Avengers: Endgame is the final chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Infinity Saga.” Here, the remaining heroes, those who were not dusted after Thanos’ life erasing snap are trying to keep what remains of their world intact. However, the goal quickly goes from survive to “whatever it takes” to get back those they lost. To do our six original Avengers, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), with the help of War Machine (Don Cheadle), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). to find all six Infinity Stones and bring their loved ones back with their own snap. The cost for the return is great, but Avengers: Endgame presents the end of an 11-year era of Marvel. Find out what out contributors thought about the film that took 21 films to make.
Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame below the image.
1. Did you go into Endgame with any expectations, what were they?
Nikko: I had very high expectations for Endgame. This is the end of the “Infinity Saga”, something that has been in the making for over 10 years. The Russo brothers had a lot to live up to in this movie.
Lizzy: I definitely went in with expectations. This isn’t the end of Marvel movies but it is the end of an era. I wanted a satisfying conclusion.
CJ: I definitely had high expectations, especially after Infinity War.
Charlie: I think it’s hard not to have expectations for a Marvel film, it’s almost part of the experience now. If anything, I just wanted an ending that felt right.
Kristen: I tried to keep a clear head when I went to see Endgame. I had an idea of who we might lose but I was excited about the process of how the crew was going to regain the Infinity Stones. I was not expecting to laugh as much as I did. Also, I was hoping that Loki might live somehow.
Swara: I had very high expectations. I expected them to do something we wouldn’t necessarily expect, and for them to bring back virtually all the characters that died in the first one.
Kate: I tried hard not to, but knowing it was the end of the line for some of our favorite heroes put pressure on this film to succeed. I didn’t necessarily want it to succeed financially, but emotionally. I know that everyone wants every single character to get the same amount screen time now, even if they aren’t main characters, which made me worry about the amount of time we would get with Tony and Steve. I expected them to do well, and I would have been crushed if they hadn’t treated every character with respect and care.
2. Did Avengers: Endgame meet your expectations?
Nikko: It met all my expectations and even went above and beyond. This is as much a movie as it is an experience.
Lizzy: I don’t know how this movie even exists. Yes, it met my expectations. It was as close to perfect as anything can get.
CJ: My expectations were blown out of the water. This movie was truly epic in every sense of the word!
Charlie: Absolutely, the film pretty much fits
Kristen: Endgame knew it had a lot riding on its shoulders. The writing team and the Russo brothers really took into account the magnitude of what they were dealing with. It absolutely exceeded my expectations.
Swara: It blew away so many of my expectations. I came out of the theater thinking, “They did THAT.” I was also disappointed with how they handled the endings/resolutions of one or two characters, but on the whole, I was immensely satisfied.
Kate: It blew past all of my expectations and pressure I put on it. It presented each character experiencing pain and trauma in ways that are consistent to themselves, not a way we expect them to act or even want them to act. I didn’t know an arc closing in a film would be this satisfying and heartbreaking.
3. Who was your favorite character?
Nikko: My favorite character in the film was Tony Stark. He’s the heart and soul of the MCU and this movie did his character justice. This movie completed his hero’s journey in the best way possible. He will surely be missed by many.
CJ: My favorite character had to be Steve Rogers. Chris Evans’ performance made me a fan of the character, and the way this movie closes out his arc brought me to tears. And I cheered and clapped when he used Mjlonir.
Charlie: Would it be a cheat to say all of them? The Russos/McFeely/Markus has always done a great job at nailing characterisation, but their key characters like Nat and Steve really impressed me in this one. In fact, all OG 6 Avengers (and Ant-Man) blew me away.
Kristen: Thor really stood out to me in Endgame. His journey of failure, loss, and the trauma associated with that was my favorite part of the film. To me, Endgame was just as much for Thor as it was for Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. While this film was a great ending for three of our OG Avengers, it’s also a great beginning for Thor to truly be who he wants to. Fingers crossed he keeps his dad-bod.
Swara: Tony Stark 100%. I’ve always loved Tony, and he went out as a true hero who will be memorialized in the MCU for years to come. I also came out of the film with a deeper appreciation for Nebula.
Kate: My first thought is to say Tony, then I want to say everyone, because they all acted their hearts out. Every character regardless of how callus or sarcastic their personality gave emotional and stunning performances. But in all honesty, Thor was my favorite of this film. Depressed, alone in a room full of people, and unable to admit that he needs help, I saw myself in him. In his weight gain, in his panic attacks, and in his ability to push through. I loved how the film handled him and explored a character who has been at a breaking point since the last installment, Avengers: Infinity War.
