Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

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Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by James » April 27th, 2019, 6:32 am

We're off to watch Avengers: Endgame tomorrow (Sunday) morning. Figured it'd be good to have a place for anyone who's seen the film to chat about it, without having to hold back on story/spoiler stuff. No spoiler tags necessary, because I put "spoiler" in the thread title. :mrgreen:

*Fair warning* - This thread is intended to have open discussion of plot and theories surrounding any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films that have been released up to and including Avengers: Endgame!

If you don't want spoilers, then leave now... before the snap!
[huge groan, so lame :| ]

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Re: Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by Pitwar » April 29th, 2019, 10:33 am

I liked Endgame, but didn't love it.

The first couple of hours was slow, and I felt there were no stakes at all for a large part:

- Scott accidently gets out of the quantum realm due to a rat walking on a button.

- Decides time travel is the way to go, Tony doesn't want to be involved but then seemingly works out how to do it overnight.

- They lose the Tesseract when going back to New York, but then just go back a bit further and grab it there.

I did enjoy seeing Professor Hulk on screen as I enjoyed the Peter David / Gary Frank run on the comics back in the day where that version of the character was used. I was however kind of sad we don't get much of a follow up to Hulk being scared of Thanos from Infinity War, as that story arc was interesting.

The final battle was cool, and seeing basically everyone on screen together was a treat. However, I think I preferred the Wakanda battle from Infinity War as far as spectacles go.

Cap being worthy to hold the hammer was a nice touch, but by goodness did they beat you over the head with that for the rest of the battle. We get it, he's worthy.

Fat Thor was my favourite part of the whole movie, and putting him with the Guardians is a great choice going forward.

Not a bad movie by any means, but not the greatest thing to hit superhero movies like many are making it out to be.

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Re: Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by James » April 29th, 2019, 7:50 pm

Hmm. I didn't have much of an issue with any of your points, strangely.

The rat seems like such a fluke, but this is a 1 in 14 million chance of success, so I feel like a random act such as that fits okay.

Tony doesn't want to be involved, I think, in part because he's still angry, and in part because he doesn't want to risk losing what he now has. Of course, once he's had time to mull it over he has to try to help, and it doesn't hurt that his ego won't let him not solve time travel. ;)

They lose the Tesseract, so have to go back further. I presume Loki and the Tesseract disappearing will factor into future films/TV somehow (like the Loki show that's in pre-production for Disney+). But it doesn't necessarily interfere with the timeline, because (as Prof. Hulk says) the past can't be changed. They set up multiple, diverging timelines as the way their form of time travel works when Bruce and the Ancient One talk on the rooftop. Loki will have created another timeline by nabbing the Tesseract, but it doesn't change the future as we already know it to be for these characters.
(I think. It's time travel, so even though they explain what type of laws time travel obeys in their fiction, it's still all boohockey if you look at it for too long!)

I really liked Prof. Hulk too. Was very scared when he first turned up that it would be too silly (same goes for Thor), but I think they nailed the tone of it. I thought of it as Bruce accepting that if full-on, rage-fuelled Hulk couldn't beat Thanos, then what was the point in existing as that incredibly dangerous version of Hulk. This way, he's not as strong, but has full control over it. A very cool compromise, I thought. Though I would like to have seen more of that decision played out on screen. I expected, after IW, to get a moment when Hulk would triumphantly burst forth to save the day. I liked this though.

Seems like I'm definitely more positive on Endgame than you, Pitwar. I thought it did an excellent job of celebrating and rounding off nearly 11 years of the MCU. I loved IW too. Not really sure how I feel about Endgame versus IW yet. Kinda want to rewatch Endgame to better get the measure of it. That 3hr runtime tho! :shock:

I think the highest praise I can give Endgame right now is that I rewatched all 21 MCU films in the few months leading up to it. I came out of the cinema wanting to start them all over again. Tonight I watched Iron Man and am intending to watch one per day in the hope that Endgame will still be on at the cinema so I can go again once I'm done. :mrgreen:

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Re: Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by InsrtCoins » April 29th, 2019, 10:14 pm

