After an unprecedented 21 movies over a span of 11 years, the last instalment of the Avengers movies finally arrived – and the world had absolutely no chill.
Avengers: Endgame premiered globally with a nearly 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes and a record-breaking $1.2 billion opening weekend. Two weeks in, the film has now earned over $2 billion, overtaking Titanic as the second highest-grossing movie in history and well on its way to surpassing Avatar for that #1 spot.
With the spoiler ban “officially” lifted on Monday, fans have had a field day openly discussing their reactions to Endgame’s jaw-dropping moments, pesky plot holes and heartbreaking deaths. We talk about the epic and all things tragic in our roundtable review of Avengers: Endgame.
Major spoilers ahead!
Donna: Welcome to our Avengers roundtable. This is our first ever roundtable!
Enning: Let’s start off. When did you guys watch Endgame and what was your initial reaction to the movie?
Nora: I watched it yesterday evening so it’s really fresh in my mind. I don’t know if this is a popular opinion but I was a little bit underwhelmed when I left the theatre. I thought that it could have been a lot more exciting. Maybe because it’s been hyped up a lot right before we watched the movie. So my expectations were that much higher.
Enning: Were you hyped up by other people or were you hyped up by reviews?
Nora: Actually it’s by other people, and by other people, I mean Donna cause she sits right next to me. You spoiled it for me Donna!
Donna: Damn my hype-ness! But hey, I didn’t spoil anything!
Enning: I saw it on opening night because it’s a huge event. I mean it’s definitely the biggest movie of the year, maybe the decade. You want to be the first to know what happens and Infinity War left us on huge cliffhanger. For the record, I watched it twice because my friend bought a second ticket for me, not because I immediately rushed to the box office to buy a second ticket or because I had an overwhelming first reaction.
Esther: Actually most of my friends also said that it was very good and they watched it a few times. So I also thought that it was gonna be good and it was! I liked the twist of how Thanos found out about the Avengers’ plan through Nebula. And I thought the ending was really good too.
Donna: I watched it twice on the same day because I’m a crazy person. So my first reaction was basically “oh my God so many amazing moments”. Like when Steve held Mjolnir, that was one of the things that everybody was hyped over. Not that everybody was expecting it, but it was hinted at in Age of Ultron and it actually happened! I was extremely lucky cause the audience was just as hyped as I was.
Nora: There was a collective gasp in the theatre when it happened.
Esther: A lot of them cheered when he picked up the hammer.
Donna: At my first viewing, it was those moments that astounded and amazed me. A combination of all the hype. I liked the callbacks to previous movies, the way they tied it all up in the end, plus my problematic fave Loki is alive-ish so yay! However, by the second viewing, I noticed a lot of plot holes and realised it wasn’t as great as I initially thought. But before we get to that, what were your favourite moments of the movie?
Nora: I think the moment that made me feel really excited was when the ‘Earth’s’ army came to back the Avengers up after Thanos’ Army came to back him up.
Enning: On your left! I saw GIFs of it and I’ve just been re-watching that scene over and over again. That was probably the best scene in the movie.
Donna: Agreed. Hands down. The best scene.
Enning: The battle itself was also great.
Donna: I thought the pass the baton moment was really cool.
Enning: The relay! From bird to hawk to spider.
Donna: All the animals get their time to shine.
Enning: And then you have Hawkeye going can I pass this to someone with actual superhero powers? It’s always an interesting logistical challenge, isn’t it? Even in previous Avengers movies, how do they make people with no superhuman powers useful? Poor Black Widow and Hawkeye – they just have to keep up.
Esther: I liked that it had a happy story ending but that overall, the Avengers had to sacrifice several lead characters that you might not have expected. It didn’t make it a typical happy ending.
Donna: I was sad about Tony’s death too, but I think it rounded off his arc beautifully. Endgame served Tony’s storyline the best. Yes he’s the cocky genius, billionaire, playboy archetype, but at the end of the day, he’s willing to put himself on the line. He ended his first and last movie with “I am Iron Man.” Endgame is definitive proof that Tony Stark does have a heart.
Nora: All things considered, the number of sacrifices were quite low. Just two.
Enning: I’m just really curious how they are going to do the Black Widow movie. Personally, It’s hard to be emotionally invested in a character in a prequel movie knowing that they die to a rather arbitrary rule on some planet.
Donna: I mean maybe when Steve goes back to return the Soul Stone…
Enning: That is a theory – soul for a soul. So if he returns the stone he might get someone back. So in theory it’s possible.
Donna: Honestly, I think all six Avengers deserved to be at the final battle, including Natasha.
Enning: I did notice in the movie that they kept mentioning Natasha’s death. There were like 10 lines that went she’s not coming back or she’s never coming back. And I’m like you guys are really focusing on this a lot, maybe a bit too much?
Donna: MyRepublic predicts that Natasha will come back to life! Also, how adorable and heartfelt was Peter’s reunion with Tony? That hug!
