Avengers Endgame: Cataline Recommends with Confidence

endgame

 

In case my beloved readers you have ever wondered about my ratings system it goes:

Recommends with Highest Enthusiasm

Recommends with Enthusiasm

Recommends with Confidence

Recommends with Reservations

Does NOT Recommend

So why am I giving Endgame a three star rating?

Have you ever had a bowl of chili that looked good and smelled great but when you had your first taste, you found there was almost no real depth of flavor? It was a competently prepared beef, tomato and bean stew and was certainly worth eating, but it had no real heat to it.  You were kind of left taping the side of your empty bowl with your spoon thinking to yourself, is that all there is here?

That was how I felt when the credits rolled on Endgame.

It did the things it was supposed to but didn’t do the things that would have made it great.  After Avengers Infinity War this one felt much more like an anti-climax because that is effectively what it was.  A three hour denouement for the ten years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

There were elements that I found aesthetically displeasing and I feel will be a problem for Marvel from here on out.

Spoilers below:

 

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This film had many audience expectations going in. The snap would have to be undone if the MCU was going to continue at all.  Chris Evans and Robert Downey had made it clear that they were ready to move on.  So Stark and the Cap were going to have to tie up a lot of loose ends. There were other questions that the audience had.  And this movie did indeed answer them.  Whether that was a good idea or not.

The movie opens with Hawkeye on his farm with his family, enjoying domestic life. He is teaching his eldest daughter how to shoot a bow, while his wife sets up lunch on the picnic table. The camera briefly lingers on the house arrest tether wrapped around his ankle as a reminder as to why he wasn’t in the last movie.  His wife calls him to lunch he turns to his daughter and sees dust floating in the wind. He looks around with palpably rising panic and we know that his entire family has been dusted. Hawkeye is a dangerous man who now has absolutely nothing left to lose.

Tony and Nebula are on their way back from Titan in the Guardians of the Galaxy’s ship.  Tony records the message to Pepper we’ve seen in the trailers.  The ship’s power cells were damaged in the fight with Thanos and are irreparable.  Tony will die in twenty four hours.  He lays down on the ship’s deck and goes to sleep.  Nebula gently picks him up and carries him to Quill’s captain’s chair and cover’s him with a blanket.

These scenes effectively set the tone of despair that will be felt through out the rest of the first act of this movie. It also shows that Nebula has changed.

Shortly afterward Captain Marvel deus ex machinas into being in front of them and carries the ship to Earth.  Honestly, if this had taken place in the DCU and it was Superman showing up out of absolutely nowhere to save them I still would have groaned.

However,  it’s a  superhero movie and there are times when you just have to say, “it’s all good.  I will ignore this. It’s all good.”

Regardless, the Avengers now have a starship.  But Tony is too badly injured physically and emotionally. He is too angry with everyone over his failure and theirs. Ironman is out.  He’s going home to Pepper.

Nebula knows where Thanos is, so the Avengers set out to take the Infinity Gauntlet away from him and undo The Snap.

They find and defeat him with almost ridiculous ease.  And it turns out it was all for nothing.  Thanos has destroyed the Infinity Stones.  His work can never be undone. In a rage, Thor beheads him.

The despair is complete.

The movie jumps five years ahead at that point.  Which I found rather intriguing. We are barely at the fifteen minute mark and Thanos is dead. And we have vaulted into the future. This is the right way to subvert expectations.

Five years “After Thanos” people are trying to get on with their lives and are failing at it.   It seems no one can move forward. The cities are turning into giant slums as people shuffle about wreckage of the world. Even the ultra optimistic Captain America can’t pull himself out of the black pit.

And then a miracle happens. One of the Vanished returns. It’s Antman and technically speaking he wasn’t one of the Vanished. He was just trapped in the Quantum Realm for what was for him only a few hours.

That was one of the better scenes.  Antman wandering around a Los Angeles where everything has fallen apart, wondering what has happened.

Anyway he has a solution. Use the Quantum Realm for time travel.

So yeah basically they are ripping of Michael Crichton. And besides everything is more sciencey if you put the word Quantum in front of it.

It’s a  superhero movie and there are times when you just have to say, “it’s all good.  I will ignore this. It’s all good.”

Now, this flick’s Rules For Time Travel are set up. First there is only enough Magic Quantum Juice for seven people and a racoon to make one round trip.  Second, there are no paradoxes. You can shoot your grandfather and you’ll be just fine. You can even shoot yourself as it turns out because “the past you is no longer your past because you changed it.”  Except that they did have to get the Infinity Stones back to the exact point in time they took them from or there would…be…a…paradox?”

“It’s all good.  I will ignore this. It’s all good.”

And now an expedition into fan service begins. And this is the point where things got weak. Honestly this movie had been a Recommends with Enthusiasm up to this point but here is where things started to get a bit squishy.

