This article contains major SPOILERS for Avengers Endgame so if you haven’t watched the movie yet, you may choose to not read it.
Avengers: Endgame was one of the most hyped movies of all time breaking all box office records on its opening weekend. People are still raving on about how it is the ‘best movie of all time’ but the truth is far from it and it isn’t even the best MCU movie. Endgame is the result of over a decade of movies and to see it come to a lackluster end is disappointing, to say the least. The movie was full of plot holes and tried to force a lot of things into it all at once. It felt like putting all your favourite snacks inside a blender and turning them into a smoothie. Yes, the ingredients taste great if consumed separately but in the form of a smoothie, they’d probably make you puke.
Endgame could have been one of the best movies of all time but sadly, it just missed the mark completely. However, the troubles do not begin from there. A lot of the logic and reasoning behind Marvel universe does not work at all if we think about it rationally. The character choices and the results of such choices just do not make sense. Let’s digress from Endgame for a bit though and rewind a little back to the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
Everything Wrong with The Snap
At the end of Infinity War, Thanos successfully manages to get all the infinity stones into his gauntlet. He then goes on to ‘snap’ half of all living creatures out of existence to bring balance to the universe and fulfil his destiny (how pretentious of you, Mister Thanos). Now, I do not understand what was going through Thanos’ head while he was contemplating this decision. You see, eradicating half of living creatures would send everything into chaos rather than bringing any balance to it. How? Well, half of all living creatures includes literally all animals, all plants, tress, blades of grass, fungi, and literally everything. If half of those vanished overnight, the whole ecological system of the Earth would collapse leading to mass extinction. Thanos could have done so many other things to bring his so-called balance to the universe.
The writers in the comic books explain this decision by saying that Thanos was in love with death and wanted to please her. This, honestly, just feels like a lazy way out just to hide the fact that Thanos’ thought process does not make any sense at all.
The start of Endgame
Endgame starts with everyone feeling devastated about the fact that their friends have vanished. However, everything else seems to be running just fine. Wouldn’t there be a severe lack of personnel for literally all the jobs in the world that are crucial to us sustaining our lifestyles? This doesn’t even cover the fact that no one would be alive to see the future in the first place as humanity would be rapidly dive-bombing towards extinction because of the Earth’s ecological system being all messed up. Okay, let’s assume everything makes sense in this world and we didn’t experience the chaos we would have. It still leaves a lot to be asked. Let’s look at the end of Endgame in which everyone who had previously been snapped out of existence comes back.
What about people flying in planes?
There are over 15,000 planes flying around the world at all times. In a situation where Thanos’ snap kills 50% of the people, pilots of those planes would disappear as well. Now, the chances of the snap killing both the pilot and the co-pilot in the same plane are around 25% meaning 1/4th of planes at that time did not have anyone flying them. This number comes out to be 3,750 planes. Since each plane on average holds around 200 people and half of them have been snapped, that’s 100 passengers in each of 3,750 planes.
This means that almost half a million people died from plane crashes alone. Furthermore, this data does not even include the millions who would have died on other modes of transport like a bus or car. Since the snap being undone only brings back the ones who got vanished by the snap, were the millions who died as collateral just casualties of war?
How is everyone still in High School?
Spider-man is a part of the unfortunate bunch who get snapped out of existence by Thanos at the end of Infinity war. Since he is at high school at the time, Peter Parker and his friends are about 16 or 17 years of age at most. After the Thanos snap is undone, Spider-man, as expected, comes back into existence. Now, during the closing scenes of the movie, we see Peter going back to his high school and seeing his old friend Ned. It is pretty evident from the interaction that Ned did not disappear during the Thanos snap and has lived through the 5 years in between. So, this means that Ned is at least 20 by now. Why is he still going to a high school? Did everyone just stop going to school for 5 years or am I missing something here?
Are phones living things now?
Another little thing that I noticed is the fact that Laura Barton called Clint right after returning. How was her phone even charged and functional when she came back? Since the phone isn’t a living thing, it couldn’t have disappeared with the snap. So, did Clint have her phone charged just in case she came back? What about the cellular networks? The contract or sim would get deactivated after 5 years of no use anyway. I guess the moral here is that you should plug your phone in when Thanos invades.
