Steven graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications, focusing on film studies, journalism and theatre arts. Dubbed a "prolific" writer by Hollywood icon Kenneth Johnson (The Incredible Hulk, V, The Bionic Woman, Alien Nation), Steven has been honored by the Arkansas College Media Association for his story writing prowess. He has also received recognition for his dramatic writing from the Eerie, Shriekfest and Screamfest horror film festivals. Publications include: Carroll County News, Saline Courier, Forum, Echo and Moroch.
LITTLE ROCK — “There are always possibilities, Spock said. And if Genesis is indeed life from death, I must return to this place again.” Captain James T. Kirk.
Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will feel the absence of a MAJOR Avenger going forward unless the words of Jim Kirk hold true in the MCU, too. It’s hard to believe Marvel had the guts to kill HIM. Find out who he is at the end of this spoiler review. If you don't want the "Endgame" spoiled, read no further. You have been warned.
Last chance. Okay, here we go...
Fans will undoubtedly mourn and shed more than a single tear at the conclusion of “Avengers: Endgame,” so you should arm yourselves with handkerchiefs or tissues. Don’t be surprised by the gnashing of teeth which could very well echo in your ears on opening night. These reactions are unavoidable, and no macho façade will suffice in fooling those you see “Endgame” with. But make no mistake, despite the emotional rollercoaster, audiences are in for one hell of a great movie.
While the special effects — particularly in the final battle — and characters reign supreme, it is the convoluted storyline of “Endgame” that will ultimately have critics and fans second-guessing the mostly satisfying outcome. Jumbling time travel, alternate realities and the Quantum Realm together is like letting a toddler play unsupervised in the kitchen with cake mix, a bowl and electric blender: things are bound to get a little messy. Despite the glaring holes, “Endgame” is still one of the best Marvel cinematic ventures. However, for better or worse, these choices in storytelling keep “Endgame” from being the perfect film it could have been. You’re going to be asking yourself questions like: “Wait, if they went back in time, wouldn’t this have changed in the future?”
“Endgame” ranks favorably alongside Marvel’s gems “Iron Man” (2008) and “The Avengers” (2012), and the picture is without question one of the most enjoyable, action-packed and humorous thrill rides in recent cinematic history. For all the loss felt in the final moments of “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018), prepare to revel equally in the victory of Earth’s mightiest heroes.
However, the Avengers triumph does not come without a heavy price, and this time what is done cannot be undone. Prepare yourself, because our heroes make the ultimate sacrifice to defeat and vanquish the mighty Thanos (Josh Brolin).
The Infinity War has left the remnants of Earth’s mightiest heroes broken, and half of all the world’s population is nowhere to be found courtesy of Thanos’ genocide at the snap of a finger. Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who was noticeably absent from “Infinity War,” loses his family courtesy of Thanos’ plan to balance the galaxy.
Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), who could have easily stopped the Mad Titan just by being in “Infinity War,” answers Nick Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) page and rescues Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) who are adrift — stranded in space— in the Guardian of the Galaxy’s ship after the battle on Titan. Determined to set things right, Captain Marvel and the remaining Avengers decide to confront Thanos again, so that they can retrieve the Infinity Stones and set everything right: effectively resurrecting all those lost in “Infinity War.”
A heat signature matching the first time Thanos used the infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half of all life, and information from Nebula, leads our heroes to the victorious Mad Titan. War Machine (Don Cheadle), Captain Marvel and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) — sporting the Hulkbuster armor — seize Thanos while Thor (Chris Hemsworth) uses Stormbreaker to cut off the Titan’s hand. The heroes observe that the Infinity Stones are no longer in the gauntlet.
Already injured from using the gauntlet a second time, Thanos reveals that he took such action to destroy the Infinity Stones in order to prevent his eutopia from being wrongly corrected. Devastated, the Avengers know all hope is lost. Enraged, Thor decapitates Thanos.
Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper) asks, “What did you do?”
“I went for the head,” Thor replies.
Five years pass as the Avengers try and move beyond their massive failure. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Captain America (Chris Evans) are both particularly haunted by the team’s defeat at the hands of Thanos.
Hope arrives though when Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) is accidentally released from his five-year imprisonment in the Quantum Realm. Troubled by what he discovers has happened, Ant-Man journeys to Avengers’ headquarters. Ant-Man seems certain that the Quantum Realm is the key to undoing the deadly chaos unleashed by Thanos.
Tony Stark aka Iron Man has moved on with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) who now have a little girl, and Mr. Stark has no interest in pursuing a solution further. When Iron Man turns Captain America away, Cap visits one of Earth’s greatest minds: Professor Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) who first appears in “The Incredible Hulk” #377 (1991). Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk have found a way to coexist after tangling with Thanos, but Professor Hulk is unable to initiate time travel.
Ultimately, Stark changes his mind and helps perfect time travel. The surviving Avengers once again recruit and bring the team back together. Hawkeye has become the vigilante known as Ronin, while Thor is on New Asgard and is way out of shape. The God of Thunder is also sporting a ZZ Top-esque beard and hairstyle.
Using Quantum Realm tech, the Avengers split up to find the Infinity Stones in the past during the pockets of time in which the gems are most easily attainable. Professor Hulk witnesses his less-evolved persona fighting in the battle of New York from “The Avengers” (2012), and Captain America fights his former self, while Thor retrieves his hammer Mjölnir in the events of days gone by.
