The time has finally come. The most anticipated film of all time, and the most ambitious crossover event in Hollywood history, Avengers: Endgame, is in theaters now and delivering on every promise and then some. It is the culmination of over a decade of storytelling that spanned 21 films and has taken everyone by storm. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most incredible connected universe if movie making history and now the first three phases have come to an amazing end. But what exactly does it all mean? Let’s break down the final act of the epic 4th Avengers film.
OF COURSE, SPOILERS AHEAD! MAJOR ONES! DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE THREE PEOPLE THAT HASN’T SEEN THE MOVIE YET!
The surviving heroes were able to travel time to collect the Infinity Stones in the past after present day Thanos used the Stones against themselves and destroyed them. Realizing the immense force on whomever wields them, Professor Hulk takes point and wears the Iron Man Gauntlet holding the Stones. He does his own snap, bringing every victim of the “Decimation” back to life (albeit 5 years after they were first dusted) without changing what survivors have done to “move on” (specifically, Tony Stark’s daughter still lives). But, unbeknownst to our heroes, the 2014 version of Thanos arrives with his entire army in tow and attacks the Avengers HQ, burying our heroes under the rubble. Hawkeye escapes with the gauntlet, Hulk holds up the massive debris (ala the mountain scene from the 1980’s ‘Secret War’ comic book arc), and Ant-Man comes in to help. Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor see Thanos waiting for them, so they engage.
As the battle ensues and seems even more bleak than Infinity War, proof that Hulk’s snap actually worked arrives, as Dr. Strange and all the other sorcerers bring all the newly revived heroes to Earth, along with armies from Wakanda and others. All of this comes to Thanos getting his hands on the Stones, but not before Tony Stark is able to use his nanotech to slip the Stones off of the Mad Titan and onto himself. Knowing the consequences, Stark finally makes the ultimate sacrifice and snaps Thanos and all of his followers out of existence. The toil of the immense power of all six Infinity Stones is too much for Stark, and he passes away.
All of our heroes attend Stark’s funeral and then after someone has to go back in time to return the Stones back to their moments in the past. This was the deal Hulk made with The Ancient One, so as not to create divergent branches in time. Cap offers to take them back. He is supposed to return the Stones and then come back “five seconds later”, but he doesn’t return. Instead, we see a 90 year old Steve Rogers sitting on a nearby bench. He decided to stay in the past, and have his dance with Peggy Carter, which turned into a wonderful and long marriage. He brings with him his shield, which he gives to Falcon, donning him the new Captain America.
While Cap did “die”, we’ve lost three of the original with this film. Black Widow sacrificed herself so that Hawkeye could obtain the Soul Stone, Iron Man saved the entire universe with his sacrifice, and Cap lived his life as he should have. Hulk is injured from his time with the Stones and isn’t as powerful as he once was, so he may be more of an advisor/scientist capacity, Hawkeye is back home with his newly restored family, and Thor is now off with the Guardians of the Galaxy. In other words, the future of the MCU rests on the shoulders of the new blood and the original Avengers have all had their swan song.
Marvel Studios nailed it out of the park with this film. And, they set up their future in so many ways. They also eliminated the Infinity Stones as a future “crutch” that could lessen the storytelling moving forward. All in all, what an amazing experience.
What did you think of Endgame’s final act? Let us know in the comments below!