How did Thanos even get to the future?
During the movie, there is a pretty hefty emphasis on how the Avengers only have a single shot at retrieving the Infinity stones from the past. This is due to the fact that they needed pym particles for time travel and they only had enough for a single round trip each, except Captain America and Iron Man. However, somehow this is not true as clearly Evil Nebula from the past manages to bring Thanos to the future. Evil Nebula stole the pym particles from her future self and managed to come to the future. She did not have any left after that though so how did she bring Thanos back? Did these pym particles magically spawn into existence? Did Thanos somehow manage to duplicate the formula? No one knows.
Steve Rogers potentially messed up all the timelines
So, at the end of Endgame, Captain America takes the responsibility to return the infinity stones back to their original timelines. However, for some reason, he decides to take a detour and got back to Peggy Carter and live a peaceful life. This has implications that the movie didn’t really cover. I want to see Captain America being happy too but the thing is that it just doesn’t make any sense. When Steve Rogers went back in time, he basically made a new timeline for himself but it doesn’t make sense as he comes back to 2023 as an old man for some reason. There are two possible explanations for this.
The first one is that there are two Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter manages to keep them secret from one another and they do not bump into each other at any point. Or maybe they have some sort of agreement. The second one would be that Captain American has managed to get a device that he can use to travel from that timeline to this one. However, in this case, how did he return the infinity stones and still manage to live a different life in a different time and then come back to his original timeline as an old guy? Things just collapse here.
What was Captain Marvel doing all this time?
During the movie, Captain Marvel says that she needs to help people in other galaxies as well. However, this explanation is not satisfactory enough as Earth is where the main problem is. So, when the Avengers get ready to bring the infinity stones back and save the Earth, shouldn’t they have called Captain Marvel as well since she is the strongest character and they had already failed at defeating Thanos without her. Her not being there for the entire movie and coming right at the end was just extremely bad planning by Avengers and is totally not what is expected of them. Captain Marvel just ends up looking bad as a result of this and the choices she makes do not make any sense in the grand scheme of things.
Why did Endgame miss the mark?
I could go on for days about the plot holes and inconsistent character decisions in Endgame. However, where the movie missed the opportunity to achieve greatness was in its overall theme and tone. After Infinity War, the setup was perfect for Endgame to be a gritty harsh reality of a future without half of the world’s population. However, that only lasted for a bit as the movie evolved into the classic subtle Marvel comedy. I loved the slight comedy in Endgame from time to time but I just feel like it wasn’t right. I’m all for having fun and I’ve loved it during the past movies but this time it was just a bit too forced considering the circumstances and the grave situation.
Thor, as well, was just reduced to a joke in Endgame. He got depressed and gained some weight after killing Thanos and that’s understandable. However, he is still a literal god and that comes with a certain level or prestige. The fact that he was just there for the jokes during the entire movie and didn’t do much during the fights either was just disappointing. Thor is the god of thunder and he should in no way be as weak even after gaining weight. He couldn’t even fight a simpler form of Thanos (considering he did fight him pretty well in Infinity War when Thanos was much stronger) and was just a pushover. Someone as powerful as Thor should not have been in that situation and this just seems like inconsistent writing.
The movie also tried to force a lot of things into the narrative for the ‘epic superhero’ effect. Like everyone appearing one by one at clutch moments to help during the fight against Thanos’ army. A lot of people loved it and these things were received with applause from the audience. However, creating inconsistencies in your plot (like with Captain Marvel above) just for grand superhero entries is just bad writing. But then again, people do love these things and these probably do drive up the ratings for the movie. I’m not the one to enjoy them though as they just feel too cheesy and over the top. Yes, it is supposed to be an action-packed experience and would feel empty without these but looking from a logical standpoint, these are just unnecessary considering how bad the situation is.
At the end of the day, Avengers: Endgame is still a fantastic movie and this whole journey spanning over a decade has been amazing to see as a fan. However, to say that it was a ‘marvel’ of movie writing and cinematography would be a false statement. I have watched Endgame again after discarding the hype and nostalgia factor. After analyzing the movie again, I soon realized that, while still being a stellar movie, Endgame just isn’t the masterpiece we all expected it to be.