10 Major Realizations I Had Rewatching Avengers: Endgame

  • Avengers: Endgame heavily relies on past MCU movies for context, making it unsuitable to watch in isolation.
  • Time travel's introduction in Endgame has consequences for the MCU by lowering the stakes for future movies.
  • Endgame's impact can never be replicated, leaving subsequent movies to pale in comparison.
Even though years have passed since the release of Avengers: Endgame, rewatching the movie prompts some major realizations. The MCU’s movie timeline came to a critical point in 2019 with Avengers: Endgame, which marked the ending of the franchise’s Infinity Saga. As the culmination of 11 years of build-up, Endgame marked one of the biggest cinematic experiences in modern movies. When I rewatched it five years after release, it prompted a number of revelations thanks to the added benefit of hindsight.
I, like so many other moviegoers, was blown away by the spectacle of Endgame upon its original release. The movies of the MCU to that point had been building to Endgame’s epic conclusion, and the film’s unforgettable and irreversible developments in the franchise’s story made it perhaps the most impactful comic book movie of all time. With five additional years of MCU content having since followed on from Endgame, looking back over the film brought about a few major realizations about both its individual qualities and the wider MCU.
Related Every Upcoming Marvel Movie: Full MCU Phase 5 & 6 List (& Beyond) Between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment, here is every upcoming Marvel movie release date and what we know about the projects so far.
10 Avengers: Endgame Doesn’t Work As A Standalone Movie Endgame's Story Is Dependent On Previous MCU Movies Close The hype surrounding Endgame’s release caused many – myself included – to dive back into previous movies before watching it in theaters. Following on directly as it does from Infinity War’s story, Endgame sits at a unique point in the MCU’s timeline. However, rewatching it in isolation made me realize just how little it works as a standalone movie.
Endgame’s story starts with a follow-on from Infinity War, but the interconnectivity runs far deeper. It’s intrinsically connected to the stories of several other movies and post-credits scenes in the MCU, with multiple plot points following on from various points in the franchise. As such, there are many elements of the movie that just don’t work when watched from a standalone viewpoint. For all of Endgame’s quality, it really isn’t a movie that can be watched independently of the rest of the MCU and still have the same impact.
9 Time Travel Breaks Everything Branching Timelines & Realities Lower The Stakes For The Whole MCU Close A major plot point in Endgame’s story was Tony Stark’s invention of time travel, facilitating the time heist that saw the Avengers gather the Infinity Stones and undo Thanos’ snap. Rewatching the movie with the MCU’s more recent projects in mind, however, it struck me that time travel has actually caused significant problems for the franchise. Time travel is notorious for creating plot holes, but the MCU was able to skirt around this by establishing multiple timelines. However, that in itself has implications for the MCU’s audience.
Throughout the Multiverse Saga, few plot developments have been able to recreate the impact of those in the Infinity Saga. Since the introduction of time travel, the stakes seem so much lower than they once did: seeing the Avengers undo their greatest defeat made nothing in the MCU seem permanent. In that respect, Endgame’s time travel has quietly damaged the MCU, and I couldn’t unsee it upon rewatching the movie.
8 The MCU Can Never Recover From Endgame The MCU Will Never Recreate Endgame's Unique Success Close In many ways, rewatching Endgame brings up many of the same feelings it did upon seeing it in theaters. It’s still a massive spectacle that combines all of the MCU’s unique drawing points. Seeing so many heroes band together in a last-ditch effort to undo Thanos’ snap is still as powerful as it once was, and Endgame’s record-breaking success backs up just how strong audiences reacted to its appeal.
Upon rewatching, it’s all too clear that the MCU can’t ever replicate Endgame’s success. A huge part of its appeal was the unique and novel promise of seeing so many heroes bring about a definitive end to the Infinity Saga. Other movies in similar positions, such as Avengers: Secret Wars, will be at a distinct disadvantage as they lack a novelty component, and will be endlessly compared to Endgame. Avengers: Endgame was such an unprecedented movie that anything similar that follows is doomed to always seem second-best.
7 The MCU Is Still Clearing Up Endgame Plot Holes Endgame's Problems Are Made Clearer By Subsequent Releases Close Since Endgame’s release, it seems that the movies and TV shows of the MCU have repeatedly referenced its events. This makes sense, as it was a huge occurrence in the franchise, but when I rewatched Endgame, I couldn’t help but think of some of those references. The likes of Hawkeye, Eternals, and Spider-Man: Far From Home have all contained references to Endgame, and many of them have pointed out minor issues within the film’s story.
These references spring immediately back to mind when rewatching Endgame. Hawkeye’s “Thanos was right” graffiti and Eternals having to justify why its heroes couldn’t intervene to stop Thanos both point out issues with Endgame by directly acknowledging them within the franchise, which only serves to make the minor plot holes seem much more obvious. Though I hardly noticed the issues at first, subsequent MCU releases have made them altogether difficult to ignore.
6 Endgame’s Ending Subtly Backfired Iron Man's Perfect Death Is An MCU Problem Close The ending of Avengers: Endgame is unforgettable in several ways, with multiple major developments coming during the movie’s second and third acts. Some of the most substantial plot points remain the deaths of major characters and the retirement of others, and these moments still hit as hard as they once did. However, when I really considered the implications of Endgame’s ending with regard to what the MCU did next, it seemed as though the movie’s ending actually ended up backfiring.
