Shocking Takeaways from Avengers: Endgame
On the night of April 25th, I was one of many lucky Marvel fans who was able to watch the premiere of Avengers: Endgame, the culmination of over twenty movies — and many character hairstyle transformations — in the franchise. Armed with popcorn and a soda, I snacked my way through the three emotional hours, far more invested in each character than I had ever been before. As shown in the movie’s trailers, Endgame follows the Avengers’ journey to piece back together the world that Thanos has half-destroyed in Infinity War. While the movie did feel a little more lighthearted at moments than its predecessors, it definitely had poignant scenes that proved that this film was more than just an action-packed superhero movie. Here are some of the most shocking moments that evoked the aforementioned emotions from Avengers: Endgame. Spoilers are ahead, so please do not read the following if you have not watched the movie!
1. After Thanos’s abrupt decapitation towards the beginning of the movie, I looked around the theater as if to say, Are you all seeing this? Are the end credits going to start rolling? Thor impulsively cuts Thanos’s head off after discovering that the latter has destroyed all of the Infinity Stones so that his work cannot be reversed. While it initially seems wise to prevent Thanos from performing any mischief in the future, this moment leaves the audience dangling in uncertainty. Thanos is, after all, the main antagonist, and it turns out that the Thanos who appears in the final battle of Endgame is from the past, since Thanos in the present is dead. Needless to say, this movie may not be ideal if time travel confuses you.
2. My favorite moment in the entire film occurred when Captain America wields Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. As Thor is about to become sliced pastrami at the hands of Thanos from the past (poetic justice, some might say), Mjolnir levitates and hurtles towards Thanos. As I watched this scene in the theater, the entire audience erupted into cheers when Thor’s hammer ricocheted straight to the hands of Captain America himself. Now that Steve Rogers is worthy, or perhaps was worthy all along, is he technically qualified to become king of Asgard? Has he now assumed the title of Thor? As I pondered these questions, it became clear that this scene was one of the truly heartfelt victories of the film, especially because Thor felt pride instead of envy on behalf of Captain America.
3. There are always casualties in war, but I still held out hope that the entire team of superheroes would manage to defeat Thanos and remain alive. Unfortunately, Black Widow and Tony Stark sacrificed their own lives for the sake of the rest of humankind. Tony Stark’s death is a sorrowful but fitting end, since he manages to dissolve Thanos’s army with a snap of his fingers, saving the planet. On the other hand, Natasha Romanoff’s demise seems gratuitous. Someone clearly should have warned Black Widow and Hawkeye before entering Vormir that the Soul Stone has its name for a reason: someone’s soul must be offered in exchange for the stone.
4. The Avengers fail to recover the Space Stone when Loki absconds with it, suggesting yet again that they need to solidify their game plan before jumping into action. Although they manage to retrieve the stone by traveling even further back into the past, this moment indicates that Loki’s story is not over yet. Like Gamora, whose past self now exists in the present, the past version of Loki may be lingering somewhere in the universe. By featuring the reappearances of Loki and Gamora, Endgame provides a tidy solution for fans who want to see more of both characters.
6. After becoming a super soldier, serving in World War II, remaining dormant under the ice, toppling Hydra, and fighting the likes of Loki, Ultron, and Thanos, Steve Rogers deserves a peaceful retirement. When Captain America returns to the present as an elderly man after traveling through time, it becomes apparent that has finally lived his dream by marrying Peggy Carter and regaining the time he has lost. Rogers renders this moment even more bittersweet when he passes on the mantle of Captain America to Falcon, indicating that his tenure as a superhero is over. However, Bucky Barnes merely stands in the background in silent approval as Falcon receives the shield, so he may feel a little left out.
Avengers: Endgame is both a satisfying end and a touching homage to all of the preceding MCU films that have led up to this chapter. If you are about to watch the film, be prepared to laugh, cry, and eat popcorn in nervous anticipation, since this film will take you on a harrowing yet moving adventure through each character’s storyline.