4. What was your favorite moment?
Nikko: Seeing Captain America use Mjolnir blew my mind. I was surprised I was the only one in my theater who erupted with excitement. He is the only other Avenger who is worthy of using the hammer, which is a callback to Avengers: Age of Ultron. Thor was genuinely happy to see Steve use it.
Lizzy: I really loved Black Widow’s entire character arc in this movie. She has grown so much throughout her time in the MCU. I think this was one of the first movies where she had a lot of her own agency and really felt like she got the time she deserved.
CJ: The “Avengers Assemble” moment. To see every superhero these films have produced in one shot was nothing short of mind-blowing. And I had been waiting to hear Cap say those words since the first Avengers movie.
Charlie: “Avengers Assemble” has to be the definitive moment, and it only works when you see Steve ready and willing to go on by himself against a whole army moments before. I also enjoyed seeing Jarvis from ABC’s Agent Carter too, the movies finally nodding towards the TV shows.
Kristen: Steve Rogers getting to grow old with Peggy Carter was such a great homage to the original Captain America. It was a wonderful moment watching him pass the shield on to Sam Wilson. Old Rogers made me tear up but it was a great set up for new adventures.
Swara: Seeing Peter come back! That moment in Infinity War wrecked me as a lifelong Spider-Man/Peter Parker fanboy, and it was immensely gratifying to see him undusted and ready for the final fight.
Kate: It’s hard to decide between the finale, “I am Iron Man,” and the battle itself overall. After watching the film two times, the fact that I cry uncontrollably as Sam comes in on Captain America’s comms saying “On your left,” at the lowest moment of the battle solidifies that as my favorite moment. It isn’t necessarily his voice, but what it shows, as the world of the MCU emerges from the portals. I cry with joy watching it because this is a moment I never believed would happen. The scale, the people, and of course Captain America finally saying the words we were teased in Avengers: Age of Ultro: “Avengers, Assemble” is unparalleled moment in all of cinema to me.
5. Does it impact how you view the MCU?
Nikko: It’s quite possibly the best way that this saga could have ended. It’s been through its fair share of ups and downs, but this film was the ultimate payoff in superhero film history. I don’t think any other film in the MCU, or even any film, in general, will create such a big impact on popular culture in a long time.
Lizzy: This made me appreciate all of the movies a lot more. Immediately after leaving the theatre I wanted to re-watch the big ones that were referenced in this movie. This isn’t my top MCU movie but it is absolutely number two, if I see it again it might just take the top spot and I do not say that lightly.
CJ: Absolutely! This film touches on a lot of moments in the Infinity Saga, it closes the door on some characters’ stories and opens doors for a new journey. It’s a testament to the love and care that’s been put into these movies.
Charlie: If the MCU was an experiment, this movie is the massive thumbs up “it worked” conclusion. I’m proud to have been part of this journey and stories.
Kristen: Endgame really changed how I watch other MCU films. When I go back and watch Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s fun to know what is going on in the background. There are so many callbacks to what was said and done in these previous films. It’s going to be a lot of fun rewatching them!
Swara: It made me appreciate the Infinity Saga of the MCU as a cohesive story, with parts that fit into the larger whole. While they ended some characters stories in a way I didn’t like, namely Black Widow’s and (present) Gamora’s, I still found what they did with almost all the other characters immensely gratifying. It also made Nebula one of my favorite MCU characters.
Kate: Endgame does something unique, in that it makes me appreciate some of the MCU films I didn’t like too much but also strengthens some of my dislike as well. After watching, I appreciated Iron Man 3 more and even Thor: The Dark World. That being said, this iteration of Captain Marvel is worlds above what I saw in her solo film and unfortunately Endgame leaves me wishing her film wasn’t the first time we saw her on screen and moves Captain Marvel, the film, to the bottom of my ranking, while also making me extremely excited to see more of Carol.
6. What are you excited for in the MCU going forward?
Nikko: I’m definitely excited for the sequels of the current Avengers members, especially the Spider-Man series. But given that I haven’t read a lot of Marvel comics, I’m a bit skeptical on the MCU tackling deep cuts like The Eternals.
Lizzy: I am excited to see more of Captain Marvel. I think if they put as much love and care into her character as they have everyone else her trilogy will grow as much as Captain America’s did.
CJ: I am looking forward to Spider-Man: Far From Home and The Eternals. Also, more of Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel – I feel that those three characters will become our new Marvel Trinity.
Charlie: There are so many more stories to tell for established, up and coming lesser-known & FOX characters in the future – so the possibilities are endless. I’m excited to also see Marvel push for more diversity in their projects, which thankfully seems to be the case.
