thanos’ forces cover the battlefield.
- My favorite moment in the final battle is when all of the female superheroes joined forces to try to get the gauntlet to the right place. It wasn’t just one or two women–it was around a dozen strong, beautiful, badass women saving the world. I love it! I also enjoyed the many entrances at the beginning of the battle–that was a comic-book moment brought to life on the screen in a way I’d never thought possible. Also, I liked that the final battle mostly focused on the Infinity Gauntlet instead of on heroes fighting endless hordes.
- Given that this is considered the end of Phase 3 (right? Phase 3?), I was a little worried about the number of deaths. So I was pleasantly surprised that they were really just limited to 2 characters. I think that gave us the chance to feel the weight of those deaths, especially since they were separated by about 45 minutes.
- I also thought it was a great choice to only have a few “passing of the torch” moments (Thor and Captain America). Having too many of these could have made the movie overstay its welcome.
- Last, and perhaps most importantly, Ant-Man’s admiration and idolization of Captain America led to some of the best humor in the movie, particularly the gag about “America’s Ass.”
I mentioned that I had a few small quibbles. Really, it’s a combination of two things: I wish the final battle was a little longer, and to make room for it, I wouldn’t mind a few earlier scenes being trimmed or cut. They’re scenes that I enjoyed (like Captain America in the death support group and Thor with his mother), but I would sacrifice a few slower, sadder scenes to make the final battle more epic.
But overall, I found the movie to be immensely satisfying. In fact, I’m still in awe that they pulled it off. There were so many ways they could have messed it up, but time after time they made what I consider to be excellent choices. Well done, Russo Brothers, Kevin Feige, and Disney! I look forward to watching it in the future when I’m not as concerned about spoilers.
What were your favorite things about Avengers: Endgame?