6 Problems with Avengers Endgame
Problems with Avengers Endgame: While Avengers Endgame was Marvel’s shining knight of the decade. Cracks in the armor can be seen when you stop and think about the film. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an entertaining movie. Even though it’s the climax of the MCU, it honestly doesn’t have as much watch ability as some of the other stronger entries in the franchise. Let’s take a closer look at some of the weaker aspects of the film. Watch out, we’ll be heading into spoiler territory with key plot points discussed.
- The Pacing of the Movie
- Thanos is now a Generic Big Bad Villain
- Fat Thor and Smart Hulk
- The movie relies on too many Coincidences
- Revamping Time Travel
- Deaths become Meaningless
1. The Pacing of the Movie
One of the Problems with Avengers Endgame. So, the film starts off 23 days after Thanos did his genocidal gauntlet snap. Half of the universe is gone and the other half is left defeated and depressed. Iron Man is floating off somewhere in space and has somehow survived Thanos’ blade wound. I don’t know about stab wounds but that injury seemed like it would need some serious medical attention on top of just sealing it up with Tony’s magic finger.
Let’s just accept the premise and move on. Tony gets to earth and throws his tantrum, and after which the remaining Avengers manage to locate Thanos from the energy from the stones. They arrive at his retirement hut but realize that it’s too late to reverse things since the stones were destroyed. So Thor decides to go for the head this time, the drums hit a high note and the scene just suddenly ends there.
5 Year Jump
Then we immediately cut to a five-year time jump which just leaves the audience stunned. It feels out of place and it disrupts the pacing of the movie. I remember sitting in the theatre watching this part and when the 5-year time-lapse happened, the cinema was just dead silent. It was almost as if all the tension in the atmosphere was sucked out and replaced with a sense of what just happened? With Thanos dead and everyone moving on with their lives after the five years, it kinda feels meaningless at this point. I mean, this is the new normal now so what else is left to do?
The first 20 minutes
The first 20 minutes or so of Avengers Endgame feels like an epilogue to the ending of Infinity War, sort of like a bonus post-credits scene to show you what happened after. Besides, the pacing issues not only come from this 5-year lapse. Later on in the film, when the Avengers start time jumping in the Quantum realm, things get a bit messy keeping track of all the different years and time periods they wind up in.
They were a tad too many missions going on at the same time with all the characters going after different stones at different years. Not to mention the film also had to make time to set up the new 2014 Thanos for the climax later. It felt like a series of TV episodes going on one after the other and well it didn’t make for the best pacing. And speaking of the 2014 Thanos, this brings us to our next point.
2. Thanos is now a Generic Big Bad Villain
One of the Problems with Avengers Endgame. Thanos in Infinity War was hands down the best Marvel villain so far. And probably will be for the rest of the franchise. He was a complex character with a certain charisma that makes you respect him, but most importantly we as the audience can empathize with his motivation despite not agreeing with his methods. But sadly, this well-written character killed off at the beginning of Endgame and that’s the last we see of him. It’s only about 1 hour later into the move that we get introduced to the 2014 Thanos but he’s just not the same.
So, for about one-third of the runtime, the movie has no villain and hence very little tension. MCU movies like Infinity War and Captain America Winter Soldier kept you on the edge of your seats. There was always the possibility of a threat present which kept audience tension high. But here, until the new Thanos is revealed, the Avengers just spend their time regrouping and recruiting one another and playing around with their new science project.
It leads to some cheap comedic moments but that doesn’t keep the audience engaged as well as having a strong antagonist opposing the heroes. Anyway, back to Thanos. Killing him and replacing him with the 2014 version removes the complexity and backstory surrounding him. Although in the back of our minds we know that he would have had the same experiences as the old Thanos. And all the character interaction Thanos had with the Avengers in Infinity War? Gone. Wiped off the slate.
This 2014 Thanos has not beaten the Hulk, has not killed Loki, has not sacrificed Gamora, has not squared off with Tony Stark and spared his life, and has not killed Vision. We as the audience want to see the follow-up for Thanos for all these scenarios, like seeing Tony or the Hulk have a rematch with him, or Wanda coming after him for killing Vision. But when he’s on the battlefield in the climax, he doesn’t even know who Wanda is or that he’s killed the love of her life.