However, it is during these missions that the first gut-wrenching casualty of the film occurs. Ronin and Black Widow arrive to acquire the Soul Stone from the Red Skull. But as Thanos was forced to sacrifice his daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana) in “Infinity War,” Barton and Natasha are faced with one or the other dying to possess the Soul Stone. While the pair argue — violently — over who will make the sacrifice, ultimately Natasha concludes that Barton has a family and he needs to live for them.
“Tell my family I love them,” Barton says.
“Tell them yourself,” Natasha replies as she stuns Ronin and tries to sacrifice herself. Ronin almost saves her. But in the end, it is Black Widow’s opportunity to help save the family she loves.
And thus, Black Widow gives her life for the Soul Stone. Farewell, Natasha Romanoff.
As the Avengers are confronted with their former incarnations, eventually Nebula of the past and the present sync together. It is at this point that Thanos of bygone times realizes what’s happening. And Thanos knows he will be victorious in the future.
Confused yet? Lots of time traveling, alternate reality and such despite what the movie asks you to believe. Hang in there.
Now in possession of all the Infinity Stones, the Avengers create a new Infinity Gauntlet out of Iron Man’s tech. Hulk is deemed the most powerful, even though Thor wants to sport the new glove, so the Professor wears the Gauntlet. Professor Hulk reverses the effects of “Infinity War,” with a snap of his fingers, but severely hurts himself during the process. Fortunately, the powers-that-be decided not to kill off the Hulk. One of the other core-four Avengers will not be so lucky. You’ve been warned.
Now, it’s time for perhaps the most epic battle on the Silver Screen which is approximately 30 to 35 minutes long. Thanos arrives, courtesy of evil Nebula, and the Mad Titan levels the Avengers’ headquarters just as Professor Hulk sets things right.
The battle begins.
Alongside Thanos are the Chitauri and the Black Order who are all ready to wage war on Earth and its heroes. Eventually, portals begin opening — which resemble brightly burning stars — and those who died in “Infinity War” are resurrected. And the most epic of on-screen shots ever filmed then happens. Every single living Avenger lines up to face off against Thanos and his army.
“Avengers, assemble!” Captain America barks as heroes and villains charge toward one another and destiny.
Thanos holds his own as the Avengers essentially play keep-away from the Mad Titan with the Infinity Gauntlet. During the battle an array of Oh-My-God moments unfold (in no particular order):
It doesn’t get more epic than seeing every single Marvel character lined up on screen and charging at Thanos and his army. The Avengers, Spider-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Black Panther… it is quite simply jaw-dropping.
During the fight, Spider-Man (Tom Holland) aids Iron Man after Tony falls down. Peter Parker can’t shut up, as he helps his mentor to his feet, and all Stark can do is stare at the boy who is alive once more. Feeling incredible guilt for Parker’s death, Iron Man hugs the lad he thinks of as a son. Poignant!
Thor wages war with both Mjölnir and Stormbreaker — enough said.
Captain America is proven worthy when he wields Mjölnir against Thanos.
“I knew it,” Thor says as Thanos kicks him in the face, and Rogers holds the mighty hammer. And seeing Cap hurl both his shield and Thor’s hammer at the Mad Titan is sure to have audiences screaming with delight.
The most epic moment is hard to pick, but gold and silver medals could easily go to 1. Captain Marvel vs. Thanos and 2. Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) vs. Thanos. Fans are going to lose their voices as they cheer during these unforgettable battles during the much larger war.
However, Thanos does eventually seize the Infinity Gauntlet. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) looks to Iron Man as if Stark is the only one who can end the struggle. And the endgame Strange spoke of in “Infinity War” is finally realized. The reason Strange gave Thanos the Time Stone to spare Stark’s life quickly becomes clear. It is Iron Man who will finally defeat the Mad Titan. But the consequences are dire.
Iron Man swipes the Infinity Stones before Thanos can use them. Stark has his own Gauntlet built into his suit. Iron Man snaps his fingers and unleashes the awesome, unmatched power of the stones to defeat the evil Thanos and his army.
“I am Iron Man,” Stark says as he stares at the befuddled villain. But Iron Man can’t handle the power of the Gauntlet. The hero falls as Thanos disintegrates.
Pepper Potts — who sports the Rescue Armor during the battle — kneels over the fatally wounded Iron Man. She tells her love that he can finally rest. Tony Stark succumbs to his injuries and Pepper kisses him gently. Peter Parker is inconsolable, as Captain America and Thor flank one another with tears in their eyes as their friend passes away.
Thanos is defeated, but the Iron Man is dead.
Tony Stark’s funeral follows with every Avenger sporting their best black attire. Captain America goes back in time to hide the Infinity Stones, but he doesn’t return. Rather, Steve Rogers reunites with his long, lost love Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). This time around, Rogers doesn’t lose the love of his life and enjoys his happy ending. Rogers lives out the life he missed out on before.
Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) find Old Man Rogers sitting on a bench. Rogers passes on the shield, but it is Falcon who becomes the new Captain America.
Now, if you can get past all the problems the time travel, Quantum Realms and alternate realities messily present in “Endgame,” you will enjoy the swan song of the late Tony Stark. It was heavily rumored that either Captain America or Iron Man would make such a sacrifice. Sadly, Iron Man’s demise came to fruition. Other rumors like Deadpool, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men showing up didn’t happen, at least I didn’t see them in the masses of heroes. Perhaps, they are hidden in there as Easter Eggs for fans. Regardless, “Avengers: Endgame” is a supremely satisfying farewell to the third phase of the MCU even if “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is officially the conclusion to Phase 3.