I just saw it, and I admit that things haven't had time to really settle in just yet, but there are a few points of confusion that I had during the movie:
  • The limiting factor in the "we only have one chance" time heist was that Pym particles are an extremely finite resource. But couldn't they just prioritize getting the Time Stone first, essentially giving them unlimited time travel capabilities?
  • Speaking of Pym particles, couldn't they just use the first tube to go back five minutes, "steal" all of the Pym Particle tubes, bring them back to the future, and now they have twice as many?
  • Spider-Man described waking up after the snap with everyone having gone, so what happened during those five years once the universe had been restored? Did the un-snapped still go to support groups during that time, even though their friends and family were alive? Were the snapped "gone" for five years, or did they get to retroactively live those years? If they "reappeared" at the moment that the universe was restored, how did the team inform everyone of what was happening and what they needed to do? Everyone was VERY on-point in that final battle.
  • Why did Captain Marvel take so long to show up in the final fight? With Thanos on Earth and the whole universe being restored, surely she didn't have somewhere better to be.
Still thinking about things.

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Re: Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by KissMammal » April 30th, 2019, 12:35 am

Honestly, if you're seriously trying to make sense of the magical/time travel plot mechanics in this movie you're on a hiding to nothing - it's pure nonsense. It's a film in which a character decides to invent a time machine, and does so in the very next scene using magic particles that shrink things....

Not saying I didn't enjoy it - I did, very much so.

But I think that you just have to accept that it doesn't make any sense and go along for the ride.

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Re: Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by Combine Hunter » April 30th, 2019, 4:59 am

InsrtCoins wrote:
April 29th, 2019, 10:14 pm
I just saw it, and I admit that things haven't had time to really settle in just yet, but there are a few points of confusion that I had during the movie:
  • The limiting factor in the "we only have one chance" time heist was that Pym particles are an extremely finite resource. But couldn't they just prioritize getting the Time Stone first, essentially giving them unlimited time travel capabilities?
  • Speaking of Pym particles, couldn't they just use the first tube to go back five minutes, "steal" all of the Pym Particle tubes, bring them back to the future, and now they have twice as many?
  • Spider-Man described waking up after the snap with everyone having gone, so what happened during those five years once the universe had been restored? Did the un-snapped still go to support groups during that time, even though their friends and family were alive? Were the snapped "gone" for five years, or did they get to retroactively live those years? If they "reappeared" at the moment that the universe was restored, how did the team inform everyone of what was happening and what they needed to do? Everyone was VERY on-point in that final battle.
  • Why did Captain Marvel take so long to show up in the final fight? With Thanos on Earth and the whole universe being restored, surely she didn't have somewhere better to be.
Still thinking about things.
I think the unsatisfactory answer to your first two points is that if these things happened, the story would have been boring.

I can answer your last two points. Peter tells Stark what happened. They all appeared again at the moment of Hulk's second snap, so they all lost those 5 years, and it was Dr. Strange who rallied them all, because he already knew what was going on (not outright said, but almost certainly due to his future vision in Infinity War).

Regarding Captain Marvel, given how long it takes to travel across a Galaxy, even if you were moving at the speed of light, she actually arrived pretty quickly.

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Re: Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by KSubzero1000 » April 30th, 2019, 9:39 am

I watched the movie at a midnight showing my friend invited me to last week. I like it very much, overall. It certainly feels like a victory lap for the entire series and has plenty of incredible moments. But I also wish they hadn't gone the time travel route and thought that certain character arcs weren't handled very well.


Time travel is the ultimate can of worms and I'm growing increasingly frustrated with various screenwriters using it as a magic plot bullet whenever they've written themselves into a corner. It always requires a lot of exposition and almost never holds up under scrutiny in my experience. The closed loop model shown in 12 Monkeys runs into the issue of Determinism headfirst and almost always turns the characters into glorified marionettes. The endlessly branching timeline model used in this movie poses an equally endless number of "But what if?" questions. The otherwise very entertaining NYT interview with the writers just skirts around the issue and doesn't provide any satisfactory explanation. A quick joke and a hand wave, just like in the movie.

