Let me just begin this review by saying this is the hardest I have ever cried in a movie theater. I saw it twice in theaters and sobbed uncontrollably both times. I still continue to cry, in fact I get teary eyed just thinking about Tony in this movie. This movie came out in 2019 and was the biggest movie Marvel has ever made. After Infinity War, we were all waiting for the solution and it did not come at all how we expected it. Not only did this movie set up the rest of the MCU, it set up a very different world than we anticipated. While, as a whole, it was a pretty good film, there were things in this movie that were not done well or were not accurate for the characters. This review will be similar to the Infinity War one where I go roughly scene-by-scene and analyze what’s happening.
The film begins with Clint and his non-canon family during his house arrest. They’re having a picnic when everyone except him gets dusted, which shows us where he was when everything was happening to tie up loose ends. It moves onto Tony and Nebula playing games on the Guardians ship adrift in space. We learn that they’ve been drifting through space for 22 days after the snap, and despite everything Tony is still trying to get through it. He is recording messages for Pepper through his helmet, and we see a great amount of kindness from Nebula towards him as she refuses to eat the last of their food. Thankfully Captain Marvel finds and saves them right when we think this is the end of Tony Stark, which was something fans predicted correctly.
Back on Earth Steve is shaving his beard, which is a tragedy, and Carol brings the ship down. Interestingly, Steve is the first one to run to Tony and try to help him, then Pepper comes over. Rocket and Nebula silently comfort each other and everyone moves into the compound. They’re discussing going after Thanos and Tony blows up on Steve, as he should have because he was right, Steve wasn’t there for him like he said he would be. He ends up needing medical care and the rest go after Thanos with the information from Nebula. Thanos is apparently a fucking farmer now and we see the damage he took from the stones; the gauntlet now essentially welded to him. They come in aggressive and Thor immediately chops off his hand. However, Thanos has destroyed the stones so Thor decapitates him, going for the head like he was told. Unfortunately this scene didn’t satisfy viewer anger like it intended because the damage was already done.
Five Years Later.
Earth is grim, abandon looking. Society never recovered from the snap and Steve has created a support group to try and help people move on. Unfortunately this scene is ruined by one of the Russo brothers making a pathetic attempt to include an LGBTQ+ character in the film. Really, it’s ridiculous, and they tried to pass it off as inclusion. Steve talks to them about moving on and gives them an example of himself and Peggy, but later in the film this ends up being bullshit!
In San Francisco there is a storage place for items that belonged to those who got snapped. Lucky for Scott a rat walks on the machine and he is spat out of the quantum zone, but he has no idea what’s going on. He goes to a memorial with large stones called “The Vanished” that listed everyone who disappeared, looking for Cassie’s name. He then goes to find Cassie and both are shocked to see each other. He gets his van back and makes his way to The Avengers base where Nat is virtually meeting with everyone to keep up with what’s going on around the universe. She’s taken the lead on keeping things in check and is trying to track down Clint. Here we learn that Okoye is somewhat incharge of Wakanda, Carol is trying to help other planets recover, and Rhodey is tracking Cling. When Scott shows up they realize they might have a shot at bringing everyone back as he explains that he was only missing for 5 hours and proposes time travel.
Where is Tony now you ask? Living in a lakeside cabin with his adorable daughter and now-wife Pepper Potts. He also has a pet llama but that got cut from the film sadly. Steve, Scott, and Nat go to see him because they know he could figure out time travel but he’s not willing to give up what he has now. However, that evening Tony see’s a photo of him and Peter in the kitchen and decides to give it a shot just to see what happens. He never recovered from losing Peter and it’s a fairly emotional moment for viewers. Of course he manages to figure it out and has a talk with Pepper about it, who knows he has to go help them. We also get the most adorable moment in MCU history: I love you 3000.
At the compound Smart Hulk (who is Hulk and Bruce combined in harmony) and the others are testing out time travel, but it’s not going well and they’re aging Scott all over the place. This isn’t directly acknowledged in the film, but Smart Hulk isn’t as smart as Bruce because his balance with Hulk lowers his IQ a bit. Thankfully Tony shows up with the solution and returns the shield to Cap. They make amends and now the next step is to get the team together and create a game plan. Rocket, Nebula, and Rhodey show up (RIP Scott’s taco) so the only two remaining are Thor and Clint.
