By August Edwards
After 22 movies, the world’s most excruciating soap opera has come to an end with “Avengers: Endgame.” What has compelled us to watch and re-watch for over a decade, has left us with victories, individual and shared, to celebrate.
We all know the good guys are going to win at the end, which might be welcome encouragement with the knowledge that we’ll have to sit through three hours and one minute to receive a payoff. The mystery of Endgame — or, the potential for spoilers — for those who haven’t seen it yet, does not lie within the overall arc of action, but within the emotional resonance, each character brings to the screen.
Does it warrant the length? Of course, because of how it is. Everything about this film is significant. Substantial. Even the subtleties (whatever “subtlety” means within this franchise) are grandiose; characters that are bound to have minimal screen-time still beg us to savor every moment they deliver—and it is easy to do so. “Endgame” moves fast. The humor is nuanced, the jokes land. While transitional moments rely on laughs to keep the story moving, this does not obscure the dark moments that are paced long enough to solicit tears.
Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), namely, cannot find a way to live with the past; they are haunted to the point of torture. Unlike “Infinity War,” Thanos seems to be more of a plot device than a real obstacle. This could be for many reasons; we already know what his motives are, and, simply put, he’s already done what he’s done. In this fashion, Thanos becomes a metaphor for what the Avengers are fighting.
We are at an age where “spoiling” is a sin. I will not share anything about the film that might upset somebody, but I would like to share what “Avengers: Endgame” has taught me about spoilers in light of how our heroes battle demons from the past.
We’re afraid of losing the particular feeling of raw emotion that comes with experiencing something for the first time. We might even put pressure on ourselves to feel something to the degree at which we believe it should be explored. We recognize a smaller payoff in finding out the secrets before we’re meant to. Not only do we react with anger, but we are also filled with a sort of grim realization — that, in context, the feeling we’ve long awaited just won’t hit the same.
While we can’t go back in time and fix the past to how we would like it to be, we can choose what we do with our present. The Avengers in Endgame has provided a compelling argument for living each moment to the fullest, even if we think we know what the outcome will be.
“Avengers: Endgame” is enjoyable. Watching noble characters we love to fight for what they love is, without a doubt, inspiring. It is freeing to be able to cry and laugh next to someone who is also crying and laughing in the same darkness with the same glow emanating onto their faces. I think these feelings can be accomplished even if something has been spoiled. It might all depend on how present we are.
Poster courtesy of IMDb.