Kristen: I’m hoping for more diversity in the MCU. Captain Marvel, Valkyrie, Gamora and Nebula all have great setups for further exploration. It would be nice to have LGBTQIA+ representation outside of just minor scenes as well. Also, I’m pretty sure Loki is alive?
Swara: I’m looking forward to the new superhero teams coming forth. Namely I can’t wait to see Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Wasp, Ant-Man, Sam as Captain America, Scarlet Witch, the new Guardians of the Galaxy, and other heroes lead the fight against evil. Also please bring Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel into the MCU!
Kate: I am extremely excited to see Sam as Captain America, which in my opinion is one of the best mantle changes handled in comics and now on screen. I am also very excited to see Wanda’s new show. But as the final battle reminded me, I am excited at all of the possibilities. We live in a world of superheroes, one that Iron Man ushered in, and it is a universe so vast that I can’t wait to explore it.
7. Could it have done something better?
Nikko: If anything could have been done better, I’d say giving more screen time to Captain Marvel. Sure, they just gave the character her own movie, but it seemed like she was just there to destroy Thanos’ ship. It was a bit disappointing.
Lizzy: There were points that were a tad too cheesy and fanservicey in my opinion but that is also serious nitpick but otherwise, this movie is pretty perfect.
CJ: I feel that some characters (Particularly Captain Marvel) could have had a bit more screentime.
Charlie: I thought the Russo cameo was a little tone-deaf. And while I’m a fan of Natasha’s arc, I’m still coming to grips with her ending.
Kristen: I’m not sure how I feel about Natasha’s untimely ending. I understand her sacrifice and I get why she did it but I feel that Natasha’s story was cut too short. I was hoping she would take over Nick Fury’s position when he eventually dies.
Swara: I totally agree with Charlie on the Russo cameo — it was totally tone deaf. I also hated how they had Natasha sacrifice herself at the end reminiscent of Gamora’s death in Infinity War. It’s 2019: enough of women sacrificing themselves. I also echo CJ in wanting Captain Marvel to have been more present.
Kate: As much as I am excited for A-Force, there was something about the scene on the battle field that didn’t seem as organic as other shots. But ultimately, this was a film our original Avengers and closing their stories, so I don’t agree that we should have seen more of new characters, but I do think some of science detracted from their story looking back. Time travel could have been executed better, in establishing set rules to play by instead of throwing the rule book out of the window.
8. Did you cry?
Nikko: Yes, I cried. Especially during the last 10 minutes of the film. I was so emotional that I went to buy the entire Parks and Recreation series on DVD at the Target next to the theater.
Lizzy: I did tear up. I thought I was doing well until I got in my car and sobbed the entire way home.
CJ: I cried at least three times in the movie. Somebody actually had to pass me a box of tissues during the credits.
Charlie: Absolutely. I managed to make it through the worst parts, but it wasn’t until the dance happened that I was sobbing uncontrollably. It was cathartic.
Kristen: I cried when Hawkeye’s family disappeared. It was such a sad way to start the movie. Also, when Thor finally got to have closure with his mother. What a powerful scene. Odin wanted him to be king, Frigga just wanted him to be happy. Who put these onions here??
Swara: I teared up when Tony died. He’s a hero and he’ll be one of my favorite characters forever.
Kate: I cried from start to finish! But In all honesty I was moved by Black Widow, Natasha finally gaining her own agency. Deciding what she is doing, and getting the moment to be a true hero. While the conversation around her is “women shouldn’t be sacrificing themselves,” it bothers me that Tony’s sacrifice is heroic, and people see Natasha’s as not being. Emotionally seeing her finally become a hero, not an anti-hero or a spy, but really be present for herself, and give her life for others, was impactful and important. When I cried in that scene it was crying but sadness but also fullness of watching who she had become.
9. Review the movie in one sentence:
Nikko: Quite possibly the best way to end a 10+ saga and a definite contender in the race for the greatest superhero movie ever made. 9.5/10
Lizzy: The end of an era within the MCU and the start of a new beginning. 9.5/10
CJ: A fitting capstone to a decade’s worth of storytelling, and the first true superhero epic. 10/10
Charlie: A masterpiece that fits the very definition of satisfaction. 10/10
Kristen: Avengers: Endgame is the perfect film that gives fan service to MCU fans without sacrificing storytelling. 9/10
Swara: A masterful and revolutionary film that closes the first part of the MCU in a most satisfying way, but makes some unfortunate errors along the way. 9.5/10
Kate: Avengers: Endgame is a caring love letter to fans, comics, the MCU, and the characters within it, and an event that is once in a lifetime. 10/10