The teams are divided up.

Fat Thor (which was hilarious by the way) and Rocket set off for Asgard to get whichever stone was injected into Natalie Portman.  Not much happens here other than Fat Thor talking to his Mom for a bit.**

Captain America, Ironman, Antman and a now sapient Banner/Hulk set out for NYC during Loki’s attack because there are three stones there at the same time.

Nebula and War Machine set out for the Stone from the start of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Hawkeye and BlackWidow, set out for the Soulstone. Well WE know the price tag but they don’t. Redskull shows up and tells them the rules. They fight to decide who will commit suicide. It ends up being Natasha.

The scene was good drama but it violates the rules from the last movie.  You have to kill that which you love the most in order to get the Soul Stone. You can’t be passive in the process. Thanos could have simply let Gamora kill herself rather than bear the weight of murdering his daughter with his own hands, if that was how it worked.

“It’s all good.  I will ignore this. It’s all good.”

Besides there’s worse to come.

Nebula and War Machine arrive on Morag, knock out Quill with ridiculous ease and grab that Stone.

All too easy.

The problem is that Nebula starts live streaming to the Nebula native to this time.  The Thanos native to this time is now read in on everything.

And here was another thing that I disliked. This time travel stuff started undoing a number of established character arcs. I HATE that in any movie.  And there are three of those in this one. First up the Giant Purple People Eater himself Thanos.  One of the things that made Infinity War such a great movie was that it was ultimately only about one character’s story arc and that was Thanos. The rest of the Avengers didn’t change because they didn’t have to, it wasn’t their story.  Thanos gave up everything to get the Infinity Stones.  He really suffered for it but now everything that Thanos did and went through just got wiped away and a younger Thanos without those experiences takes the stage.  The developed character is gone.

Team NYC drenches the audience with fan service throw-backs from the first movie.  Banner/Hulk has to reason with the Ancient One to get her to willingly give him the Time Stone. Cap, Ironman and Antman have to do a comedy sequence to get Loki’s Scepter and the Tesseract.

Although, I freely admit to absolutely loving the scene where Captain America from the future gets on the elevator with the Hydra infiltrators who are now agents of SHIELD. He informs them that he is taking point on the security of the Scepter. The Hydra infiltrators are about to attack him. Yes, this yet another call back to Captain America the Winter Solider but  when Cap leaned over and whispered conspiratorially, “Hail Hydra,” and they let him walk out with it. It felt like such a slap in the face to this…

CaptainAmerica-Reveal-06282016

…that I forgave it for everything as that image is one of the most hated in the history of SJW Marvel.

Anyway, Stark and Antman have less luck with the Tesseract due to their comedy sequence and Loki ends up grabbing it and making an unscheduled escape to who knows where.

Now Loki’s death is undone but also all of his character development over the course of the last few movies. Again, I don’t like this as it feels like a very cheap half assed reboot of the character.

Antman heads up stream with the Scepter. Whereas Cap and Ironman head down stream to 1970, to some SHIELD base where they can get both an earlier version of the Tesseract and more Magic Quantum Juice.  And also more fan service.  Stark meets his heavily CGIed Dad and Rogers gets to see a reasonably hot for sixty version of Peggy Carter.  This apparently got him thinking.

Anyway, they head upstream, build their own Infinity Gauntlet and Banner/Hulk does the snap though he was severely injured doing so. Normal people can’t survive the Infinity Gauntlet and that comes up in a little bit. Evil Nebula turns on the time machine thingy and Thanos arrives with his entire army and all his minions, including a younger Gamora…apparently having no need at all for Magic Quantum Juice.

In an overblown but still pretty damn good fight scene, the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe fights the army of Thanos.

Part of what drags this fight on forever is keeping the Gauntlet away from Thanos.  There is one fairly cringe inducing scene where the women of the MCU stop in the middle of the action to strike a heroic pose together.

Captain Marvel pops in and beats up Thanos’ ship…which was utterly pointless since Ironman destroys the entire invading army three minutes later. She then wrestles with Thanos for possession of the gauntlet.  When it looks like she is about to get it, Thanos tears the Power Stone out of the Gauntlet and pretty much literally punches her out of the movie with it.

Honestly, Carol Danvers could have been lifted completely out of this movie and no one would have noticed.  I am now absolutely certain that there weren’t any alternate scenes shot with her because the studio bosses clearly and obviously ordered the Russo Brothers to shoehorn her in where possible. She shows up for the first ten minutes then they get rid of her because she must protect other planets.

At the end of the battle Tony has to take control of the Infinity Stones, do a second snap that dusts Thanos and his army but at the cost of his life.