Clint is in Tokyo killing bad people (presumably members of the Yakuza), which I had no issue with and thought was a good thing. Heroes rarely ever kill bad guys, which is why they keep coming back, so it’s fascinating to see a hero go all the way and remove bad people from the world. Thor, however, is holed up in a shack in the Asgardian colony on Earth. One, Infinity War made it seem like all of them had died so how are there any left? Two, he’s now depressed and overweight from drinking. While there are brief moments of showing how dark of a place he’s in mentally, the film mainly treats it as a joke. He even has a panic attack on Asgard and instead of dealing with it properly Rocket just slaps him in the face. Despite all this, he is still somewhat willing to help them bring everyone back (for beer).
Next up comes the planning. Clint offers to test out the time travel device and he returns with a baseball glove that belonged to his son. However, the original plan was to have him return to Sokovia and bring back Quicksilver, which was a way better option. They begin discussing where each stone is at what point in time and as Thor is telling the story of the Reality Stone, Scott is eagerly listening and clearly happy to be there. The rest share where the stones are and they make a plan to go get them, but are unaware of how difficult it will end up being. Steve gives them an inspirational speech, as he does, and they travel into the past.
Morag 2014: Nebula, Rhodey, Clint, and Nat go to Morag and split up. Nebula and Rhodey stay on Morag to wait for Quill to lead them to the Power Stone. It’s fun to see this Guardians scene from another point of view, and Rhody calls Peter an idiot. Unfortunately, future Nebula’s drive crosses over with past Nebula’s drive and Thanos is able to discover everything that happens to him. He catches future Nebula and sends past Nebula back so that he can time travel to the future. However, I have some beef with this. Nebula was about to return to the future when her drive crossed over. After recovering, instead of returning to the future she tries to warn Clint and Nat and gets captured by Thanos. While her intentions may have been good, she got caught because of this decision and I think she should have just returned to the future because the Thanos at this point and time does not know where the Soul Stone is.
Vorimir 2014: Nat and Clint go to Vorimir to get the Soul Stone but are unaware of the price it demands. Red Skull explains “a soul for a soul” and after a debate they both believe they should be the sacrifice. They fight it out and Nat is the one who falls. However, I think this is fucked up. Clint should have been the one to fall because Nat had more to live for. She has done so much good in the past five years and even though I approve of Clint’s killing actions, I do not approve of his non-canon family. Therefore Nat deserved to live over him.
Asgard 2013: Thor and Rocket arrive on Asgard and sneak past Loki which I find it somewhat unbelievable that Thor wouldn’t try to get Loki’s attention and find a way to bring him with them. This is when Thor has his panic attack that is not dealt with correctly. But thankfully he runs into his mother and has a good chat with her that gives him some closure after her death. Rocket gets the Reality Stone and is being chased by the guards looking for Thor. Thor also finds out that he is still worthy to wield mjolnir which I interpret as an important message. Depression does not stop you from being worthy of happiness or of life, and even if that’s not what they meant that is what we will interpret it as.
NYC 2012: Smart Hulk, Scott, Tony, and Steve end up in the middle of the NYC battle and split off to get the stones. Smart Hulk heads to the New York Sanctum to speak with the Ancient One and take the stone. At first she is hesitant because she believes it will only cause chaos if they fail and it’s no returned. However, once she learns that Dr. Strange gave it up she realizes that this is the only path for them to win and allows Smart Hulk to take the stone. Meanwhile, Tony, Scott, and Steve are causing utter chaos in Stark Tower. Scott coins America’s ass and truly is an American hero for this. We also learn why Loki gets muzzled and it’s very fitting for his character. Down in the lobby Tony has Scott give him a minor heart attack and just stands back and watches which is truly the most chaotic neutral action I’ve ever fucking seen. Unfortunately, Hulk having to take the stairs messes up their plans to get the Tesseract and Loki ends up escaping with it. The Loki show will continue right after this escape and I’m beyond excited to see it. Steve is successful and gets the scepter by using “Hail Hydra” in the elevator (clearing him from that horrid plot twist the comics created when they tried to make him an secret Hydra agent) and ends up kicking his own ass. Realistically, they left 2012 NYC in utter chaos:
- Hydra agents now think Captain America is one of them.
