How do you talk about a movie that is this long and this epic without blabbering on like a fool? After trying to write this review on two separate occasions, I’ve found the best way is to break this film down into its segments.
For me, the three pieces I want to discuss above all else are the six original Avengers, the Time Heist and its ramifications, highlights from the final battle, and how the film wraps up.
Steve Rogers, our Captain America, has had a hard time dealing with the loss from Infinity War. Starting the film, he wants to fix the Decimation but once it’s found impossible, he leads a support group for people with survivor’s remorse. This is a great callback to Sam Wilson leading a support group for veterans in Winter Soldier.
Throughout the rest of the film, all he wants to do is fix that failure. It’s not until the Time Heist when he thinks it’s possible to gain more than fixing what went wrong.
Tony Stark, the man behind Iron Man, spirals down after the infamous Thanos “snap.” He’s on the brink of death and struggles with the loss of Peter Parker. Though he finds solid ground eventually and settles down with Pepper Pots.
We find them in a cabin on a beautiful lake where the two are raising their daughter Morgan. She seems to be every bit of Tony Stark’s daughter. She’s curious and a little manipulative but she grounds Tony in a way we’ve never seen before – even with his interactions with Peter.
He now has something he can’t risk losing. Even though he’s said that before about Pepper, he takes it further by saying he’s not willing to help without knowing 100% they can do the plan safely. He isn’t willing to risk losing what’s happened over the last five years.
Thor is rough to handle. He’s filled with anger about his failure and rarely speaks to anyone. AT the start of the film, he reacts to bad news by cutting off Thanos’ head.
In the five year jump, he has helps the population of Asgard settle in Tønsberg, Norway. In case you’re keeping track, this is the place where Red Skull found the Tesseract all the way back in Captain America: The First Avenger.
After helping his people set up a new home, he became recluse as a result of his grief, anger at failing, and all the personal loss he’s suffered over the years. To cope, he and his friends Meek and Korg spend their time sitting around playing Fortnight, and yelling at mean kids on the internet while drinking.
His look here with the long unkempt hair and beard, along with a beer gut, will hit many people the wrong way. I’m more in the camp that it fits him perfectly.
Thor has lost a few battles here and there, but never a full war like the loss against Thanos. The depression that comes out humanizes him, making him more relatable. And it isn’t until talking to his mother during the Time Heist that his character exhumes the confidence we’re used to seeing from him.
Natasha Romanoff, the infamous Black Widow, didn’t move on after the fight with Thanos. While others drifted off, she took on the role to lead what’s left of the Avengers. The start of the film has her interacting with several characters scattered throughout the universe, trying to bring stability back to their worlds.
Here’s what we find:
• Rocket and Nebula are in space to help other planets rebuild.
• Okoye reports on what’s going on in Africa, including an earthquake report that leaves Nat concerned about things that can’t be done.
• Carol Danvers, our Captain Marvel, features a new look that brings her style into the present while also helping to stabilize other planets.
• James Rhodes is in Mexico on the hunt for Clint Barton.
Natasha isn’t doing well overall and has the look of someone who’s been crying. She’s trying to do so much to bring the world back from the brink of chaos, but the knowledge of what Clint has become is eating away at her.
Clint Barton, the Hawkeye, goes through a drastic change. We see him suffer the death of his family and go down a road of increasing violence. He’s not just mad and beating someone up in a bar – Clint has changed who he is
Hawkeye now works under the moniker of Ronin, with a new outfit and a new sleeve tattoo that shows a skull in Ronin armor and a snake that wraps around his forearm. He’s also traded in his bow for a sword, leaving his victims in ways that has Rhodey seeing the change in him.
It’s not until he tests the Time Heist that hope takes him back to the character of old.
Bruce Banner, who turns into the Hulk when angry, has merged his mind with the Hulk’s strength. This has turned him into “Professor Hulk” from the comics.
Without the brutish nature of the Hulk, we see him being happier overall and more approachable. He goes so far as taking pictures with kids, dabbing, and having a catch phrase.
I’m not a fan of this version of the Hulk. I don’t mind him being intelligent. But Banner trying to keep himself in check while the Hulk wants to smash and fight is the relationship I want to see.
The main idea of the Time Heist is to break into three teams, travel back in time to four places over three time periods, and get the six stones to undo the Decimation in the present.
They transport Steve, Tony, Scott, and Hulk to the Battle of New York in 2012 to pick up the Mind, Space, and Time Stones. They send Thor and Rocket to Asgard in 2013 where the Reality Stone is. And Rhodey, Nebula, Natasha, and Clint find themselves on Morag in 2014 with two separate objectives: Rhodey and Nebula will pick up the Power Stone while Natasha and Clint go to Vormir for the Soul Stone.