Iron Man’s death was undoubtedly the biggest takeaway from Endgame’s conclusion, and has been the most influential in terms of the MCU’s future. In hindsight, I also realized that it has created an impossible situation for the franchise: by killing off the MCU’s most popular hero in a heartfelt and honorable way, there’s no good way to resurrect him. Though the MCU would undoubtedly be better off with Tony Stark alive, bringing him back should never be considered, creating a bizarre paradox for the franchise.
5 Endgame Marked A Point Of No Return For The MCU Post-Endgame Movies Will Never Work Without Context Close I love the MCU as much as anyone else, with a particular fondness for the scope of its connected stories making it a perfect example of a shared movie universe. Endgame had huge ramifications for the MCU in a conceptual sense, however, and I can’t help but think about them any time I rewatch the movie. As well as being arguably the first movie in the MCU not to work on its own, Endgame also stands at a crucial point in the franchise’s development. This isn’t as great as it seems, though.
Every time I watch Endgame, I’m struck by how important its stories are for the wider MCU. Unfortunately, anything post-Endgame appears to consider the movie required viewing, and in turn, one should ideally have watched all of the Infinity Saga. This makes the entire franchise necessary viewing for each new product, as its connected nature has long since reached the point of no return.
4 Endgame’s Roster Of Heroes Is Incredibly Imbalanced Endgame Does A Poor Job Of Including Certain Heroes Close Avengers: Endgame may well have featured an unprecedented number of heroes, but rewatching the movie, I was struck by how imbalanced they all seem. For a start, it’s clear that some of Endgame’s Avengers are far more powerful than others. Captain Marvel is a major asset in the fight against Thanos, while the likes of Hawkeye, for example, are far less useful in the Battle of Earth. There’s a clear hierarchy of power that plays a role in Endgame’s hero balance, but it doesn’t quite work as it should.
The balance is further upset by Endgame’s inconsistent focus. Specific characters are given much more focus than others, and it doesn’t necessarily represent their actual contribution to its story. Ant-Man, for example, is heavily featured in the movie, despite having relatively little to do in the grand scheme of things. This approach to Endgame’s cast makes it feel more than a little imbalanced, and it’s hard to ignore on rewatching.
3 Endgame Feels Less Substantial Than It Did On Release Endgame's Impact Has Lessened Over Time In Comparison With Other Avengers Movies Close One of the most striking realizations I had when rewatching Endgame is how much my perception of it has changed since its release. With other Avengers movies, such as 2012’s The Avengers, its impactful moments seem just as powerful even more than decade later, but Endgame’s feel a little more toothless than they once did. Compared with the MCU’s other movies focusing on the team of heroes, Endgame surprisingly fails to pack the same punch.
The likes of Infinity War and even Age of Ultron still work on all the same levels, whereas Endgame’s sense of finality has been whittled away by subsequent MCU releases. Though it seemed upon release to be a movie that effectively ended the MCU as it was, this proved not to be true. The franchise being alive and largely unchanged ultimately undermines some of Endgame’s impact, even if it’s hard to see without rewatching the movie.
2 Endgame Skipped Over Important MCU Stories Many Plot Points Were Lost In The Blip Close The story of the MCU has featured many heroes, and some of the franchise’s founding Avengers underwent major changes in Endgame. The missing five years known as the Blip were hugely important for those who lived through it, such as Hulk, Hawkeye, and Iron Man. However, when rewatching Endgame, it became abundantly clear to me that the MCU had skipped over some of the heroes’ most important narrative developments.
Hulk becoming Professor Hulk was later addressed by She-Hulk, just as Hawkeye’s time as the bloodthirsty Ronin was referenced in Hawkeye. Tony Stark becoming a father was another major moment that the MCU missed, though it hasn’t come up much since his death. So many important developments for major MCU heroes being lost in the Blip might work on a conceptual level, but it’s an incredibly frustrating fact for an MCU fan watching back over Endgame and realizing just how much the franchise left out.
1 Endgame’s Character Development Still Hasn’t Been Topped Endgame Featured The MCU's Deepest Character Development Close As Endgame is a movie that was packed with hugely significant moments to both the past and future of the MCU, it’s fair to say that many in the audience missed some of its finer points on the first viewing. Rewatching Endgame five years on, it struck me just how excellent some of the movie’s character development is, even though it’s incredibly understated. Thor and Iron Man’s stories in particular stood out as especially powerful, albeit for very different reasons.
Thor’s extreme guilt after losing to Thanos sends him spiraling into a depression, with only the vague chance of redemption helping to lift him out of his despair. Stark is similarly affected, launching himself into family life as a means of living with his loss. The pair of heroes make their reluctant return to help guide the team to victory, making for one of the MCU’s most subtly triumphant pieces of character growth. It’s something that the franchise has been unable to top in the years since, making it perhaps the most positive realization I had upon rewatching Avengers: Endgame.
Avengers: Endgame PG-13 Where to Watch *Availability in US
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Director Joe Russo , Anthony Russo Release Date April 26, 2019 Runtime 182 Minutes Upcoming Marvel Movies
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