DISCLAIMER – spoilers inside. Please do not read any further if you haven’t seen the movie. Thoughts of a non-comic reader. Photos not mine.
For 10 years we have followed our beloved heroes – caped, masked, suited, transformed, or hiding in plain sight.
In the years that followed, we anxiously anticipated the end. The end, that has marked another beginning.
We watched the movie on its first screening day – April 24th. The cinema was filled with geeks, their friends, their partners, their families. I bet most of them have been briefed before the movie has been shown – do not talk to me during the movie, do not ask questions, do not ask me to buy you food or drinks or accompany you out in the middle of the 3-hour movie. You simply cannot. Right?
Disney’s upcoming movies Lion King, Toy Story 4 and Aladdin played before the movie as the fans started to fill the seats – some even had to steal someone else’s in a bid to watch the film from a more comfortable distance, albeit the winter-temperature SM Cinema has decided to set for us all.
The movie opened quietly, as if unknowing of its magnitude. Ah, the man whom I got my hair-spiration from, Hawkeye. What happens next reminds us ever so painfully of the day that was, when the Avengers admitted defeat and Thanos snapped his fingers and vanished half of the population of the world; the universe rather (as Captain Marvel later pointed out).
And then the iconic opening that sent the crowd cheering. We wanted to quiet them down. But we were outnumbered.
PART 1 – HOW?
To me, the film was divided into three. The first – the HOW. How is Scott Lang relevant in this movie and what was his role? How did Captain Marvel help the Avengers – is she going to steal the show? How did the rest of the Avengers cope with the loss, the defeat and the fear of the unknown, of what’s next. How has Tony Stark miraculously, as shown in the trailer, joined the rest of the Avengers when he is supposedly stuck in space with no food, water and oxygen running out?
The crowd cheered again as Captain Marvel appeared in blinding light, as Tony Stark raised the white flag and closed his eyes for what he thought was the last time. The super powerful Carol Danvers lifts Stark’s aircraft and very carefully lays it down outside the Avengers HQ. Tony and Steve’s word war was emotional, more than any two members of the Avengers. These two have arguably debated hard, argued to their deaths and maybe unconsciously fought for Avengers leadership all throughout the last years. And in this scene, past hurts are rekindled.
The first part built the momentum, answered most of the questions we were left one year to ask and wonder about. We had a year to come up with theories, both based on comics and the crumbs that MCU has left all over the internet for us to figure out. But, who would have predicted that Thor would get that FAT? I see Chris Hemsworth on Instagram constantly sharing his gym routines and then I see a beer belly? It was a funny surprise. Good job, MCU.
But then now that they’ve gotten every remaining Avenger survivor on board, the questions remain. Will it work? Will they succeed?
Well, it has to. They need to. And as Tony Stark said, “We’re the Avengers. Let’s finish this.”
PART 2 – NOSTALGIC
The second part was NOSTALGIC. In the Avengers’ quest to retrieve the infinity stones before Thanos had possession of them, they had to “travel back in time” following Lang, Stark and Banner’s vortex collaboration. It was rightfully Lang’s idea, perfected by Stark and supported by Banner.
The second part brought us back to some of our favorite Avengers films – Thor The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers. It also sent us back down memory lane with Howard Stark and Peggy Carter’s scenes. Did you see the real-life Jarvis in 1970?
It also gave us another theory that we will surely tinker with in the next few months – Loki is alive in a different reality, with the Teseract. Could it be possible?
Tony’s moment with his father, who was still an expecting father, was heartwarming, and a redemption on the part of the father Tony thought was cold and calculating. Steve, as he looked on to Peggy, was more heartbreaking – as he tearfully and longingly looks at the life he chose to leave behind for the life that he has now.
Some complications happen along the way – Nebula’s younger self in 2014 gets entangled with her own memory and Thanos and Gamora discover what the Avengers are up to. We saw best friends Clint and Natasha fight over who becomes the sacrifice in Vormir to acquire the Soul Stone. While Clint had reasons to believe he deserved to sacrifice himself because of what he turned out to be after the snap, we witnessed Natasha selflessly giving herself up no matter the cost, as she said “I don’t judge people on their worst mistakes”.
Of course, there had to be complications. Otherwise, what’s all this build-up for?
PART 3 – AVENGERS ASSEMBLE
And so the third and final part begins. The Hulk snaps his fingers to bring back what was vanished 5 years ago, and in the process injuring himself. But alas, along with it, Thanos uses the vortex to jump into the future with his battalion. Just by looking at Hela and the legions that are ready to fight for Thanos, it might be an impossible task.
The scene where Iron Man, Captain America and Thor confront Thanos was heart-pounding. He didn’t have the stones and yet we know how strong he is, even without it. My mind rushed back to previous predictions that the three of them will die (because of their contracts with MCU). And then, and then. Mjolnik, which Thor retrieved when he went back in time to get the Reality Stone, shook and levitated.
