Avengers: Endgame marks the end of an era

Peighton Gellings, A&E Editor

The day fans have been both anticipating and dreading has come and gone. Avengers: Endgame hit theaters Apr 26 and with it, the era of the Avengers came to an end. The 3 hour grand finale was truly epic and proved to be so when it demolished the box office and became the fastest film to make $1 billion at 5 days, as well as the second most watched movie of all time after just two weeks.

The franchise first started in 2008 with Iron Man, and Marvel has had fans waiting for more than a decade to finally witness the conclusion to a story that has been told across 22 films. It is truly bittersweet as dedicated fans have to say goodbye to the beloved characters that they have come to love throughout the years.

Infinity War left the Avengers defeated and divided, with Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., and Nebula, played by Karen Gillan, alone on the alien planet Titan, and Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanov, Bruce Banner, and Thor (played by Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth respectively) on Earth dealing with the aftermath of the fight in Wakanda.

A majority of the movie is focused on Tony and Steve, which was very refreshing since their relationship has been rocky since the end of Civil War back in 2016. Their banter and friendship was very much missed and added iconic comedic lines to the film that made it the perfect mix of action and comedy, which is something that Marvel is known for.

Endgame opens 22 days after Thanos’ snap, Tony and Nebula are free-floating through space and it is looking pretty bleak for Tony Stark. However, Captain Marvel, portrayed by Brie Larson, shows up just in time and brings them both to Earth.

Waiting for him, are the survivors and among them is Pepper and Steve, but their much-awaited reunions are cut short by Tony’s fragile state. He just lost Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, and he is delirious with guilt, and is so weak that he eventually passes out. It is a heartbreaking scene in the first 10 minutes of the movie, showing the audience that it is going to be a hard road back for the survivors.

Those that are strong and angry enough to fight, find Thanos, but it is then revealed that he destroyed the stones days before so that no one could reverse his work. With no hope to bring back the vanished, Thor kills Thanos and everyone returns to Earth, the setting bleaker than before.

The film moves forward 5 years and shows Earth in a very dark place. In Thanos’ aftermath, the world is in shambles, but hope arises when Scott Lang, played by Paul Rudd, finally emerges from the Quantum Realm with a possible solution.

He seeks out Steve and Natasha to reveal his idea of time travel in order to steal the infinity stones from the past, bring them back to the present and bring back everyone that was lost 5 years ago.

They try to recruit Tony, but with a wife and daughter to look out for, he isn’t willing to put his life on the line, that is until he comes across an old picture of him and Peter. He realizes that he forgot everything that he lost 5 years ago and he has to get him back, whatever it takes.

Thor is then retrieved from New Asgard where it is evident that he let himself go. With a full beard, long hair and a very substantial beer belly Thor offers some much needed comic relief from the high stake mission, but it was also disappointing that Chris Hemsworth’s muscles didn’t make an appearance.

When all of them are finally together again, everyone intensely studies the whereabouts of the stones during separate points in time and soon enough it is time to retrieve them. The teams go on to travel to their respective missions and it’s safe to say that they all didn’t go according to plan.

Steve and Tony are forced to travel farther in time than they planned and they share emotional encounters people from their pasts who tie into the ending of their storylines later in the film.

Tony ends up running into his father and getting some much needed closure that Tony and his dad didn’t have before his sudden death. Steve manages to see “Peggy” Carter and pines for her behind a window. The audience can feel just how much he misses her and the life that they were supposed to have together, but never had the chance to live it.

Natasha and Clint head to obtain the soul stone and when they learn of the requirements, they fight each other to be the sacrifice. Natasha ultimately wins in an emotional goodbye, wrenching herself from Clint’s grip on the side of the cliff.

It would have made a lot more sense for Clint to die considering all of the terrible things that he had done in his family’s absence and he was the less useful out of the two. Although, it did bring her life full circle, even though it was devastating. She was raised in a hateful environment, then she joined the team that turned into the family that she was willing to give up her life for.

