So, are we ready to talk about this?
My first comment is that it didn't feel like a three-hour movie -- it felt like they packed four hours of story into it. I felt sometimes like I was drinking out of a firehose. Maybe it was because I loved just about everything. Here's my firehose of comments:
- There was certainly more characterization than I expected. Glad to see it.
- Loved Cap vs. Cap. (I write about it in this week's column.)
- Loved Professor Hulk (Ditto.)
- Surprised they chose to kill Black Widow, and disappointed that it was in exactly the same way as Gamora. I could have gone for a new approach to obtaining the Soul Stone -- I mean, surely the Avengers are more creative problem-solvers than Thanos. But I suspect that it will play into the Black Widow movie in some way, and establish a replacement Widow. (Either Yelena "Black Widow II" Belova or a re-cast of Natasha.)
- And my first thought when Widow was killed was "Damn. Should have been Hawkeye." I'm sorry, but Natasha was interesting, and Hawkeye is not. (Oh, how odd, he's a family man! Yes, odd for a superhero -- but not interesting.) Also, I loved Jeremy Renner in American Hustle, but man, is he unattractive. If nothing else, I'd rather look at Scarlett Johansson.
- But obviously Hawkeye's got to be around for his Disney+ series, so my wife and I both kinda knew how that scene was going to play out. I still thought we saw too much of him. I mean, he's boring.
- Speaking of my wife, she cried throughout. She said she hadn't cried at a movie since she was 10. There's a heckuva review!
- That unidentified teenager at Tony's funeral? That was the kid from Iron Man 2, all grown up.
- So now we know how Loki survived. Well, a version of Loki, since the (sometimes contradictory) description of time travel in this movie would indicate that they created an alternate timeline, and that timeline's Loki is the one that survived, and all we need for Hiddleston to star in his Disney+ series is to find a way for alt-Loki to get to our dimension. Piece o' cake.
- Speaking of which, Steve Rogers created an alternate timeline when he stayed with Peggy. That's where the shield came from. (Thanos destroyed the one from our dimension.) When Falcon says the shield feels like it belongs to someone else, Cap says "It doesn't" -- which could mean that it now belongs to Sam, or it could mean that it used to belong to alt-Sam in Cap's other dimension. (And how did our Cap get back here, anyway? Questions abound!)
- Some critics have complained that Thor taking Mjolnir from the past should have repercussions. That's a dog that doesn't hunt, because we saw it on the stand with Cap when he went back in time to replace the Infinity Gems. IOW, it as obvious he meant to return Mjolnir to its place in the timeline, too.
- I'd like to have seen that. Man, I'd watch a whole series of Chris Evans replacing stuff in time.
- Evans was so, so good in the role. Now does everyone see why Captain America has always meant more to me than just another superhero? It's not his strength or whatever -- it's his philosophy. He represents the best of men, writ large.
- The replacement Gamora is from before her time with the Guardians, which softened her considerably. She is essentially a villain again, like she currently is in the comics. She and her sister could cause some trouble. I suppose that's what Guardians 3 will be about. I don't know if that will include Thor, because Hemsworth's contract is up, too. I guess we'll see.
- Some critics have noted that the only significant, multiple-movie player that didn't appear in Endgame was Eric Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard). I beg to disagree. Since death is no barrier (with all the time traveling), we could have seen anybody, and we didn't see a number of multiple-movie characters such as Ronan, Odin, Sif, Darcy, Phil Coulson, Vision, the Nova Corps, Sharon Carter and probably a few more I'm not thinking of. Technically we didn't see Jane Foster, because the clips we saw of her were taken from Thor: The Dark World. (although Natalie Portman did do new dialogue that was dubbed in).
- Speaking of which, they sure did a deep dive on a number of characters. It was surprising to see Frigga, Jane Foster (sorta), Jasper Sitwell, Brock Rumlow, Jarvis and others.
- Speaking of Jarvis, that character, as played by James D'Arcy, has never been in the movies before. He was in Agent Carter. Is he the first Marvel TV character to make the leap into the Marvel movies?
- I really liked seeing Cap and Peggy dance. That was a running line all through Captain America: The First Avenger, and has been referenced a time or two since. They both earned that dance.
- Cap looking through the glass at Peggy, Tony meeting his father, Thor talking to his mother -- wow, they went all out trying to make us cry. And it worked.
- I laughed out loud when Cap repeated the elevator scene from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and got the Stone without a fight by using the "Hail Hydra" line from Secret Empire. A callback to the comics, a clever ploy to avoid a fight, and a terrific thought experiment about how confused that left Jasper Sitwell. (Assuming that doesn't cause a separate timeline.)
- It's beautiful that Tony's last important words were the same as the ones that set this all in motion: "I am Iron Man." Evidently that was an ad lib in Iron Man! It sure carries weight now.
- Did Tony have to die? Yes. They established in a number of movies that no human could hold even ONE Infinity Gem, much less all six. Even the Hulk could barely survive it. Also, RDJ's contract was up, he has said on a number of occasions he wanted to leave on top and not as a ridiculous old man playing superhero, and he is already 54 (and starting to look it). Also, he made $75 million on Infinity War ALONE, and God knows how much he'll make for Endgame and how much he's already made on the other movies. He sure doesn't need the money.
- Which is one reason I don't think we'll see him as a hologram or AI program or something, as some have suggested. He would simply cost too much. If they do that, they'll probably re-cast with a lookalike/soundalike.
- WandaVision on Disney+ is supposed to be set in the '50s. That precedes Vision's death, but it also precedes his creation. (And Wanda's.) Given Wanda's power set, though, I guess anything is possible.
- Who will be the New Avengers? Captain Marvel and Captain America/Falcon seem like a lock, and I think it's been revealed that Spider-Man will be. Who else? We have a lot of options, despite the carnage: Ant-Man, Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Hawkeye, Hulk, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Valkyrie, Wasp and Winter Soldier leap to mind.
- Do you think they'll rename the Disney+ series Falcon and the Winter Soldier as Captain America and the Winter Soldier?
OK, I've wandered into mindless speculation territory. What did y'all think?