The biggest, possibly the best WOW moment in the cinema happened – Captain America just threw the hammer to Thanos. He became worthy! He always was. Again, I thought. What a scene, he’s gonna die!
And just as Captain America probably thought they were done, and Thanos was winning, he hears a faint voice, “Cap, to your left” as that orange ring appeared, revealing Wong, and then all the other heroes we thought have long been gone. I know, there are too many commas in there. I can’t help it.
The Wakanda people emerge, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spiderman… A blown-up Antman rising from the rubble. Captain America then says, “Avengers, assemble”. The crowd cannot contain their howls and cheers each time heroes come out of the ring. Especially when Dr. Strange came out, and Iron Man asked him if this was the one way they’d win out of the 14 million possibilities.
And so the fight ensued, and so was the running after for the infinity gauntlet; as we see different heroes battle their way to keep it away from Thanos, and on to the van slash time machine.
We see Hawkeye carry it, then T’Challa, and then Spiderman, and finally, just as the Avengers are pummeled by Thanos’ army, Captain Marvel arrives to destroy the enemy’s main ship and get the gauntlet from Spiderman.
Oh and MCU is a genius here. The all-female group led by Okoye, took their ground to protect Captain Marvel in her mission to get the gauntlet to Antman and (the daughter of) Wasp. That scene brought us goosebumps and had the crowd cheering again. It was an incredible feeling.
I could almost sense victory. But of course, Thanos was having none of it.
The gauntlet lands at his feet and he wears it one more time, as people gasped. Oh no!
But Captain Marvel, who was all “I’m going to kill Thanos” in the first part of the movie, proved strong. She did her best to keep Thanos from snapping his fingers one more time. Did you see THAT headbutt? But then Thanos uses one of the stones to keep the Lea Salonga-look alike hero away. Dr. Strange, in a (for the lack of better term) STRANGE way, looked solemnly at Iron Man with his index finger up. 1.
The unmasked, beaten Iron Man grabs Thanos by the gauntlet but he gets shoved away so easily. Thanos snaps for the second time, in his bid to kill everyone who could remember what was and create a new set of creatures who will only think of what can be. “I am inevitable”.
In the shock of his lifetime, nothing happens. The infinity stones are gone. It’s now on Iron Man’s right hand. “And I… am Iron Man”. He snaps.
Oh don’t tell me you didn’t cry in this scene. Tony finds a place to sit, gasping. “Mr. Stark we won” said a very worried Spiderman. “It’s okay, Tony. You can rest now”, Pepper says as she cries silently, her heart breaking in a million pieces.
Although this scene was sad, if you focused hard enough (which I didn’t that’s why I watched it the second time), you will see some more bread crumbs of what’s to come.
Morgan, Tony and Pepper’s adorable daughter who loves cheeseburgers, may very well be the next CEO of Stark Industries – although that’s too far down the pipeline.
Lila Barton, daughter of Clint and already harnessing her archery prowess, promises to be an important character in the next MCU movies.
And the lone young man standing in front of Maria Hill is said to be the small genius boy, who helped Stark in Iron Man 3. Harley Keener.
And of course there’s Hannah Baker actress Katherine Langford who’s in the cast but nobody saw in the movies.
What’s in store for us in MCU’s Phase 4? Your guess is as good as mine but roars of a “Young Avengers” is already making the rounds on the internet.
I like how everyone got their own share of moments, and Captain Marvel didn’t steal the show. Yes, she may arguably be the strongest avenger (sorry Thor), but she only came when she was needed. The original Avengers, and the fitting credits they got, gave us goosebumps. Captain America was leading the pack and calling the shots, but Iron Man was the brain and heart. All of the characters had their minutes.
TIME TRAVELING WOE
I was so confused about how Hawkeye’s children were the same age before the snap and during the funeral when they’re supposed to be 5 years apart?
Has anyone else noticed this? Have you also observed any other “time travel” anomalies?
THE BEST GOODBYES
MCU never failed to bid both Iron Man and Captain America their well-deserved goodbyes. We’re heartbroken at Tony’s demise but it opens the door to future heroes. We are thankful at how effectively he’s played the role and embodied it for the past decade, but even the greatest basketball players and Greatest Of All Time (GOATs) have to hang up their jerseys. Mr. Stark, we love you 3,000!
We felt happy that Cap lived the life he denied himself of. He looked satisfied at having lived that life.
But at the same time we’re confused how he came back as himself to be with Peggy, and grow old. Can Captain America really grow old? If he came back as the skinny Steve Rogers, Pre-Cap, it would have been understandable. But this ending was confusing after the hype died.
THE GREATEST MARVEL FILM
The longest film. Poised to break the box office – it’s already doing that! The greatest cast ever assembled. Other franchises should follow suit. This is how it’s done. It may not just be the greatest Marvel film. It may be one of the best, all time.
I rate it 10/10 (I previously rated Aquaman a 9.5 and I feel Endgame was 3x better but the scale is only 10).
Share your thoughts in the comment section!