The New York mission is full of fun callbacks to previous films and comedy. The interaction between the Hulk and the Ancient One is perfect and goes a long way to explain the rules of time travel in the Marvel Universe.
When they do not get the Space Stone, Loki teleports out of capture to create a new branch and launching point for a new universe within the current cinematic universe. This failing ends up forcing them to go to Camp Lehigh in New Jersey in 1970.
This gives me some great joy as we see a comic-accurate Ant-Man helmet and James D’Arcy reprising his role of Edwin Jarvis. It also gives so much to Tony and Steve’s characters by bringing things to a close for them and showing heartwarming character moments.
The Asgard mission shocked me in a lot of ways. I never expected to see Jane Foster after the issues that actress Natalie Portman had with Thor: The Dark World. But it made me happy to see.
Mostly, this mission was a means for Thor to talk to Frigga to gain perspective on how to handle his failure. It also shows him still being worthy to wield Mjølnir.
The mission to Morag is where it goes south and brings up many questions in my mind.
Sure, they get the stone and shows you how far Nebula has come as a character. But somehow Nebula is mentally joined with her past self, and it’s unclear how that’s possible. And how there is enough Pym Particles to let the past Nebula shrink Thanos’ ship and herself separately?
The final mission in the Time Heist is Natasha and Clint’s trip to Vormir. How could they have been so unprepared to get that stone?
Everyone knows that Gamora and Thanos went together to get it, and only Thanos returned. No one seemed to think Gamora died for Thanos to get the stone. They only see she didn’t come back, which I don’t understand.
But it set up an emotional fight between Clint and Natasha over who the sacrifice would be. Clint thinks it should be him because of what he’s done as Ronin, and Natasha thinks she should go so Clint could be with his family again.
Natasha ends up winning out. Her death not only hits Clint like a ton of bricks, but the other Avengers struggle with it, too. Thor ends up in such a denial he thinks they can snap her back with all the stones. Except he doesn’t realize that bringing her back would take the Soul Stone from their possession.
The Last Hour
The last hour was full of action. From a final show down with Thanos to wrapping up 11 years of character arcs, I don’t know how to break it down to give it justice.
What I do know is I could watch this last hour on loop indefinitely.
Everything from seeing Steve Rogers not only wield Mjølnir, but him holding it while saying “AVENGERS ASSEMBLE” to Pepper Pots flying around in her own suit of armor is amazing.
It’s so full of character moments that if you blink or cry, you will miss something. A few highlights:
• Scott Lang growing to Giant-Man and punching a Leviathan in the face.
• Carol Danvers destroys Thanos’ ship single handedly and takes a headbutt from Thanos without flinching.
• By far the best moment in this battle for me was Peter Parker handing Carol the gauntlet without knowing how she’d get where she needed to go and having every single female hero alive show up to help her. To implicate an A-Force movie was so palpable that I am giddy just thinking of it.
When it came down to the end, it was just Tony and Thanos: face to face. This is much like it was on Titan in Infinity War. But instead of getting stabbed, Tony stole away the stones and snapped Thanos and his army to dust.
This ends up killing Tony, and the emotion from Peter and Pepper here is heartbreaking. As we’re taken to his funeral, it’s a heartwarming scene with everyone from the Pym’s to the Guardians being there. We can see even Harley from Iron Man 3, which wraps up Tony’s arc in the perfect sendoff.
After the funeral, we had to get the stones and Mjølnir back to where and when they needed to be. This task falls to Steve.
One thing that bothers me in this scene is he doesn’t take the castings for the stone back in time with him. I mean, if you take a stone like the Mind Stone from its time in the Scepter, you have to take it back in the Scepter.
That small caveat aside, Steve doesn’t come back the way he left. He takes time to do the one thing we’ve wanted him to do since we saw him go into the ice. Steve has his life with Peggy Carter and comes back up as an old man gifting the Shield to Sam Wilson.
It was such a pleasing moment to see Steve get what he’s deserved for so long. I don’t think there is a better way to write out that character.
So much happened in this film I’m sure I could go on for days about it. But that last hour, the Time Heist, and the Avenger’s arcs are the main ones.
This film left me with a few questions I hope to have answered:
• What is it going to be like for Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home after being dead for 5 years?
• Was all of Peter’s class dead, too? And is that how he’s still in high school with the same kids?
• What will happen with the Disney+ shows? Will the Loki series follow him after he teleported away in this film or go back to his past?
• Can we please have the “Not my Cap” storyline in Falcon and the Winter Soldier?
• How does Vision fit into the Disney+ show WandaVision if he’s still dead?
This film was a great way to close 11 years of story. By far, this is one of my absolute favorite movies and I will most likely see it again before it leaves the cinemas.