- Loki and the Tesseract have escaped.
- Steve now knows that Bucky is alive.
New Jersey 1970: In order to get the Tesseract and have a way back Steve and Tony must travel to 1970 Jersey. This is when we get a lovely Stan Lee cameo as he drives past the military base yelling “Make peace not war!” Tony is able to grab the Tesseract but runs into his father. This interaction somewhat gives him closure, but I still don’t like his father since he really wasn’t there for him at all. We also get to see Jarvis! They use the same actor from the Agent Carter show (a show I would highly recommend even though it was CANCELLED FOR NO GOOD REASON). Steve snags some Pym Particles from the lab and we get a brief view of the comic-accurate Ant-Man helmet. He ends up hiding in an office and sees Peggy through the window, which foreshadows his stupid ass descion at the end of the film.
Current Time: They all return to the present except for Nat and the real Nebula. They all process it differently, each representing a different stage of grief, and go to put the stones on the gauntlet that Tony made. Thor believes he is the strongest and best option to wear it but Smart Hulk decides that he is the best suited to wear it because of its gamma radiation. He snaps his fingers and successfully brings everyone back. However, the past Nebula uses the time machine to bring Thanos and his armies to attack. Thanos destroys the entire base in a surprise attack and the big 3 (Steve, Tony, and Thor) begin the battle with him. Steve, after much foreshadowing, wields the hammer and Thor is thrilled, as a good friend would be!
I’ll only be going over highlights of the battle because to explain it would be too complicated. It begins with Sam returning through the portals with “On your left,” and Steve, with much relief, saying “Avengers, Assemble.” Valkyrie is riding a Pegasus, which where did she get it from? The camera shows everyone who has returned and Peter makes his way to Tony who goes straight for a hug. Wanda displays her power once again by rendering Thanos incapable of fighting her to the point where he has his ship fire on the battle to escape. However, Captain Marvel shows up and destroys his ship. They also have that empowered woman moment where they show all the strong women in the MCU. After all of this, Tony ends up with the stones and leaves the MCU the same way he entered it: “I am Iron Man.” For some reason they cut out a very emotional and incredible scene where everyone kneels to him after he has passed.
After all of this we see everyone return to their lives as we get one final speech from Tony. He had recorded it in case of his death and it plays at the funeral for Pepper and Morgan. It’s a beautifully tragic moment and we see how much respect everyone has for him even if they only knew him briefly. Drax is wearing a shirt; Bucky isn’t dressed up because he doesn’t think he should be there; Harley (the kid from Iron Man 3) is there; even Hank Pym is there.
What happens now you ask? Well, Valkyrie is crowned king of the Asgardians and Thor leaves with the Guardians. This causes some tension though because Thor has been a leader all his life and even though he “recognizes” Peter as captain, he still is going to lead let’s be real here. He also calls Quill “Quail” and the Guardians suggest a knife fight for leadership.
Steve is sent to return the stones and him and Bucky say goodbye because Bucky knows his plan. He leaves and Sam and Smart Hulk try and figure out what went wrong. This is when Old Steve shows up and he passes the mantle of Captain America onto Sam (yay for Bucky and Sam show!). We then see a flashback of him dancing with Peggy and lemme tell you why this is fucked up. Not only did they essentially throw all of Steve’s character development out the window, they did the same with Peggy! In the Agent Carter show she moves on from Steve after much struggle. So the Russo’s are just going to say hey fuck that here’s this instead? NO! Also, Steve moved on! Steve adapted to his life in the present and after all the effort to get Bucky back he’s just gunna leave? NO! Here is what we are going to think instead:
Steve goes and dances with Peggy so they both get proper closure. He then goes to return the Soul Stone, and because of the soul for a soul thing, Natasha is brought back. They decided they will live their own life together and be happy as a family. They even have a kid in the comics so it’s reasonable that they have a kid and a family. The reason we are deciding this is what happens is because Steve doesn’t say anything about the woman he ends up with, so it’s completely plausible that it’s Natasha.
Now, after all that, there is still one film left before we complete Phase 3 and all the MCU films currently out: Spider-Man Far From Home.
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