Endgame for Logic

Living downstream from Marvel movies.

For a long time now, Marvel Studios has impressed the world with how it can get people so hyped for a movie that even if the movie actually sucks everyone will say it was amazing.  If the business of Hollywood is selling dreams, they're the best in the biz.

The world-record-setting new release Avengers: Endgame was… similar, but not the same.  It's raking in the dough like nothing else ever has.  But was it a good movie?

If you're among the half-dozen people who have not yet seen it, and you plan to do so, then for your sake we must warn of SPOILERS.  Sorry, it's not possible to appraise three hours of virtual celluloid without giving away large chunks of plot.

Warning!  Spoilers Ahead!

Without further ado: the plot of this movie begins at the end of the last installment, after baddie Thanos snapped his fingers with the Infinity Stones to powderize literally half of all living creatures in the entire universe.  He then proceeded to likewise powderize the Stones themselves to keep anyone else from using them by way of repair.

So, 5 years after the snap heard 'round the universe, everyone on earth is still super sad and traumatized by all the people that died. Then Ant-Man gets back to normal (by the most ridiculously lucky thing ever) but he only feels like it’s been 5 hours. Unmired in despair like everyone else, he goes to the Avengers and suggests... time travel.

They go to Tony Stark who has a “No I won’t… never mind, I feel bad now, OK” moment and invents time travel (because big words, and Friday). So our heroes get all the remaining heroes together and go back in time to snipe Infinity Stones out of other times when they still existed. And this is where stuff starts to really break.

I have a few things to say at this point. First off: people go on with life. After five years humanity would have mostly recovered from the snap. This has been seen after things like world wars or 9/11.

Did it hurt?  Of course! Did it keep us crippled for 5 years? No - and particularly not in a case where there wasn’t a victor to make recovery for the losers hard.

The real world would have moved on by now. People who lost spouses would have remarried; new people would have gotten jobs. Kids would have been born.

To try and go back in time and bring back everyone would cause so many problems: A. it risks everything that has been rebuilt, and B. they bring everyone back at the same age they were originally at… but 5 years later.

What's supposed to happen with all these husbands or wives that abruptly reappear after 5 years of everyone else continuing to live life? Or kids with their parents? Or parents with kids? What about their relatives who survived the snap, but died in the meantime? You thought the chaos after the first snap was bad? Wait 'till you see the chaos after this happens!

Iron Man was right: they should have left well enough alone. Instead of messing with time to bring people back (which frankly seems selfish) they went around totally screwing up at least 4 other realities. They created so… many… time… crimes!  Forget the Guardians of the Galaxy; we need the Time Cops, stat!

Onward with the plot. The Avengers get all the stones from different time lines - yay!  Hulk snaps everyone back to life… right as a time-past Thanos brings his ship through the portal. WOOOOW that is so not OK! This totally breaks time, not to mention the time portal that's designed for only a human being to fit through, not an intergalactic starship.

Thanos bombs the Avengers base to rubble. After a fight that would make any continuity editor collapse in tears with a mental breakdown, Thanos brings down his army and they start killing stu-- never mind, Dr. Strange just teleported everyone cool in the universe to come and fight… don’t ask how he communicated with all, what, 50 different locations instantly.  Or how everyone recovered and got ready from their deaths to fight in about 5 minutes. Hey look, Spiderman’s back!

Then after a fight that unaccountably goes south for our heroes, the world’s most dislikeable deus ex machina Captain Marvel - basically Chick Superman without the limitations or appealing personality - shows up and makes everyone else look like a child, before immediately being power-scaled down for no reason to keep this fight interesting.

Then, a game of keep away and a few close calls later, Iron Man steals the stones from Thanos at the last second and snaps all the Thanos forces away, including Thanos himself… but dies very sadly in the process. The rest of the movie is emotional as characters are reunited with lost loved ones, reflect on those lost, or both. Then a worthy end to Captain America that genuinely made me happy, and the movie is over.

Might I say that this plot was OK while you are in the act of watching it. But if you think about the implications for a second, maybe on your way out of the theater, you realize that the Avengers are more like sore losers that can’t let go of the past than they are heroes.

Just think of it this way. You are a survivor of the snap. Five years later, you’ve rebuilt your life. You’ve fought yourself to let go. You’ve remarried and have a lovely new family.