It's all fun at first, with characters meeting their past selves and having existential conversations and whatnot, but it always sends my brain into the most frustrating feedback loop as to how the logistics of everything play out. Other plot devices don't have the same issue. The Arc Reactor being a nearly limitless source of power is relatively straightforward. Same with the Super Soldier serum turning Steve into the personification of human physical potential. None of those are real, but plausible enough that once you buy into them, everything more or less falls into place. Even the Infinity Stones themselves are more or less straightforward.


So with all that said, I don't really understand how the Old Cap end scene is supposed to work exactly and it left me with more questions than answers.

The Ancient One pretty much says that going back in time creates a branching alternative timeline from that point on. That also means that a character from 2019 traveling to 194X can not just wait a few decades until he is back in "his" 2019 again. So he must have quantum'd back somehow. How/When/Where?

In his new 194X life with Peggy, does it mean that there are two Caps, one in the ice and one at home?

The movie sorta implies that Steve kept a low profile in his new life so as to arrive at his foregone conclusion, which would be completely out of character and adopt the closed timeloop model the movie otherwise dismisses.

I've read interpretations that Steve was Peggy's secret husband all along, even in the main timeline. This is almost impossible to reconcile with the scene in WS in which Peggy reminisces about her other(?) husband while having an Alzheimer's episode right in front of Steve. She wouldn't have been in any shape to keep up with such blatant lie by omission when talking in private to her closest confidant.

If Steve's motivation was to go back to the world he grew up in and felt more at home in, why didn't he take Bucky with him, who is equally displaced and wanted as a fugitive with a tarnished legacy in 2019? They could have easily written that in. "Wait up, Steve. I'm coming with you just in case.", with the two of them implying that they've talked about it in private beforehand. It's completely out of character for Steve to leave Bucky behind to play second fiddle for a potential new Cap after everything he was willing to do and risk for his childhood friend just a few movies ago.

Speaking of Bucky, he never got any face-to-face resolution with Tony, which rubs me the wrong way. The entire movie just brushes him to the side, which is especially surprising to me since the Russos had done such a great job with him and Steve in WS & CW.

Maybe there is a perfectly acceptable explanation to all this and I'm just too thick to grasp it. But the more I think about it, the more it sounds to me like the writers just wanted a bittersweet ending for Steve and shoehorned in a scene in which he passes on the shield to Sam and handwaved the details because "quantum". Tony's conclusion feels earned and sensible. Steve's does not.


Further observations:

Acting was very good overall, as usual.

I like pretty much everything with Black Widow and Hawkeye.

I like Tony's entire arc, from start to finish.

The final action set piece might be one of my favorite action scenes ever. Loads of dope moments, from the frame-perfect initial standoff between Cap and Thanos' army, Steve wielding Mjolnir, the dusted coming back, "Avengers! ...Assemble", Pepper in the Resue Armor, Scarlet Witch throwing down, "I. Am. Inevitable.", the IronSnap. Dope.

Hulk was a bit shortchanged, I think. Professor Hulk is a neat concept, but the character progression happened pretty much off-screen and he never really got any solid action moment. For the final story of a team he's supposed to be a cornerstone of, I expected more.

Fat Thor is funny enough, but I wasn't a fan of him joining the Guardians as a comic relief and leaving his people in the hands of a reformed slave trader at the end. I thought his previous arc growing from a reckless meathead into a responsible leader over the course of several movies was very enjoyable and even fairly convincing, all things considered. This is completely out of left field in comparison.

Since 5 years have passed in-between the ThanosSnap and the HulkSnap, I hope that a minimum of real world ramifications will be shown in Spider-Man FFH.

Some people have speculated that the global wave of energy present in this movie might be used to introduce the X-Men to this universe later down the line. Pretty slick if so.


PS: Basically, most of my complaints are the result of dozens of unaffiliated writers working on the same universe for over a decade and their visions not being sufficiently compatible with one another. I can't imagine how daunting it must be for Feige to put all these puzzle pieces together year after year, but there is one too many incoherence in this one for my liking.

