Parade’s End: Thoughts on Endgame

!Warning! Endgame spoilers! Turn back now!

avengers-endgame-poster-top-half

After about ten years and twenty movies and we’ve finally seen the culmination of one of the most ambitious film projects in history. Whether you like the MCU or superhero movies in general, you have to concede that Infinity War and Endgame represent one of the biggest moments in modern popular culture. We have such few examples of monoculture nowadays, that it is cool to see so many people around the world hyped over one movie.

Personally, I really enjoyed it. I can’t think of any other examples where a movie had to meet so many expectations. Maybe Phantom Menace. And that certainly didn’t deliver. It’s not like these ensemble movies write themselves either. Look at Justice League to see how easily something like this can go sideways.

Gotta give lots of respect to the Russo brothers. I’ll admit that I had my doubts when they were brought on for Winter Soldier, but I was clearly wrong. I mean, who has ever watched an episode of Arrested Development or Community and thought these guys could do something like that battle scene in Endgame? They’re apparently moving on from the MCU and I’m excited to see what they’re gonna do next.

This is obviously a huge turning point in general for the MCU. A few integral characters have been killed off or semi-retired, and a new crop are being positioned towards the centre. Also, Disney seems to have corralled all the Marvel IPs, so we can probably expect the X-Men and Fantastic Four, etc to be brought into the fold.

What has impressed me most about the MCU project is that they managed to pull this off without their most famous characters: Wolverine and Spider-Man. I was skeptical that Iron Man, Captain America and Thor could carry this thing. But it was really Robert Downey Jr that made it all happen. It was therefore only fitting that he got the big hero’s exit.

Personally, I was really hoping that it would be Nebula to kill Thanos, but I can see why they went with Tony.

Nebula

Speaking of personal wishes not coming true, I’ve noticed a vocal minority of fans lashing out at Cap’s ending with hashtags like #notmysteverogers. There’s more than a few thinkpieces going around that “Stucky” never got its due. Some people are even suggesting that this is the Russos lashing out at fandoms shipping these characters. Nevermind that it was the Russos who really pushed Stucky in Winter Soldier and Civil War.

What pisses me off about this kinda fandom entitlement is that instead of just saying “well, this is what I wanted and am disappointed it didn’t happen” these stans feel the need to raise their disappointment to the level of low rent criticism. I’m sorry, but it isn’t out of character (OOC) for Cap to want to have a relationship with Peggy. His heartache over that loss has been a steady part of his character throughout the entire MCU. It’s not unreasonable that the guy felt totally spent after all he’s been though and decided it was his time to live his own life on his terms.

Now, the ending prioritizes Falcon over Bucky. But so what? Falcon had a strong relationship with Cap, too. Personally, it seemed Cap was sitting there like he was leaving it up to them to see who would take up the mantle. And Bucky encouraged Falcon to go for it. Within this MCU, it makes more sense for Falcon to be Cap now. Maybe you felt like Stucky needed a more proper sendoff, but I don’t see anything egregiously wrong here with regards to character arcs, etc.

Again, it’s perfectly fine to be disappointed that a franchise you’ve invested a lot in didn’t go a certain direction you were expecting or hoping. But to take your personal disappointment and use it to shit all over said franchise is the kinda toxic fandom bullshit we’ve seen time and again with stuff like Star Wars.

There’s lots of great reasons I could give why Nebula should’ve been the one to stop Thanos, but there’s great reasons for Tony as well. The creators have to make tough choices and maybe they felt like after *three* movies of Stucky, that was a relationship that didn’t need more precious screen time. For all we know, they may have shot such a scene but felt like it detracted from Falcon’s moment.

Kant said that aesthetic judgment is a subjective experience that feels objective. We see a work of art and we feel like our personal experience of it should be felt by everyone else. But that’s impossible. That’s what makes art such a confounding and fun–in my opinion anyway–to debate. This paradox, which Kant articulated so beautifully, applies more than ever in our social media age of endless verbiage.

cheers,

-b

~ by braddunne on April 28, 2019.

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