Thanos a big bad villain
All the interactions don’t have meaning now as a figurative reset switch was flipped for Thanos. And the main point here is that Thanos is now a generic big bad villain, joining the ranks of Malekith from Thor the Dark World. While he started as a self-proclaimed savior, wanting to save half the universe by killing the other half, now he just wants to kill everyone, not just half. There is no longer anything redeemable or justifiable about his mission and it’s clear he was there as a plot device just to give the Avengers a climactic battle at the end. It was sad to see one of the best-written villains in movie history become reduced to the likes of a forgettable generic one.
3. Fat Thor and Smart Hulk
Problems with Avengers Endgame. Now I didn’t like these two characters much. Fat Thor was basically just there for comic relief and Smart Hulk was for the science expositions. Fat Thor represents a lack of continuity and inconsistency in character. Here we have a being who is probably thousands of years old, who in recent years has gone through a crucible of tough life experiences. From being banished to earth to losing his father and stepbrother and then his home Asgard, Thor has come a long way from the spoiled selfish brat he was in the first Thor movie. And yet, despite all these tough experiences, Thor still manages to pick himself up and persevere.
Thor and Rocket in the space pod
In Infinity War, the best emotional dialogue in my opinion is the one between Thor and Rocket in the space pod. There we learn that even in the face of great loss, even though he has nothing left to lose, Thor still keeps going. So it’s inconsistent and kind of an insult. That we see this emotionally resilient character just throw in the towel, give up on his people and become an obese alcoholic. When it wasn’t entirely his fault that the Avengers lost. As for Smart Hulk, after Infinity War where he was pretty much absent for the entire movie, I’m sure many of us wanted to see the Hulk rage out in all his glory, something like what we got with Wolverine in Logan. But no, the Hulk has barely any action scenes in the movie. He’s just used to explain the technical mumbo jumbo.
Hulk gets handicapped
Problems with Avengers Endgame. Those hoping for a Thanos-Hulk rematch would be sorely disappointed. As the Hulk gets handicapped after he puts on the gauntlet. I don’t really get the decision to merge Banner and the Hulk together. You could still have the best of both worlds, the brains of Bruce and the brawn of Hulk by having them change into each other when needed. Hulk going on a rampage is exactly what Hulkfans want. Instead, the green giant is now a nerd wearing glasses and hulk-sized jackets and doing dabs while posing for pictures.
And it poses a continuity issue too. Isn’t the Hulk still a public enemy wanted for the massive destruction he’s caused from previous years? Did he somehow get a pardon for being an Avenger? Wouldn’t the general public still be afraid or at least cautious of him? It’s a mystery how he’s now able to walk around like a normal member of society and sit in public cafes taking selfies with children.
4. Movie relies on too many Coincidences
One of the Problems with Avengers Endgame. Sometimes when watching a movie you need to give it some leeway for convenient plot devices or coincidences. This movie is full of them and they become more glaring and obvious when you stop and think about it. Right from the start, we see that Tony and the nebula are stranded in space. They are about 20 days away from earth. Coincidentally, they happen to bump into Captain Marvel in the middle of space. If not for her, Tony would’ve died on the ship. I know she was summoned to earth by Nick Fury. It’s incredibly convenient that she just happened to be on her way back right at the time when their ship gave out.
Space is incredibly vast and the ship was still pretty far away from earth so it’s a stretch of the imagination that she happened to find them when she wasn’t even looking.
Ant man’s fluke
And then we have the biggest coincidence of the film: Ant man’s fluke return from the quantum realm. The movie itself acknowledges it as a billion to one cosmic fluke but saying it doesn’t make it any less of a coincidence. If that lucky rat hadn’t pressed those buttons in the quantum machine, this movie wouldn’t have happened. Nebula was also another plot device.
If not for her memory clash with her 2014 self, Thanos would never have known about the Avengers’ plan to recover the stones. And when she was found by Thanos and being beamed up to his ship, why didn’t she just use her Pym particle to transport herself back into 2019? You need to be really accepting of all these plot premises and just close one eye to move on with the film. Also, the soul stone on Vormir requires an individual to sacrifice someone they love. Well, then it was a good thing that the exact pair of Natasha and Clint happened to be the ones who were sent there. No other pair would’ve worked out.