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Re: Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by JadePhoenix » April 30th, 2019, 12:38 pm

What I took away from Bruce's conversation with The Ancient One is that only removing an Infinity Stone from the timeline would create a branch, not just any alteration, otherwise putting them back wouldn't solve the problem, since some things were still changed. That being the case, Steve going back shouldn't cause any universe-ending problems. Loki absconding with the Tesseract, on the other hand...

I definitely think Spiderman: FFH will focus a lot on the fallout from half the life in the universe having been gone for 5 years, especially with the not terribly surprising revelation that it's officially the last movie in phase 3. Also, it doesn't seem like a huge stretch that being disassembled and then reassembled by the Infinity Stones might cause some humans to *mutate*. Dropping the X-men from nothing directly into 2024 would be a VERY different direction than Fox took with the franchise, which is probably a good thing.

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Re: Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by KSubzero1000 » April 30th, 2019, 1:23 pm

JadePhoenix wrote:
April 30th, 2019, 12:38 pm
What I took away from Bruce's conversation with The Ancient One is that only removing an Infinity Stone from the timeline would create a branch, not just any alteration, otherwise putting them back wouldn't solve the problem, since some things were still changed. That being the case, Steve going back shouldn't cause any universe-ending problems.
Well, the most popular fan theory going the rounds on reddit and such is that Cap actively created a new timeline when going back in time to live with Peggy (and doing God knows what else) after putting the Stones back and only returned to his original timeline in order to give Sam the shield as an old man at the end. This seems relatively plausible to me, although I would still like to know how exactly he came back to the original timeline at the end and why he didn't take Bucky along for the ride to begin with.

If you're suggesting that he has only ever remained within the confines of the original timeline all along, then that also means that he was Peggy secret husband and successfully stayed hidden for decades without ever interfering in world affairs. That he let HYDRA infiltrate SHIELD under his wife's nose, that he let Bucky become a traumatized brainwashed assassin for decades and murder Tony's parents in cold blood. And that's without even going into all the real-life events that occurred during the second half of the 20th Century.

Hell, the entire core of his character in WS and CW is that his old-school idealistic value system doesn't mesh at all with the new-school surveillance state the USA have become during his coma. There is absolutely no way that the Steve we know and love from the movies would have chosen 70 years of quiet undercover life in the suburbs until he decided to go take a stroll around the lake one day. And I just can't make any sense of the WS Alzheimer scene in that scenario.

No, I think the most probable explanation is that the writers manufactured a quick and easy ending at the last minute without worrying about the details and implications. Hence all the convenient hand waving.

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Re: Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by InsrtCoins » April 30th, 2019, 3:05 pm

The "Loki got away" moment was erased from the main timeline, right?

Also, I thought it was a funny nod back to the earlier films when Cap swore, but I thought it would have been better if he just swore once instead of twice. It felt weird that it was a two-time thing.

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Re: Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by duskvstweak » April 30th, 2019, 8:21 pm

The Cap thing feels off to me. I'm glad he get's his life to live, and all, but I had theorized he'd get stuck in the past by accident and we'd be happy for him anyway. Him doing it himself seems a bit selfish to me, but that's only because it's hard for me to believe he'd shirk away his responsibilities. And like KSub mentioned, did he just sit back and let certain events happen?
I also think it's weird that Black Widow gives her life, is mourned for a few seconds and then Tony is the only one who gets a funeral. There's some disconnection there.

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Re: Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by KSubzero1000 » April 30th, 2019, 8:25 pm

duskvstweak wrote:
April 30th, 2019, 8:21 pm
I also think it's weird that Black Widow gives her life, is mourned for a few seconds and then Tony is the only one who gets a funeral. There's some disconnection there.
Tony was a public figure, the most prominent member of the Avengers and a wealthy socialite. Black Widow was a secret agent without much of a personal life outside of her job. I think that one makes more or less sense considering the amount of people each of them has interacted with.

