By Anna Husted EBS FILM CRITIC
“Avengers: Endgame” will make you laugh and cry, but mostly wish this generation of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) heroes was not over. The nostalgia I am already experiencing over “Iron Man” (2008) and “Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011) is painful, as I spent my entire 20s watching these heroes grow up. The heroes in “Avengers: Endgame” are woebegone, mourning countless deaths across their universe, struggling to fix errors from the past—I too am in a state of grief, lamenting the end of an era.
Like many MCU films, there is so much plot to digest in “Avengers: Endgame” that I’m going to try to keep it simple and avoid spoilers. Essentially, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Captain America must figure out a way to travel back in time to save the other half of the population, whom Thanos destroyed at the end of “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Bleak plotlines and a sorrowful ending notwithstanding, “Avengers: Endgame” spends a lot of its three-hour runtime with recurring jokes, mostly at Thor’s expense (he’s gone a bit off the rails after failing to save the entire universe). Now, I can’t elaborate here without spoiling one of the funniest parts of the movie, but let’s just say he drinks a few beers while playing a lot of video games—very unbecoming for a distinguished Norse god.
His comedic relief is rivaled only by that of Ant Man, who has been lost in the quantum realm for five years. He has never met the Avengers, knows nothing about space and other planets and is constantly dumbstruck by everyone else’s talents and stories, lending a nice reprieve from some disturbing realities.
“Avengers: Endgame” does a bang-up job of refreshing the concept of an unraveling time-space continuum. Unlike everything we know about time travel from other movies, in the MCU it is possible to save half the universe without changing the past, as part of going back in time and seizing all the infinity stones means avoiding past selves who are also fighting back in time with the same goal. In one hilarious fight scene Captain America ends up fighting himself.
“I could do this all day,” Captain America says to himself. He then replies to himself, “Yeah, I know.”
I could watch these heroes all day, but it’s time to say good-bye to this generation and turn to the comic book horizon for the next.
“Avengers: Endgame” is now showing in theaters.
Anna Husted has a master’s in film studies from New York University. In Big Sky she can be found up on the hill or at the movies at Lone Peak Cinema. When not gazing at the silver screen or watching her new favorite TV show, she’s skiing, fishing or roughhousing with her cat, Indiana Jones.