It was good death scene for a character that has up until now been the masthead of the MCU

Captain America is assigned the solo mission of returning all of the Infinity Stones to their respective times for reasons that don’t matter unless they have to. But then rather than return to the present he makes a one way trip back to 1945 and the arms of Peggy Carter.  Which hopefully means that the godawful Agent Carter never happened.

New and rebooted Gamora is now in play. She doesn’t know or love Peter Quill.  So now Quill will effectively be trying to romance an amnesiac. This is always terrible.  However, Thor has now joined the Guardian’s of the Galaxy which might be awesome.

Final score: Three of the old Avengers are gone for good and another is looking to be out of the picture as well.

Loki and Gamora are back but effectively mind wiped so they will have to have new story arcs.  Their old characters and roles they played in the stories are gone.

Thor has taken off for the starry infinite leaving the Valkyrie  Tessa Thompson as the new Thor.  As expected, the new Captain America is Sam Wilson, even though Bucky is back and would have made more sense.

In summary Endgame is a good movie but not as good as the last one.  It provides an excellent send off for some beloved characters whose actors had either had enough or were getting too old for the part.*

Of the Original Six only Hawkeye and Banner/Hulk remain.  These new additions frankly aren’t interesting as characters.  They have nothing like the simplicity of Peter Parker’s story.  His drive came from his moral failure to capture a two-bit thug, who goes on to murder his Uncle Ben.  What compels Parker isn’t his spider powers, it is the fact that every time he sees Aunt May without Uncle Ben, he knows he’s responsible for it.

Nope, these new characters have identity politics and that’s it.

There is no putting lipstick on this pig, the additions of Captain Marvel, Sam Wilson as the new Captain America and Valkyrie Thor put the MCU well on track to becoming SJW Marvel.

People have been asking for years, why are superhero movies so big? Most will airily wave at 9/11 and say something about, in a world with actual super-villains it’s nice to pretend that there are superheros.  But memories of 2001 have faded and superhero flicks are clearly bigger than ever.  So that isn’t it.  The real answer is this, superhero movies are the last refuge of the Alpha Male Hero in Hollywood.  Everything else is dominated by Gamma Males triumphant over their Alpha villains and You-Go-Girl heroines showing the Patriarchy who’s the new boss in town.

And the Marvel Cinematic Universe has just made them the New Avengers.

 

*Yeah that would be Widow. Johanson turns 35 this year and that is the blinking red palm crystal for actresses in Hollywood.

** Also, it has to be said, Hemsworth has a real gift as a comedic actor, glad they are finally using it.

4 thoughts on “Avengers Endgame: Cataline Recommends with Confidence

  1. Thanks, love the spoilers, the cheat codes to the nuances of a type of film that tries to get by with the BOOM and might be covering up decent writing.

    As for the useful idiots the SJW their personal moral arc is as old as human DNA, women always will burn it all down, they’re white phosphorous give em a bit of oxygen get hell fire.

    To connect it to the MCU read that buffoon Chris Evans’ twitter feed, a clueless alpha perhaps faux alpha piling up the faggots about himself while the wily women folk about him coo encouragement.

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  2. It was an excellent ending. From here on in, Marvel movies will be SJW garbage, some more than others. I’m done, and satisfied to be done. Every good epic has an end.

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  3. The film was definitely a step down from Infinity War.

    – The Captain Marvel scenes brought the film to a halt both time. Her character is ridiculously OP. Thanos slugging her out of the film was the only good moment. Bringing in a new character at this point was stupid. There was no way to work her into the plot.

    – I cringed at the You-Go-Girl scene during the big battle at the end. It was cheap looking and felt forced. The fight during Inifinity War where the female characters had too fight together was much more natural. This scene felt like another requirement.

    – The support group with the homosexual guy was five minutes of screen time that could have been removed.

    – SJ is definitely starting to show her age. I thought Evans was showing his age as well.

    – It’s downhill from here. The new characters are not going to attract people.

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  4. even though Bucky is back and would have made more sense.

    the downside to MCU Bucky becoming Cap is that he has spent decades mindwiped and being used as the assassination tool of Hydra / the enemies of the United States. which would virtually necessitate a heel turn somewhere down the road if he was the new Cap, in which he would say in all seriousness, “Hail Hydra”, as the brainwashing is retriggered. which would be exactly what pissed you off in the first place.

    Sam Wilson is also a long time friend of Cap ( 1969 in the comics ) … as well as being blameless in the Hydra sense.

    it is stupid that old Steve didn’t talk to his oldest friend at all and the only person he still knew from his childhood, though.

    i was amused that Stark used a dexter / right hand path glove to undo the snap that Thanos had made with a sinister / left hand path glove.

    i was not so amused by the totally homo sexualizing of Cap’s ass. of course, we don’t have to worry about Captain Marvel’s ass being sexualized. Marvel hasn’t got a butt double / CGI budget large enough to fake that.

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