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Re: Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by James » April 30th, 2019, 10:53 pm

I'm not going to pretend I have answers to all (or even any) of these questions. Partly, I think it is just an issue with stories about time travel. However, I think the most important rule in all this is that it is not possible to change the past to impact the present that we see in the film.

Initially I thought that meant Cap was always Peggy's unidentified husband, and that Tony always had the conversation with his father in 1970 - that everything they did in the past by necessity was always going to happen and always did happen. The problem with that is Loki. We know he didn't make off with the Tesseract because we see Thor using it to take him back to Asgard at the end of Avengers.

Instead, I think that any changes made in the past must create alternate timelines that do not affect the original timeline we see through the MCU. Who knows how differently these alternate timelines play out, but The Ancient One indicated that the only changes of concern to them were something as big as an Infinity Stone being removed from a timeline altogether. Which is why they're all returned by Cap at the end.

So I think Cap willingly went back to create an alternate timeline where he and Peggy could have the life together that they wanted. He only returned to his original timeline when Peggy had died, I guess. What his life looked like between the 1940s and 2025 or so when he comes back is anybody's guess. Perhaps he was able to head off Thanos, Hydra, etc simply by having foreknowledge of key events.

Anyway, explanations of time travel make as much sense as the time travel itself. I can't imagine the way I square these round holes will work for everyone, but I think I've got a set of rules, events and outcomes that works for me.

Pretty sure the Loki escape is creating a different timeline that will be the basis of the announced Loki show on Disney+. It definitely didn't happen in the original timeline, as mentioned above.

And, yeah Josh, Doctor Strange asks Wong something like "Did you get everyone?", which I took to mean that he put the word out to the other sorcerers as soon as he was unsnapped (on Titan).

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Re: Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by duskvstweak » April 30th, 2019, 11:49 pm

KSubzero1000 wrote:
April 30th, 2019, 8:25 pm
duskvstweak wrote:
April 30th, 2019, 8:21 pm
I also think it's weird that Black Widow gives her life, is mourned for a few seconds and then Tony is the only one who gets a funeral. There's some disconnection there.
Tony was a public figure, the most prominent member of the Avengers and a wealthy socialite. Black Widow was a secret agent without much of a personal life outside of her job. I think that one makes more or less sense considering the amount of people each of them has interacted with.
Widow was in those public trials after the events of Winter Soldier and a public face of the team during Age of Ultron, but even apart from all that, it would have been easy to show her friends and teammates mourning her. I know Tony is the big name, but it seems cold for the movie to just brush over her death so quickly. Hawkeye isn't the only one who should be wistful at a stream about her, is all.

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Re: Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Thread)

Post by KSubzero1000 » May 1st, 2019, 5:06 am

James wrote:
April 30th, 2019, 10:53 pm
So I think Cap willingly went back to create an alternate timeline where he and Peggy could have the life together that they wanted. He only returned to his original timeline when Peggy had died, I guess. What his life looked like between the 1940s and 2025 or so when he comes back is anybody's guess. Perhaps he was able to head off Thanos, Hydra, etc simply by having foreknowledge of key events.
That's the explanation I'm leaning towards as well. It's not too difficult to imagine him acquiring new Pym particles and hopping back onto his main timeline somehow. But that still leaves the massive open question of why he didn't take Bucky with him and until Marvel comes up with a satisfactory answer to this, it will remain a blatant blemish on what is arguably the most engaging character arc in all of these movies.

May I ask how it fits within your set of rules, events and outcomes? :)

duskvstweak wrote:
April 30th, 2019, 11:49 pm
Widow was in those public trials after the events of Winter Soldier and a public face of the team during Age of Ultron, but even apart from all that, it would have been easy to show her friends and teammates mourning her. I know Tony is the big name, but it seems cold for the movie to just brush over her death so quickly. Hawkeye isn't the only one who should be wistful at a stream about her, is all.
I agree that it should have been a bigger deal, ideally. The unsatisfying answer to this is that the filmmakers would run into RotK-style pacing problems by having two consecutive funeral scenes at the end. A mention or homage would have been nice, though.

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