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Avengers End Game: Eleven Years

Avengers End Game: Eleven Years.

Eleven years ago I was five years old.

I thought the only superheroes were Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man.

Eleven years ago I saw Iron man.

I was introduced to Tony Stark, a selfish billionaire playboy genius who only thought about himself. Later that same year I saw a man named Bruce Banner run from the government because of an accident that transformed him into a monster. Then I met a GOD who wielded a hammer, who learned what it was like to be mortal. I met the kind-hearted kid from Brooklyn who only wanted to help serve his country, who always saw the good in others and never gave up.

Avengers Assemble

In 2012 the impossible became a reality, all of these incredible characters met for the first time. Never before had six completely different superheroes from their own movies come together for a team up. The Avengers shocked the world with its scale and heroes. I still remember seeing it in theaters, 9-year-old me was ecstatic. For years afterward more characters joined the roster, and they battled more and more threats, getting more and more dangerous.

I saw as these heroes went through trial after trial, victory after victory. I watched them fight, disagree, and eventually in 2016, disband. But even then, everything seemed like it was gonna turn out alright. Until 2018, when they fought Thanos. He was teased and teased until he finally went head to head with our heroes. I never thought I’d see these heroes, the same ones I’ve been with through every victory, lose. But that’s what happened.

That’s what leads me to today. The day where I would sit in a theater and see the end of some of these heroes that I loved so much. I came to see the end of a saga that has been going on for eleven years straight, something that has been a part of me for almost as long as I can remember.

The Story

First Act:

The story is even grander than Infinity War. With it spanning the entire history of the MCU. Right at the start of the movie captain marvel rescues Tony and Nebula from the cold depths of space. Afterward Cap and the team locate where Thanos is, and head there to retrieve the stones and undo the damage he’s done. But when they arrive, they find that he destroyed the stones so it cannot be undone.

Time Skip:

We then get a five-year time skip where we see the effects of the snap on the average person. Monuments are dedicated to the dusted. There’s a support group led by Captain America where he helps people move on. You really get the feeling that this world was impacted by the snap and see that everyone has been affected. Co-director Joe Russo plays a part in Cap’s support group as he talks about how he went on a date and they both cried because of how hard it is to let go of what happened.

Second Act:

Ant-Man who was last seen stuck in the quantum realm in Ant-Man and the Wasp finally got out. He discovered that in the quantum realm time works differently. That they can go back in time and get the infinity stones before Thanos and undo the snap. They go through the previous movies, collect all the stones, Thor gets Mjolnir back. But Nebula didn’t know her memories are stored on a network. So when she goes back to 2014, they accidentally mingle with her past self, allowing Thanos to see the future.

Third Act:

Thanos makes a plan to have current Nebula pretend to be future Nebula, and have her bring him to the present to collect all the stones at once. After all our heroes get back to the present, they make a gauntlet, and professor hulk dons it and snaps everyone who died back into existence. But right after Nebula brings Thanos and his army right to them, and they have one of the best final battles that I’ve ever seen.

Iron Man

First Act:

After the five year time skip we see that Tony Stark has a daughter with Pepper. He’s got the life he’s always wanted. But when Steve comes by and says they can travel back in time he’s a little apprehensive. He doesn’t want to lose what he’s gained. It takes him looking at a picture of him and Peter Parker to realize that he needs to do this. He goes to meet up with the Avengers and builds them the time machine.

Second Act:

After going back to 2012 and failing to get the space stone, he and Steve travel to an airforce base in the 70s. While there they get Pym particles so they can travel back to the present, and get the space stone. Tony runs into his father, who’s on his way to go see his pregnant wife. Howard tells Tony he is scared of fatherhood. Tony tells him that all the money in the world wouldn’t be worth a minute of his time.

Third Act:

When everyone returns to the present Tony builds a gauntlet for Hulk to wear. He snaps his fingers and everyone comes back. But Thanos from the past has come to the present, and Tony needs to fight the person who he lost to last time. Thanos puts on the Gauntlet, snaps his fingers and states “I am Inevitable”. He realizes all the stones are gone and looks over at Tony who is wielding all six stones. Tony states, “I am Iron Man.” He Then snaps away Thanos and his army. Right after Peter comes up to him, a reverse shot of the one in infinity war, as Tony sits there. Pepper tells Tony that he can finally rest, as he slowly dies, and the light on his arc reactor fades to black.

Captain America

First Act:

Right after the five-year time jump, we see cap at a support group trying to help people move on. He and Natasha are trying to keep busy by focusing on the next mission, they are soldiers after all. When Scott appears at the door, he can’t believe it. He jumps at the chance to reverse the snap. He goes right away to Tony, who obviously doesn’t want to lose what he’s gained. Steve while wanting nothing more than reversing the snap, understands that this needs to be done right.