Due to the snap, a lot of jobs were left empty, so you have a good well-paying job. Frankly, things are looking up! The past is behind, the future is ahead.

But then all of a sudden, your old family comes back to life. And the guy whose job you have comes back to life too.

So now what? Are you supposed to be a husband to two families, or do you abandon one? And as far as your job, I have a feeling that “in the name of fairness” you would probably lose it back to the previous job holder.

You were happy and content, and now you’re in a moral, emotional, financial, and psychological mess... again.

And this is true even with the main characters. Do you think Wakanda hasn’t elected a new king after 5 years? Or that not a single main character tried to rebuild their lives either?  Tony Stark certainly did, and he quite understandably was less than pleased with the idea of giving it all up - but that didn't stop him from doing it anyway, and the movie makes him a hero for it.  Bruce Banner seems like a nice guy who’s pretty popular at the time, lots more so than he used to be. And what happened to him and Natasha?

Overall, the entire premise of the plot is profoundly broken, if not morally appalling, and thus I don’t like it very much. It didn't seem to matter while the billion-dollar CGI visuals were on the screen, but in retrospect it leaves an increasingly sour taste the more I dwell on it.

Yet as I noted at the beginning, Avengers: Endgame has made more money, and faster, than any movie ever.  It's as if nobody is giving it a moment's thought; they're just along for the ride.

Now let's face it: this is a comic book movie.  It does not claim to be Shakespeare.  But when he was writing, Shakespeare was the equivalent of a comic-book movie, and unlike an Avengers flick, it's not possible to come out of a Shakespeare play dumber than you went in.

What's more, although Avengers: Endgame is comic-book characters, it's filmed in live-action with very good CGI so as to look as real as possible (while actually being just about as unreal as can be imagined).  This forms a startling contrast with the Green New Deal propaganda movie recently released by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - it's an animated cartoon, but it purports to be discussing real proposed policies and their real effects in the real world.

In actuality, the world described in AOC's movie is even less believable than the one in Avengers: Endgame. Five years after Thanos' snap, the world is still visibly in need of repairs, even though the actual battles fought on Earth in Infinity War were relatively minor in scale.  In AOC's movie, literally every single building in the United States is rebuilt in ten years, to the most modern standards of energy efficiency - and somehow, everyone is richer too.

People may not believe in the world of the Avengers nor expect it to be real, but the glaring inconsistencies and "Wait, what?" moments don't seem to bother anyone.  Could there be a connection between the modern prevalence and popularity of such fare, and the willingness of vast numbers of Americans to swallow AOC's green dream which is every bit as unrealistic but which has every intention of impacting the real world?

"We just saved the world, woohoo!"  Yeah, maybe... but in doing so, you ruined everyone's lives.

This article was reprinted from a different site. Commentary may be added.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Guest Editorial or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

The Spoiler Alert is safe with me. I 've read this 3 times have no idea what's going on in the Avengers movie. It does seem that Time Travel is a cop out for lazy screen writing and CGI is really important .
As to the AOC movie, it seems appropriate that is a cartoon. May meet the expectations of the audience and their attention span, as long as it doesn't interfere with nap time. The core proposition of the GND is silly. " we're going to eliminate or down grade every sort of commerce.... agriculture, all transportation including ending air travel, manufacturing, electrical power production etc... but everybody will get lucrative pay whether or not they work..." And everybody will be saved by solar ( except at night or cloudy days) and wind ( except on still days). Hard to believe they are serious. I assume they will realize their dream by taxing " the rich". If any are left.
Meanwhile slow and steady progress in clean commerce is happening. Cars are more efficient. Big jets mostly have 2 engines rather than 4 or 3 as in the past. Trains and trucks are much more efficient. Economics and fracking made coal power give way to natural gas. What's missing is acceptable nuclear. There should be a concerted effort ( another AOC cartoon ?) to show people that nuclear is a carbonless wonder as places like France have found out.

May 5, 2019 3:53 PM

You said, "But when he was writing, Shakespeare was the equivalent of a comic-book movie, and unlike an Avengers flick, it's not possible to come out of a Shakespeare play dumber than you went in."

The second half of that statement is true, but was Shakespeare mass entertainment in his day? Was his greatness recognized during his lifetime, or did he have to be discovered later?

I've read several articles saying that he didn't even write the plays, but that doesn't address your main assertion - were they the equivalent of comic books in terms of market and circulation?

May 5, 2019 7:53 PM
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