The end of the Avengers movies.
The final appearance of some of our beloved heroes.
The final cameo of Stan Lee.
The movie the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building up to.
Avengers: Endgame is nothing if not appropriately named. At a whopping 3 hours, 1 minute long, fans steeled themselves(and their bladders) to not miss a moment. Endgame hit theaters on April 26, and I was fortunate enough to see it the 29th; the theater was sold out.
While the topic is as serious as it gets, this wasn’t doom and gloom; there is sadness, but you never have to wait too long for a joke to break the tension. There are three basic parts to Endgame: setting the scene, making and executing The Plan, and the Ending. I am strongly anti-spoiler, so I will only mention audience reactions to major events.
Endgame starts with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) and Nebula (Karen Gillian) adrift in space, soon to be rescued by Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). Once they arrive on Earth, those who remain go to where Thanos (Josh Brolin) retreated to in hopes of defeating him and using the gauntlet to reverse the intergalactic massacre. To their horror, Thanos destroyed the stones to prevent such a plan, leading Thor (Chris Hemsworth) to behead him.
Five years later, we see the aftermath. Everyone is devastated; Natasha (Scarlet Johansen) is stuck on the past, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) lost his family and became a ruthless vigilante, and Thor has an extreme beer gut. Stark has a young daughter and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) found peace with the Hulk though, so that’s something.
In a storage space, a machine accidentally turns on and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) is ejected from the quantum realm. He soon rushes to the Avengers compound, where he reveals that to him only five hours passed. This inspires The Plan: use the odd properties of the quantum realm to time travel, gather infinity stones, and use them to bring everyone back.
That, of course, is the second part; traveling to their past to borrow the stones. That leads to one of the funnier lines; when Stark, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), and Ant-Man travel to the New York battle, Stark says that Roger’s old uniform wasn’t very flattering to his butt, and Ant-Man defends him, saying that that’s ‘America’s a❋❋’ and salutes. Later, Rogers agrees with Ant-Man. Everyone got a laugh out of that. In another time period, we see the final Stan Lee cameo, driving by in a convertible and shouting ‘make love, not war.’
Since it’s the ending, I will say nothing about the plot. What I will say is that the theater went nuts. One woman a row ahead of me was only semi-successfully silencing her sobs at one point, and I broke. Seriously, I was so excited I hyperventilated and almost cried.
With everything that’s happened, the records that it broke should come as no surprise. As of May 13, Avengers: Endgame grossed $2.503 billion at the box office and records broken include Fastest to $350 million (3 days) and Worldwide Opening Weekend ($1.2 billion). The list is enormous, so go to boxofficemojo.com for the most complete list.
What more can I say, really? It had laughs, it had tears, it had battles, and it had Stan Lee. If you consider yourself a Marvel fan, it would be sacrilegious not to see Endgame. There will be more movies of course, but this right here is what it’s all been leading to.