Second Act:

When Steve goes back to 2012, we see how much he’s changed as a person. He’s put in a situation very similar to the elevator scene from winter soldier. But instead of using his fists, he tricks hydra into giving him the scepter. He then must fight a past version of himself who thinks he’s Loki. Here we see how his fighting style is modernized and he’s much quicker on his feet. Even tells himself Bucky is alive so he’d hesitate and give him the upper hand. He’s smarter, faster, and his experience has made him a much greater adversary. All of that is shown in this scene. He then goes back to get the space stone with Tony and gets more Pym particles. He sees Peggy working and it sets up his choice later in the film.

Third Act:

When Thanos arrives everyone is in shock. When Thor is being beaten repeatedly by Thanos, Mjölnir starts to move on its own. We thought it was Thor. But then it goes straight to Steve. A payoff to that scene in Age of Ultron. Where it slightly moved when Steve tried to pick it up. He has finally become worthy. While all the other Avengers are busy or have been beat down; it looks like Cap, with only a broken shield, and Mjölnir is about to face down Thanos and his army. We hear Falcon on coms say, “Hey cap, on your left”.

End of an Era

After the final battle, Cap is tasked with returning the infinity stones and Thors hammer to their place in time. Before he leaves Steve tells him not to do anything stupid until he gets back, to which Bucky replies “How can I, you’re taking all the stupid with you,” a call back to the first avenger. They try to bring him back, but he’s gone past his return date. Bucky and Sam look over, and see an old steve, sitting on a bench. He hands the mantle over to Sam, and we Steve finally get his dance with Peggy.

Thor

First Act:

So we see Thor cut off Thanos’ head when they find him. After the time skip, we see how he’s become a slob. Giving up on everyone, hiding in his house playing and yelling at kids on Fortnite. He failed, if he had just gone for the head, trillions would have been saved. He’s lost everything and given up because there’s no way to fix his failure. When Hulk and rocket come by, he doesn’t even let anyone say Thanos name in his home.

Second Act:

When Thor travels back to 2013 he is scared out of his mind. He actually runs away and accidentally meets up with his mother. She tells him that he’s a failure, but that it’s completely fine. Everyone fails at who they are supposed to be. He then tests to see if he is still worthy by calling Mjölnir. To his surprise, it flies back to him.

Third Act:

After the final battle, Thor joins the guardians of the galaxy and gives the kingdom over to Valkyrie. He really isn’t the type to lead, so he goes off on adventures like he always did.

Writing

The characters are given no introductions. If you haven’t seen the other films by now, you shouldn’t be watching this one. Their journey from Infinity War carries right over from the previous movie. Everyone feels like the same people we’ve been watching from the past ten years, they’ve grown and changed. But its a natural growth.

The world feels real. The did a great job of showing how people would be after the snap. The movie starts with the tone infinity war ended with, hopeless, but over time it gets more and more hopeful. When we get to the final battle we’re graced with the heroics we’re so used to.

Characters

Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr has been playing Iron Man for eleven years now. He can pretty much do this in his sleep. I can tell he’s still giving everything he’s got, not once did it seem like he was phoning it in. Tony has truly grown, we’ve seen his transformation from the self-centered jerk to the hero who sacrificed himself to save the universe, and it feels earned.

Captain America

Chris Evans still has that same charm he had back in 2011. I can tell he still cares about this role enough to give it his all. He still feels like that kid from Brooklyn. We have watched the character evolve by getting smarter and adapt to the modern world.

Made clear when he fought himself as he used his brain while also incorporating new fighting styles. Wielding Thor’s hammer has shown great advancement as Cap has grown to be worthy. His decision at the end felt earned, he finally decided that he had truly earned that dance.

Thor

Chris Hemsworth’s Thor wasn’t my favorite Avenger. His first two movies were just ok. But after Ragnarok, I fell in love. In the face of adversity, Thor remains funny. The beginning of End Game shows his failure and what a toll that took on him.

It makes sense for him to become a fat loser and hideaway. Wouldn’t you want to do the same if a mistake you made had a consequence so bad that it wiped out half of all life in the universe? Chris is really giving it his all, he seems broken in every way. With his family gone, half his people gone, him failing, you can feel the weight in Hemsworth’s performance.

My And The Audiences Reaction

I think we all gasped when Steve picked up Thor’s hammer, a moment we truly did not expect to see on the big screen. I never clap or cheer during a movie, and my audience was the same way. Except for two moments, when Spider-man came back, and when the credits rolled. I’ve never heard a theater so silent, that happened when Tony was dying. I swear everyone stopped eating, drinking, and moving, we were all in shock. It was crazy.

My Final Thoughts on End Game

I’ve been with these characters so long its hard to imagine my life without them. They’ve shaped me. I know it’s the same for others. This movie is the culmination of eleven years worth of storytelling. Of character struggles, of heartbreaks, and moments I will never forget. I love Avengers End Game, I love the wrap-ups to these arcs. I will never forget where this started, and I’m still excited to see what’s next.

 

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