Avengers Endgame

The Fight for Everything

After retrieving all six of the Infinity Stones, it’s time to finally use them. This is where Hulk gets the chance to prove himself all over again. For years, Bruce Banner struggled with this big guy that resided inside of him. But here he is balancing both of them as an intelligent Hulk. Now he’s also the only one who likely has the strength to survive using the Infinity Stones with the specially constructed gauntlet that Tony Stark has created. Banner is reluctant, but he also accepts that because of the mostly gamma radiation that’s coming off the stones, it’s like he was made for exactly this moment. Like Thor, Banner always needed to be who he really was instead of being what he thought he should be. And right now, he’s the one snapping his fingers to bring back everyone that Thanos sent to oblivion.

Though the sun might be shining outside and Clint’s wife has called his cell phone, seemingly back from being dusted for five years, there’s no time to celebrate. That’s because back on Morag in the past, Thanos was able to track down Nebula from the future, replaced her with Nebula from 2014, and tasked her with bringing the titan and his ship with all his armies through the quantum realm and into present day. That ship is now hovering above Avengers headquarters and fires a hellfire of missiles down on the facility, catching all the Avengers off guard and burying most of them under rubble.

Thanos emerges from his ship and merely waits for Nebula to bring him the Infinity Stones and for the Avengers to crawl up from the rubble so he can wipe them out himself. For Thanos, this isn’t just about bringing balance to the universe anymore. And this is where you see even more of the villain’s true colors, because he doesn’t have to kill them in order to complete his task. Now he’s killing these people simply because he doesn’t want any dissension whatsoever, and he’s going to enjoy it. He’s a tyrant, a dictator, and he must be stopped.

Directors Anthony & Joe Russo pull out all the stops when it comes to this final action sequence. Thor, who is still very much worthy, uses all the power of the god of thunder, wielding both Mjolnir and Stormbreaker. Iron Man uses every trick up his armors sleeve, even using Thor’s electricity to super charge an energy blast. And Captain America isn’t backing down as he throws his shield at Thanos and tries to land punches and kicks as best he can. But it’s not quite enough.

Even though Cap, Iron Man and Thor get some good hits in there, eventually, Thanos has knocked all of them to the ground. The titan has turned the tables on Thor and is about to shove Stormbreaker through his chest when Mjolnir suddenly takes flight nearby, smashes into Thanos from behind and flies back into the hands of…Captain America.

This is a full-on holy shit kind of moment that fans never thought they’d see. In three different screenings, the audiences lost their mind, clapping and cheering at this incredible moment. And it gets even better when Cap starts swirling the hammer to give Thanos a swift uppercut with it. When Thanos blocks the throw of his shield, Cap throws Mjolnir at the shield to send a shockwave that knocks him down before returning to his hand, where he can then use the hammer to hit the shield back at Thanos before bringing striking down lightning on the the titan. It’s enough to bring tears of complete joy to your eyes, and that’s exactly what happened when I saw this breathtaking scene.

But victory is short-lived, and before you know it, Thanos has the high ground again. His double-bladed weapon cuts into the vibranium shield, and strike-by-strike he starts chipping away at the shield, leaving Cap with a jagged third of his signature weapon. With no one else to stand against Thanos, he calls in his reinforcements to finish the job. Captain America is the only hero standing on his feet as Thanos calls in the Outriders, including some new gorilla-like versions, the Chitauri, their massive Leviathan flying snakes, some tanks, and endless amounts of weaponry and warriors. A comic splash page of a shot shows Captain America looking miniscule in the valley created by the explosion that leveled the Avengers facility. It’s an epic shot that spells doom for our hero until…

Avengers Endgame - Chris Evans as Captain America

Avengers Assemble

A somewhat broken up message comes through Cap’s earpiece. It sounds like Sam Wilson. Then suddenly, with a wonderful callback to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he says, “On your left.” It’s these kind of moments that are the perfect touches for fans to pick up on.

Suddenly one of Doctor Strange’s portals opens up, and out walks Black Panther, Okoye and Shuri from the glowing sunlight of Wakanda, followed by Falcon flying through the air. Their armies are standing behind them ready for battle. And they’re not the only ones. A bunch of other portals open up to bring back everyone who went up in dust from the snap. Strange himself emerges from Titan with Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Star-Lord and Spider-Man (Tom Holland). Scarlet Witch soars in, The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) suddenly grows into frame with a bunch of Ravagers standing behind her, including Howard the Duck. Pepper Potts flies in with her own suit of Iron Man style armor. Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Groot (Vin Diesel) eventually pop up ready to kick some ass. Valkyrie rides in on a pegasus as Giant-Man finally breaks out of the rubble with Hulk, Rocket Raccoon and War Machine in his hands. Literally anyone and everyone you could have wanted emerges for this fight, with the sobering exception of The Vision and Black Widow.

Just this assembly of heroes would be enough to illicit cheers from the audience (and they absolutely did), but this sequence is made even more epic by the fact that every possible army joins in with our heroes. Asgardians, Wakandans, warriors of the mystical arts, and more emerge with all their ships and weapons. Now this is the kind of shot taken straight out of a massive event comic as two massive armies ready for battle. It’s given the perfect cherry on top as the camera pans across the frontlines of all our recognizable heroes and Captain America shouts, “Avengers!” Mjolnir flies into his hand again just before he finishes, “Assemble.”

What follows is one of the most thrilling and epic action sequences that has ever graced the big screen. All of The Avengers charge into battle, and while it feels like we’ve seen this before in Infinity War, the scale is bigger than ever. But beyond that, this battle also feels like it has more focus, thanks to the presence of the Tony Stark-constructed Infinity Gauntlet that needs to be kept as far away from Thanos as possible. Our heroes jostle the red and gold metal glove around the battlefield while trying to avoid Thanos and his army. Every hero gets their own big moment, including a surprise return by Captain Marvel who completely destroys Thanos’ ship.

The focus of this battle shifts when everyone realizes they need to get the stones off the battlefield entirely by way of Scott Lang’s quantum realm tunnel inside that old brown van that he drove to the Avengers facility. Unfortunately there’s a whole slew of soldiers, tanks, and more lying between the Infinity Gauntlet and the van. But thankfully, Captain Marvel gets ahold of the glove, and she’s joined by all the female members of the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy for a shot that makes you want to shoot out of your chair and pump your fist in the air. It feels a little contrived upon retrospect since most of these women don’t actually know each other, but it’s still yet another epic moment from this already dumbfounding finale.

What’s great is that it’s this female assembly of Avengers that leads to some of the last big blows to Thanos. But the titan continues to hold his own as he tries to wrestle the Gauntlet away from our heroes. Captain Marvel gets the last chance to grab the gauntlet, absorbing a headbutt from the villain without flinching before he grabs the Power Stone with his bare hand and punches her across the battlefield with it. This back and forth makes for an insanely suspenseful face-off that only gets more exciting as it continues.

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