The final film in Marvel’s Avengers series was highly anticipated and beloved by many – but not everyone in the theater felt this way.
In my almost 25 years on this planet (yikes), I have seen a total of two superhero movies. The first was Spider-Man (2002), which I remember seeing in the movie theater in my hometown at the age of 7. The second was Deadpool in 2016, also at that same theater with yellow shag carpet on the walls and a crystal chandelier in the “big theater” (the place only has two screens, which we would refer to as the “big theater” or the “small theater”). So as you might expect, I was counting down the days until Avengers: Endgame hit theaters where I would see it on opening night.
Just kidding. I didn’t even know this movie existed until April 24th, when it was discussed on KCR’s own Brett & Mackee in the Morning. But you already knew that, because you undoubtedly listen to San Diego’s Best Morning Radio Show, as voted by the San Diego Union Tribune’s 2018 Reader’s Poll, every Wednesday morning from 10 to 12. As explained above, I’ve never seen any of the other Avengers movies. In fact, I’m not even sure how many there are. I’m going to go ahead and guess that there are twelve movies in the series. (Editor’s note: Andrea, how the heck are you so behind?)
When a fellow KCR member asked me, over Plant Power Fast Food, if I wanted to go to the 1:45 AM 3D showing of Avengers: Endgame that night, I agreed. Maybe it was just the vegan chicken nuggets altering my perception, but this sounded like a great idea to me. A three hour movie, a three hour SUPERHERO movie, at nearly 2 AM on a Thursday night/Friday morning. In the end, we decided on the 11:45 PM showing at AMC Fashion Valley. One sour beer and two hard kombuchas later, and we found ourselves in butter-soaked seats with plastic 3D glasses on our faces. “So it won’t be blurry,” the ticket-taker had informed us.
So here you go: my critical, sleep-deprived review of Avengers: Endgame. This is all surely inaccurate and likely offensive to fans of the series. I’m sorry. “I love you three thousand”.
A “Summary” of the Film
Avengers: Endgame opens with a scene of a family enjoying a nice lakeside picnic and some archery. I’ve already forgotten which character was the dad in this scene. Eventually the dad looks around and his family has disappeared. I think that if I had seen the other eleven Avengers movies I might have understood why this was happening. Instead, I figured aliens were involved somehow. As in, the antagonists in the other Avengers movies were aliens. (Editors note: At least you got that mostly right.)
So then I was introduced to the titular Avengers, I think. To me, the Avengers are Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo/The Hulk, Miley Cyrus’s husband’s brother, Chris Evans, a raccoon, Paul Rudd, and
Brett Michel’s father Robert Downey Jr. If I’m being honest, it seems like Robert Downey Jr. carried the team in this movie, particularly by figuring out how to time travel. RDJ is a family man, though, and at first doesn’t want to get involved with this alien-fighting business. However, he relents and agrees to go to space with them despite having a young daughter. I bet you can guess what’s going to happen to his character at the end of the movie.
Why was time travel necessary for the Avengers? I’m not really sure. Paul Rudd spent five years of his life in another dimension, or something, while people in the real world kept living their lives. So I guess the Avengers needed to travel back in time to save Paul Rudd from this other dimension. In order to save Paul Rudd, the Avengers had to retrieve some magic stones from the past.
The Avengers split off into teams and travel into the past to retrieve the magic stones. Paul Rudd becomes tiny, there are two Captain Americas that fight each other (?), Tilda Swinton is on a rooftop. Obviously, this quest for the magic stones was the crux of the whole movie, so I apologize for reducing it to a two-sentence summary.
There’s a scene where RDJ and Chris Evans go back in time to a very All-American looking army base, and RDJ talks to a man who’s expecting a child with his wife. RDJ is very emotional when talking to this man, and hugs him goodbye despite having only just met him. I deduced that this man was actually RDJ’s father and his unborn child would grow up to be none other than Robert Downey Jr. Wikipedia tells me that my conclusion was correct. This, my friends, is what I like to call critical thinking and inference. Yes, I have taken a first-year TFM class.
Okay, what else? Scarlett Johannson dies. Another guy was maybe going to die but Scarlett sacrifices herself instead. I can’t even remember why she had to die – midway through the movie my eyes were definitely starting to close. There was a scary Grim Reaper-looking thing that gave these two a message. The robot woman was a double agent and helped the Big Evil Guy (not an alien) try to take over the world. Some other things happened.
Then there was a big battle scene! “Avengers, assemble!” That’s a direct quote from the film. A lot of other Marvel characters returned for the battle and everyone else in the theater made sounds of excitement and recognition as the camera panned over these characters. I nodded along as if I too understood the significance of this scene.
So the battle seems to be going okay and no one of importance has died yet (except Scarlett Johansson). Baby Spider-Man retrieves the Magic Glove and everything is looking great, but then Big Evil Guy gets the Magic Glove. RDJ confronts him about it (really carrying the team again) and Big Evil Guy tries to flex that he has the Magic Glove. Lo and behold, the Magic Glove is missing its magic stones, rendering it useless! Turns out, RDJ took the magic stones and now has his OWN Magic Glove. He then proclaims that he is Iron Man. This was a big reveal for me. Then he activates the stones or whatever and the bad guys turn to dust.
All of this was so overwhelming for me that I didn’t realize RDJ was dying. I’m not sure why he had to die, but I think it’s because he was a family man making the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good of the world and this is a movie. Sniffles could be heard throughout the theater as, presumably, we said goodbye to a beloved character. There was a funeral scene, and then some more time travel. Everyone was very solemn, and Samuel L. Jackson was there. Fin.
You’re probably thinking I hated this movie, or was bored to death by it. Surprisingly, I actually had a pretty enjoyable experience. For a three hour movie where I really didn’t understand much of what was happening, I felt engaged with it for almost the entire duration. I was shocked by how quickly those three hours passed. I will admit that it’s a bit of a struggle to follow a movie like this when it’s after midnight and there’s no recap of the previous eleven movies beforehand. So I guess the question is, would I recommend seeing Avengers: Endgame without seeing the other Avengers movies first? No, absolutely not. But if you find yourself in the same situation as me, please do not use my summary of the film as a way to prepare.