5. Revamping Time Travel
When we saw a half of the Avengers and half of everyone get snapped out of existence in Infinity War, we kinda expected that time travel would be the solution in the endgame. Especially after the reveal that the Infinity stones were now destroyed, it’s gotta be time travel. But the thing with time travel is that it can be a messy plot device. So I guess to make things simpler, the MCUconcept of time travel flies against the traditional idea of time travel we’re familiar with within classics like Back to the Future and the Terminator.
Back to the Future
One of the Problems with Avengers Endgame. So, basically, every time someone’s time travels, a new branch timeline is created, so that anything you do in the past has no consequences on the existing future. Well, I don’t know about that, this concept didn’t really sit well with me. And besides, you can’t diss on Back to the future and get away with it. If what you do in the past does not affect the future. Then it just takes away the stakes and the tension that accompanies time travel. The characters are pretty much free to do whatever they want. As if they just accessed a cheat code that lets them jump into any level of a video game. And if you royally screw things up like allowing Loki to escape with the Tesseract? Well no problem, just jump to another timeline and start over.
Lack of Continuity
At that point, it’s hard to feel like there’s risk or stakes left in the film. On a side note, the Cap vs Cap battle was cool and all. Something that always bugged me was the lack of continuity. Captain America in 2012’s Avenger was already pretty beat up at the end of the film after fighting the Chitauri, having lost his helmet and getting shot in the abdomen (You know, the scene where he asks Thor if he’s getting sleepy).
Problems with Avengers Endgame. But here in Endgame, the 2012 Cap looks fresh and clean, wearing an unscathed outfit with no blaster wound. He’s so fresh that he’s even kicking the crap out of his future self. He would’ve won that fight if not for the Bucky distraction. If the film was consistent, the 2012 Cap would’ve been no match for his 2019 version. Especially after already being exhausted and injured from battle.
6. Deaths become Meaningless
One of the Problems with Avengers Endgame. One of the main gripes of the MCU is the obvious lack of consequences and repercussions in the films. In Civil War, we see Rhodey being collateral damage and losing the ability to walk. Then in the next film, he’s wearing leg braces and is pretty much walking like a regular human being. It’s as if his injury was conveniently written out. In Thor Ragnarok, Thor loses an eye in his fight with Hela. Well no worries, in the next film he gets a prosthetic eye and becomes back to his usual self. There is no injury or even death in the MCU that cannot be reversed or cleverly written out with some plot device. And Avengers Endgame is the strongest example of this.
Remember the emotional gut punch we had when we thought we saw Loki getting killed for real by Thanos in Infinity War? He even said ‘no resurrections this time. Well, all of that is undone here in Endgame. As the 2012 Loki has now replaced the dead Loki through time travel. The same goes for Gamora’s death. I thought it was a bold move by Marvel to kill off one of the members of the Guardians. But, looks like it was all a ruse since now the 2014 version of Gamora will be replacing the one that died. This presents a problem because now the audience will feel no tension whenever the heroes are in any danger. And when they don’t feel any tension, it’s harder to get emotionally invested in the characters. Problems with Avengers Endgame
Black Widow Dies
They’re pretty much invincible with infinite respawn ability and that isn’t very fun to watch. So when Black Widow dies sacrificing herself. All the Avengers were moping around, it was hard to feel any emotional impact. They could just go to a different timeline and grab another Natasha and problem solved. Even when Tony dies it was pretty underwhelming. When you know in the back of your mind that they can easily just get a replacement for him. I get that this was Robert Downey Junior’sepic send-off, but the lack of lasting consequences just dampens it.
And speaking of getting characters from other timelines, why don’t the Avengers just borrow more of themselves from different timelines to help fight, Thanos? That way he can be easily defeated and no one has to die. They could just borrow a page from the Reverse Flash in Legends of tomorrow. And just get a 100 Thors and Captain Marvels from different timelines and it’ll be game over for Thanos.
Still, we love Avengers
Overall, despite these flaws, Avengers Endgame still succeeded in doing what it set out to do. Giving audiences the movie experience of the decade while closing out this phase of the MCU. Giving the concluding character arcs for both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. It’s definitely not Marvel’s best movie. But, it was still a spectacle to see the largest roster of movie characters from different storylines. Something no other film in cinema history has ever done. I’m not sure about the future of the MCU; how they’re going to top such an epic finale but that’s ok even if they don’t. Whether or not Avengers Endgame is the peak of the MCU. It might be a welcome change to see more stories that are grounded and character-driven. Thanks for watching and be sure to check out some of our other videos.