Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Location: New Mexico
|Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:37 am Post subject: Avengers: Endgame (Spoilers)
|I saw Avengers: Endgame for the second time and wanted to get a few thoughts rolled out about it.
Namely, I wanted to focus on what I think it's most important to think about regarding the film, and that the themes it explores, rather than the plot devices and how they work.
I'll get one thing out of the way: Time travel rules vary from work to work, whether it's books, TV, films, comics or anything else. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that, within a specific work, you are being consistent with the rules. I know that's hard to follow in some ways with Endgame, because it doesn't follow the rules like, say, Back to the Future does.
So I can understand why the time travel plot device is a problem for some people. Because those people tend to think in terms of how they view time travel should work.
That aside, I can forgive some of the issues with time travel because of the overriding emotional themes that are explored, namely about family and loss.
Let's look at each of the primary characters who go about undoing Thanos' work.
Tony Stark: Still has Pepper Potts, now has a daughter, but lost Peter Parker, who you get the idea he thinks of as a son.
Steve Rogers: Lost two of his closest friends (Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes) and somebody with whom he shares a moral compass (T'Challa) along with others he considers family.
Thor: Watched his adoptive brother and one of his best friends in Asgard die, then failed to take down who was responsible.
Rocket: Lost every member of the Guardians, who he considered family.
Nebula: Lost Gamorra, who she finally saw in Infinity War as a sister.
Natasha: Lost several friends who she considered family and now worries she's losing...
Hawkeye: Lost his family and has become despondent.
Bruce Banner: Similar to Natasha, only without a Hawkeye.
Scott Lang: When he gets out of the quantum realm, he's worried that he lost his daughter.
Rhodey: The only person who hasn't lost somebody close to him, but sees others who have.
There's this constant theme about what family and close relationships are all about, what happens when you go through loss and how you deal with it.
It's the one thing that Thanos can't understand when it comes to his grand plan -- even the one person he is closest to (Gamorra) isn't enough for him to reconsider. He has no such relationship that keeps him grounded.
But among the heroes, the only one who doesn't fully have it at first is Nebula -- but she gains it along the way. Thus, each of the heroes, by the time they are taking up their grand plan is focused on what they have lost and willing to do whatever it takes to get it back.
We see this again when Tony Stark runs into his father and Steve Rogers catches a glimpse of Peggy Carter. In each case, there's a close relationship they lost.
I think it's that overriding theme of family and loss that really makes Endgame work -- and that's why I can forgive it for some of the plot points. The theme is just so good, so well written and one in which just about anybody can relate to it, that it's what really sells the movie.
That's why I think Endgame ranks as one of the best installments in the MCU.
I'll probably have more thoughts as they come to mind, but the whole family theme -- that's such a powerful theme that it makes the film work, despite a few flaws.