The End of an Era: Endgame’s Epic finale of the heroes that shaped this generation

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Thanos, The Mad Titan, is inevitable. But the heroes, the relentless men and women of incredible origins, are there to avenge. Marvel’s latest epic and addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Endgame, concludes a storyline spanning over a decade and multiple films. There is no better conclusion to this era of Marvel than the three hour journey that Endgame provides.

 A heartbreaking scene of loss opens the film. Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye is featured in the emotional beginning. The father of three is having a laid back afternoon, but the audience feels tension knowing Thanos is about to snap. The silent background increases pressure, until the eerie disappearance of the superhero’s family.

 The film continues with looks at the other heroes reacting to their loss in Infinity War, just a few weeks after the snap. Thor is motivated by rage. Tony Stark is filled with dissent and disappointment in the lack of unity among the group. Captain America is hopeful and ready to avenge their loss.

 Of course, half of all living things, including heroes like Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, and most of the Guardians of the Galaxy, were turned to dust as part of Thanos’ plan to bring order to the universe. With the arrival of Captain Marvel and the reunited remaining Avengers ready, they leave to find Thanos, take back the stones, use them to bring everyone back, and kill Thanos once and for all.

 Upon arrival to the Titan’s retirement planet, the team finds Thanos has used the stones to destroy the stones. This means they can’t reverse the snap, and they have failed to avenge those who they lost. In rage, Thor wields his new axe, Stormbreaker, and kills Thanos (finally going for his head), despite that it, is too late.

 Five years later, viewers are shown the reactions to the snap. Steve Rogers is encouraging people to move on, despite not moving on himself. This is a reference to his seventy years frozen, in which he lost out on a life with Peggy, his love interest. Meanwhile Tony Stark is at peace, living with his wife, Pepper, and young daughter, Morgan.

 Natasha is managing affairs for the remaining active Avengers, and looking for Barton, who they believe has become a vigilante assassin. Thor, the mighty hero and likely strongest of the crew, has given in to a life of beer, pizza rolls, and Fortnite as he feels he is a failure. His friend, Valkyrie, survived the snap and is helping manage New Asgard.

 Everything changes when Ant Man joins the scene. In Antman and the Wasp, Scott Lang got stuck in the Quantum Realm, a sub-particle universe where time and space is flexible, because the Dyne family didn’t survive the snap to pull him out.

 When Lang escapes the realm, he finds that he missed five years, and the snap, but to him it was only five hours. He goes to the Avengers headquarters to explain that the technology used for his trip to the Quantum Realm could be a means of time travel, thus they could go back in time and reverse the snap.

 This is where the film picks up a solidified plot and idea. The group gets back together, though Stark is reluctant to leave his daughter, Thor is a mess, Hawkeye was busy taking out cartels and murderers, and Bruce Banner has fused with the Hulk. Rogers, Romanoff, Rocket, Rhodey, Ant Man, and Nebula get the hesitant characters on board with the plan, which is to obtain the stones from the past and use them to bring everyone back. Once assembled, they carry it out.

 The comedy within the film was well written, and placed at just the right times. After turning Lang into a baby during a test run and struggling to get him back to normal, a half-Hulk excitedly says “Time travel!” as though he succeeds. Thor screams at a Fortnite player named “Noob Master69” as the child curses at Korg in the game. Needless to say, Stark’s snarky comments are present as per usual. Overall, the film is not short of comedic relief.

 The elephant in the room created by this movie was the “girl power” scene. Was it too forced? Is it sexist to say that? Well, it was too forced, and it’s not sexist to say that. It didn’t feel natural or realistic to the circumstances.

 During Infinity War, there was a similar scene in which Black Widow, Oyeke, and Scarlet Witch team up and take out a villain. It had great representation and empowerment, showing women as powerful, strong, and independent. The Endgame scene was overdone.

 Captain Marvel had gotten hold of the gauntlet, and had to cross a field of evil beings. Then, every single (living) female character in the MCU appeared from nowhere to back her up. Now, the chances are pretty slim that on a massive battlefield, every single female character, and not one male, are all close by. It’s not sexist that the probability of the occasion through off the message.

 On a positive note, both Scarlet Witch and Captain Marvel had great scenes with Thanos. It took an entire hit from an infinity stone to get Captain Marvel away, and a full-blown airstrike to stop Scarlet Witch from killing Thanos. Valkyrie was also an extremely powerful and fun addition to the battle.

 When the film neared its end, it felt like a story with more than twenty films came to a close. The Avengers successfully went back in time, got the stones, used them to reverse the snap, then killed Thanos once and for all, turning him to dust as a taste of his own medicine.

  The casualties felt personal. After over a decade of watching these people grow, it was a massive loss to see Black Widow sacrifice herself for her newfound family.

 Iron Man died after using the stones to kill Thanos, a death even more complex due to his impact on the franchise. Marvel’s reign on superhero movies began with Iron Man in 2008. Ending this era of Marvel with his death was appropriate, but extremely upsetting.

 Stark, who battled anxiety, led the Avengers, just started a family, and created the technology for this plan, met his end. Pepper Potts, his wife, knew Stark couldn’t rest until the world was safe. While Tony died, Pepper told him he could now rest, exactly the final message the hero needed. His funeral was private, only featuring people close to him.

 Captain America, the boy who once couldn’t even serve his country, served the whole universe for the last time. The “star spangled man with a plan” was a leader. He used Thor’s iconic hammer, Mjolnir, as it was revealed he was worthy. He fought valiantly throughout the film, he came within feet of Peggy at one point while traveling to the past, but overcame the urge in order to carry out his plan.

 Steve Rogers only knew moving on. Moving on from losing Bucky, moving on from Peggy when he was gone for seventy years, and moving on from half of his Avengers family taken by the snap. At the end of the movie, he decides to stop moving on. He finished his last mission, then stayed back in time to be with the love as his life, Peggy Carter. His story ends with a peaceful retirement.

 The next phase is a story with opportunities. Newer heroes like Spider-Man, Falcon (and his new shield), Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther will likely take the spotlight. New villains will emerge, perhaps Galactus or someone else from the comics. Stan Lee created Marvel, and thus inspired creativity, spread empowerment, and made millions of others around the globe smile. To Stan Lee, the cast, crew, producers, directors, writers, and everyone else involved in the production of this story, please know your fans “Love you 3000.”