Wow. Just … wow. Ten years has led to this and … in the end, it was pretty damned awesome.
Yes, I have quibbles. I ultimately didn’t like the very last scene (which was a flashback) and thought it was unnecessary, and there’s a Grrrrrrlllll Power moment during the big, climactic battle that irritated me to no end, and they had the same problem with Carol Danvers that Justice League had with Superman, but apart from that, I really enjoyed it.
Plot descriptions can be found online – hell, you can find it on Wikipedia – so I’m not going to rehash all of that. So I’ll break it down into the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Amazing.
The opening scene with Hawkeye at a picnic with his family and they’re all dusted (though he doesn’t actually see them disintegrate; he’s looking away when his daughter goes and while he’s looking for her, the rest of his family goes) … just oomph. That was brutal. Professor Hulk (aka Banner’s brain in Hulk’s body) was hysterical. Once again, the humor. All of the amazing callbacks to the previous movies. They got Frigga back, and Secretary Pierce, and the STRIKE team with Cap in an elevator with them, and so on and so forth. Beautifully done.
As stated, I legitimately didn’t like the final scene which is Cap & Peggy dancing in the past. The movie basically has Steve return to Peggy (post-Agent Carter) and apparently marry her where he lives out his life with her. This doesn’t work for me because it means he sat by while the Russians used his best friend as a mind-controlled assassin who ultimately kills Tony’s parents, or Hydra infiltrating SHIELD, or his new friend Natasha raised to have red in her ledger by the Soviets, and all that other bad shit … but he did nothing? He just let it play out? In Civil War, we have that exchange where he talks about not being able to let a situation go south without intervening … yet I guess he was able to do it okay as long as he got laid by Peggy (who, admittedly, is hot.) For that matter, how is it that none of her co-workers (like Howard Stark, for example) actually meet him? Keeping Old Man Cap in the final scene is fine, but drop the flashback so we don’t know who he lived out his life with (even if everyone knows it was Peggy). I was also not a super big fan of how they killed off Nat at Vormir even though I went into it prepared. Would have liked for there to be some sort of way to bring her back like they did with Gamora, even if she’s still “Evil Nat” or something … at the same time, though, I do appreciate that they killed off two of the original Avengers … and they ain’t coming back. The Black Widow movie is evidently a prequel (which means they did the same thing to her that they did to Han Solo: whack her, then give you a prequel movie with her.)
And while I was admittedly pleased that Carol Danvers was barely in the movie – she showed up in the beginning to rescue Tony, then accompanied the team that went to find post-Snap Thanos, then had a brief cameo in the middle and finally showed back up at the climax – it seems clear to me that they’re not quite sure what to do with her yet. Put simply, she’s too powerful. Look, I love Superman when done right, but Justice League Supes wasn’t – once he showed up, the fight versus Steppenwolf was done, and Carol is like that in this movie. She is literally able to take on Thanos while he has an assembled Infinity Gauntlet and overpower him. This makes no sense to me. She gained her abilities via one Infinity Stone in the form of the Tesseract (I can’t remember which one that was and can’t be bothered to look it up.) He had six. He should still be curbstomping her. But … grrrrrllll power is even greater. I dunno … she just felt shoehorned into this story and honestly didn’t add anything to it.
And speaking of Grrrrrllll Power. Seriously, there’s a scene in the big battle where all of these powered chicks form up to rush the Iron Gauntlet to Luis’ van, and it is sooooo cringeworthy that it literally made me wince. I legitimately don’t understand how anyone can look at that sort on nonsensical pandering and not be offended. Fat Thor is also pretty rough, although once he summons his armor, he actually looks pretty badass, extra gut and all. Seeing what the Gauntlet did first to Thanos, then to Banner, then finally to Tony? Brutal.
Captain America … wields Mjollnir during the big battle. And OMFG, it was freaking awesome. He’s got his shield and Mjollnir! I was literally cheering when Mjollnir jumped back to Steve’s hand for the first and he kicked much ass with it. Not quite enough for me, a certified MCU Cap fanboy (even if I find Chris Evans eye-rollingly dumb at times.) But it was glorious.
So ultimately … yeah, I’m going to watch this again and likely love it just as much. I’m not quite sure where I put this movie on balance just yet, but it is definitely an A- or B+ for me.