Nebula and Rhodey unknowingly run into a huge problem right after they arrive in 2014. Because of Nebula’s advancements, Thanos was able to learn all about what the Avengers are trying to do. He then captures modern Nebula after Rhodey returns with the stone, and 2014 Nebula goes back to the present in her place.

She then transports Thanos back to modern day after Bruce successfully uses the stones to bring back the vanished. This results in an epic fight that is truly one for the books.

Steve is forced to face Thanos and his army alone, in a stunning CGI scene of the lethal standoff, but the plot thickens as portals fill the battlefield and every Avenger takes an epic stand against Thanos. Everyone finally standing together again was everything a fan could have hoped for.

The battle shifts to a pass-off of the Infinity Gauntlet to ensure that it stayed out of the hands of Thanos. The moment that Captain Marvel retrieves the gauntlet from Peter was one of the other high points of the film. In an iconic scene much like one in Infinity War, the women of Marvel stand together and fight their way through the brutal army to keep the stones away from Thanos.

However their methods were unsuccessful and he ends up obtaining the gauntlet anyway, but Tony is able to stop him. He steals the Infinity Stones and takes on their power himself. Quoting the final scene of Iron Man, Tony stands against Thanos saying, “I am Iron Man,” before snapping his fingers and ending his journey the same way it began 11 years ago.

The effects of the stones are immediate and as Tony layed there dying he was surrounded by his family, going along with Steve’s previous remark that no matter what happens, they will do it together. In a gut-wrenching scene, Pepper assures Tony that she and their daughter will be okay and Peter and Rhodey look on in dismay as his arc reactor slowly goes out.

His funeral shows just how far Tony came from where he started at the beginning of Iron Man. He didn’t necessarily care about anything other than himself, but his funeral represents how much he has grown. Everybody whose life he impacted was there to mourn their fallen friend, even the little boy from Iron Man 3. It was a very emotional scene and it’s safe to say that there wasn’t a dry eye in the theatre.

Even though it would have been preferable for Tony to live, Endgame truly did Tony justice. In the end, the selfish man made the selfless decision and sacrificed a future with his daughter so that the world could have theirs.

Overall, the epic 3 hour finale delivered on everything that the fans were promised. Nearly every character that has ever been in a film over the past 11 years was also in the movie.

The direction that the Russo Brothers took was a perfect way to end such an important franchise, and with so many characters it would have been easy for some to get lost in the chaos, especially in the final battle scenes. However they executed it perfectly, giving just enough screen time to each of the characters to weave together each perspective of the fight.

Although, the new addition of Captain Marvel was more or less unnecessary. She was in the film for about a total of 5 minutes and when she was involved, her presence was underwhelming to say the least. Marvel has been talking up her powers for a very long time and fans were worried that she would just come in and save the day like it was nothing, but it was a pleasant surprise when she didn’t.

Along with Tony’s storyline, Steve’s also came to an end. When he went to return the stones to their proper time period, he decided to stay with Peggy and live the life that Tony was always telling him to get. He met Bucky, played by Sebastian Stan, and Sam in present time as an old man and passed the title of Captain America onto Sam, but Bucky would be the more prominent choice to honor Steve and find himself.

Thor is possibly the only one out of the Original 6 that is going to be featured in other Marvel films, with him joining the Guardian of the Galaxy and giving his mantel of king to Valkyrie. This was disappointing, and his lack of regard that he payed Loki throughout the film went against his motives that were established in Infinity War.

This might be the end of the Avengers, but it isn’t the end of Marvel. The stories of the Original 6 have ended, but there are still infinite possibilities and characters for Marvel to explore and with Spider Man: Far From Home coming out in early July, there is no telling as to what Marvel will come up with next.

Even though Tony Stark will no longer wear the suit and Steve Rogers will no longer brave the shield, they will always be remembered and dearly missed. They have given fans more than a decade of laughs and heart-ships, all the while giving them something to believe in. Thank you Marvel. We love you 3000.