Endgame: A fantastic end to The Avengers

Warning: This review contains spoilers

Part of the journey is the end, and what a journey it has been. The 22nd movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Avengers: Endgame, serves as an end to the iconic storyline of The Avengers.

Right now, Avengers: Endgamehas a worldwide gross of $2,682,931,736. It is the second highest grossing film of all time and is projected to take the number one spot from “Avatar” in the next week. Its popularity comes from its massive fanbase, and being such a milestone for the MCU, every fan saw it in theaters as soon as possible. This isn’t a movie you can wait to watch.

The directors had daunting requirements. The film had to conclude the storylines of most of its biggest characters, and do so in a way that satisfied fans. Here, ‘satisfied’ doesn’t mean making fans happy, it means ending story arcs in a way that fulfilled the characters.

There are some unavoidable plot holes throughout the movie; most notably, how time travel works. We are directly told that changing the past creates a new timeline, hence why they must return the stones at the end of the movie. However, we also see The Avengers change the past repeatedly. This includes Tony Stark talking to his father, Steve Rogers fighting his past self and obviously going back in time to live his life with Peggy Carter. Given the rules they present to us, this makes no sense. Although, the inconsistencies are necessary to the plot.

Each ending for each character is done in the most satisfying way possible. The main theme of the movie is self-sacrifice. We begin to see the conclusion of Bruce Banner’s story at the start of the movie. By accepting the Hulk, he ends his battle that refutes a part of who he is. Even after the events in “Avengers: Infinity War”, he is happy. This is a far cry from the insecure, suicidal man we see in “The Avengers”. After he snaps and brings those who were dusted back, he can finally be fulfilled. Bruce has spent most of his screen time in the past years feeling as if he has done more harm than good, but now he can live the rest of his life knowing that he is a true hero.

Its popularity comes from its massive fanbase, and being such a milestone for the MCU, every fan saw it in theaters as soon as possible. This isn’t a movie you can wait to watch.”

The conclusion of Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton are intertwined. Their friendship began off screen, and lasted throughout all the movies, even when they were on opposite sides in “Captain America: Civil War” and during the five years Clint was M.I.A. after the snap. She feels she owes Clint for bringing her out of the dark side. Their backstory, respect, and genuine platonic love for each other make the entire scene heart-wrenching. Since “The Avengers”, Natasha’s shady past has been a sensitive subject. Her guilt surrounding her past actions isn’t shown in cinematic undertones, she comes right out and says it. In “The Avengers”, she says “I‘ve got red in my ledger, I’d like to wipe it out.” Natasha’s ultimate sacrifice clears the red out of her ledger once and for all, and resolves her guilt. Her ending isn’t perfect. She deserves to know she doesn’t need to be guilty. She deserves to continue running the Avengers as she has for the past five years and she deserves to live. However, her death concludes her storyline in a bittersweet but cinematically perfect way. Clint is devastated, but ultimately gets to go home to his children, and ends his storyline the way he deserves.

The conclusion of Captain America left fans conflicted. Many couldn’t imagine him abandoning the modern world, leaving behind Bucky and Sam. However, upon further reflection, a massive part of his character has been his longing for Peggy. Given the opportunity to be with her, it would be selfish for anyone to hope he didn’t take it. We see his happiness in his old age, which makes it worth it. He is one of the few characters who receive a happy ending.

Since before the start of “Avengers: Infinity War”, Thor has arguably had it the worst; losing his parents, losing his eye, losing his brother and losing most of his people; he is always losing. After losing to Thanos, the writers couldn’t have made it more obvious that he’s a mess. It’s only after he speaks to his mother that we see the real Thor come back. Determined to be who he truly is, he sets off with the Guardians. This is an odd clash of characters, but it gives him hope. Here we see a more obvious theme of fulfillment, as he leaves to find just that.

Tony Stark. Iron Man, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist; the character that began the entire MCU. Even in his first movie, we see incredible character development as he abandons his selfishness to become Iron Man, as well as his main source of income: weapons production. From there he continues to grow, he lets people into his life, finds love, prioritizes the world’s needs over his own freedom, mentors a younger hero and wishes for a family. He finds happiness after “Avengers: Infinity War”, and builds the family he dreamt of. His reluctance to travel through time shows how much he has moved on in five years; nothing is worth risking his family. For once, he lets himself be selfish once again. It’s only after he reflects on losing Peter Parker that he tests the theory of time travel, and only then does he let his heroism win; ironically, after he’s confident he will survive. He doesn’t want to die, but he sacrifices himself for the safety of the world. Self-sacrifice has always been a part of his character, but it hurts the most now that he’s finally content with a peaceful life, and is leaving a little girl behind. While his death was immensely painful, it was the most honorable way to die. If he was going to die before reaching old age, doing so saving the world is the best way possible. The face of the MCU will now be passed down to one of the next generation heroes.

Saying goodbye isn’t easy. Character deaths bring out emotions even when they’re only in one movie. When you’ve watched a character for a decade, from childhood to young adulthood, it’s hard to be satisfied with how they pass. It’s important to remember that this isn’t the end of the MCU, only the end of the original Avengers. The world now rests in the hands of Spiderman, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, the new Captain America and more. As viewers, we can be confident that Marvel will honor its lost heroes and continue creating incredible movies.