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Weve finally learned who made it out alive and the line weve all been waiting for. But was the final instalment really as satisfying as the critics said?

It doesnt matter if you love or loathe superhero films. The Marvel experiment, with its enormous tentpoles of interlocking stories dominating the international release calendar, has altered cinema forever. Naysayers may consider it a stranglehold, but fans celebrate the dominance of this once low art form. No longer will we be embarrassed to read comic books on the bus!

This is, for better or worse, a significant change in our culture. To undo it, one would need six Infinity Stones and a pocket full of Pym particles to stop Kevin Feige becoming Marvel Studios president of production. But only a team as brave and noble as the Avengers, could do it.

Twenty-two films. Eleven years. Three hours and one minute. Fifty per cent of all living creatures. There are a lot of big numbers tossed around with this one and well be talking about it for a long time. For now though, lets stick with five points.

Cap is worthy

There is a scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron when the gang are hanging out at HQ and eyeing Thors hammer. Clint Barton, Tony Stark, Rhodey and Bruce Banner all try to lift Mjlnir and, of course, they cant. Then the musclebound Steve Rogers, Captain America, gives it a try. He cant do it either, but it does budge a smidge. Enough so that, for a second, Thor looks worried.

Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor is inscribed on it. Well, only Thor should possess the power of Thor, right?

Mjlnir is destroyed by Hela in Thor: Ragnarok but thanks to Endgames use of time travel, pudgy, beer-swilling Thor is able to yank the hammer away from Asgard and bring it to the present.

In the battle against Thanos, we get perhaps the greatest fan moment in all of the films. With the chips way down, and Thanos about to slice Thor in two with the Asgardian Kings axe Stormbreaker, Mjlnir flies across the screen and into Captain Americas hands. I knew it! shouts Thor. And we did too.

In the comics, Steve Rogers has lifted Mjlnir now and again (see The Mighty Thor #390 from 1988 for the first time) so to finallysee it in the heat of a movie battle is especially gratifying.

Say the line, Steve!

Six syllables that pack a punch … Chris Evans as Captain America in Avengers: Endgame Photograph: Marvel Studios 2019

But not as gratifying as what comes next. The Avengers are on the ropes. Theyve undone Thanos finger-click but the fight isnt over. The still-bad Nebula from the past has snuck in to the present and brought the Mad Titan and his evil hordes to Avengers HQ. My God, Rocket Raccoon nearly drowns! Our noble heroes fight, but it looks like theyll need a miracle to survive. And then, the portals open and all our friends from Wakanda to Bleecker Street are there for the brawl. And finally, after a decade of waiting, Steve Rogers takes a deep breath and says Avengers assemble!

To non-fans this may seem like a silly point. Avengers assemble! has been the teams battle cry since Avengers #10 in 1964. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, it lookslike Steve Rogers is about to say it at the very end, but the music blurts in and the screen cuts to black. (That was director Joss Whedon trolling us.) The UK title of the first Avengers film is even called Avengers Assemble. It may only be six syllables but they pack a punch.

Not ash dead, really dead

We knew not everyone would make it out of Avengers: Endgame alive. Its sad to see Tony Stark go, but not so sad to see Robert Downey Jr depart. Not that he isnt great, but its time to move on, to make some room, and his snarky cool-guy act becomes increasingly less dignified as he ages. He also dies in the most noble way possible, saving every single living thing in the Universe. Cant top that.

More upsetting and confusing is the loss of Scarlett Johanssons Black Widow. No one predicted this because Marvel has announced a Black Widow film. So now well know a fate worst than death: another prequel.

Steve Rogers not only survived, he lived his best life with his beloved Peggy Carter and let the natural order of things take over. But short of more time travel, we wont be seeing Chris Evans again. This is less of a surprise, because Evans already said goodbye to the franchise on Twitter. However, we nerds still have our guards up from when Simon Pegg lied to us and said Benedict Cumberbatch would not be playing Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, so forgive us if were not so trusting.

Its been five years

Who is this four year old? … Paul Rudd as Ant-Man in Avengers: Endgame. Photograph: Marvel Studios 2019

When Ant-Man re-emerges from the quantum realm thanks to a scurrying rat, he awakens to a world thats been in mourning for five years. When he embraces his now-teen daughter who thought shed lost him, it is quite a touching scene.

When the rest of the world is restored by the Avengers successful time-heist, Peter Parker reports that, to them, the gap felt quick. After Tony Starks death, a recording he made saluting the teams anticipated success mentions the world rebuilding itself.

The question is, how many people came back from the click, went home to their spouses and said uh, who is this four year old that looks like you and not me? Avengers: Endgame includes a group therapy scene led by Captain America with common folk having difficulty moving on. But not everyone had that difficulty, Im sure. Theres a lot left undiscussed.

A globalists perspective

Paul Rudds Scott Lang looks at Chris Evans Steve Rogers in his Captain America suit and, negating Tony Starks fashion criticism, salutes his hero and says: Thats Americas ass. Later, Rogers fights a version of himself in the past (take that, Back to the Future) and realises Lang is right. It isAmericas ass.

But they are both wrong. Chris Evans, dont let your posterior be undersold. You have the worlds ass. And if any of you disagree you are not worthy to hold it.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/apr/25/avengers-endgame-whos-really-dead-and-the-line-weve-all-been-waiting-for-discuss-with-spoilers