Enning: And a callback to when Peter thought Tony was hugging him in Homecoming, but he was just opening the door! And now Peter has 10 moms. He lost all his father figures but he ended up with like 10 moms.
Donna: When all the female Avengers got together to square up against Thanos!
Enning: It was complete fanservice.
Donna: It was 100% fanservice for sure. They were pandering to us, but hey I’ll take it!
Enning: Pander to me!
Donna: I loved all the callbacks and parallels during the time travel scenes in New York. Hulk sulking at having to become Gratuitously Violent!Hulk. Steve in the elevator mirroring the Winter Soldier, and calling out the comics storyline with his “Hail Hydra” manoeuvre. Fresh out of the Ice!Steve versus Jaded, Exasperated!Steve. I think we can all agree that is indeed America’s Ass.
Nora: I was surprised there was no scene where Hulk was throwing around Loki. That was the best scene in Avengers.
Donna: Ah, so what were the parts that you didn’t like about the movie?
Nora: What I didn’t like was that Thor became the comedic relief of the entire movie. I mean that used to be Iron Man but now he’s the serious one and Thor is the funny one?
Enning: There were a lot of divided reactions to Thor’s treatment in the movie. For me, Natasha’s death felt very unsatisfying.
Donna: Same. Hated it. Didn’t think it was necessary. Or at least, if you want a Marvel character to die, give them a shot at happiness, then pull the rug from under us. Nat didn’t get to have her happy ending, unlike Tony. I think it also sucked for me because she died instead of Hawkeye and I don’t feel as emotionally connected to Hawkeye. He hasn’t quite been around.
Enning: It’s a horrible message to send that Natasha dies because she doesn’t have a family like Hawkeye. So she doesn’t get to survive but the dude with the family gets to survive and be happy.
Nora: He was supposed to have his own character development. And now he’s a ninja, not an archer. We didn’t get to see much of that development in the movie at all.
Donna: It’s very unfortunate. I feel the solo movies do a much better job with characters like Thor, Hulk and even Natasha. Would you guys watch Endgame again?
Nora: I wouldn’t watch it again. The reasons for me to watch a movie would be that I enjoyed the dialogue, the cinematography… basically the movie needs to keep entertaining me. I don’t think I would continue to be entertained watching it a second time because I already know the plot. The dialogue wasn’t as snappy or entertaining as Infinity War’s. And the reason why I wanted to watch Endgame was because of how awesome Infinity War was – I wanted to know how it ended! I thought Infinity War was a better movie in terms of dialogue and plot, plus there was more at stake: it was about preventing a disaster versus Endgame where it was about reversing it. What do they have to lose if they’ve already lost everything?
Donna: Did you feel like the film needed that 3-hour run time?
Enning: Honestly it didn’t feel like 3 hours. It gave the characters enough time to breathe. Natasha and Steve had their moments, Tony and his kid, that moment with Steve when he passes the shield to Sam, they didn’t just rush through all the action and the plot points. I thought it was important, especially when you’re sending all these characters off, that they have these moments where they slowed things down.
Nora: But okay, why would you pass on the shield to someone who wasn’t biologically engineered? A big strength of Captain America is that he was engineered to be the perfect Soldier. Now he passes it on to a normal person to take on the role? How can you expect him to be new Captain America?
Enning: Sam is Captain America in the comics, it’s an homage to it.
Donna: I think they initially wanted Bucky to take over the role of Captain America like in the comics but now they are going in the direction of the White Wolf storyline. Also, Sam and Bucky now have a TV show!
Nora: And another thing is Captain America had chosen to stay on in the past would that mean there were two Captain Americas in the same reality?
Enning: Yes, according the laws of time travel in Endgame.
Donna: Oh lord, that ending. While I have 349,891 issues with it, I can accept Steve giving up years of efforts to move on with his new Avengers family and accept his new reality if they had executed the time travel portion well. Instead, we’re left with questions about Steve’s life with Peggy, which timeline they were in, whether he laid low and did nothing which is very un-Steve like and so on. They sacrificed his development for sentimentality, which would not be the absolute worst thing if it was done better.
Enning: Maybe it’s because I like to pretend Agent Carter Season 2 never happened but I was okay with it? The guy’s human, suffering from PTSD and wants to rest. Although I do agree that it’s confusing that they didn’t show Steve popping back into this timeline, as per their time travel rules.
Donna: Okay the heartbreak, disappointment and confusion of Endgame aside, what are you most looking forward in this post-Tony Stark-Steve Rogers-Natasha Romanov world? I’m hyped for the As-Guardians of the Galaxy and the new Loki series. Both Infinity War and Endgame have endeared me to Benny D as the wise, quick-witted Doctor Strange, so I can’t wait to see him in action again!
Nora: I just watched the Spider-man: Far From Home trailer and knowing how it takes place right after the events of Endgame. I’m definitely keen to see how Peter Parker develops as a character.
Enning: I’m real curious about how that Black Widow movie is going to work out. And of course, Captain Marvel 2 when it eventually happens.