The long-awaited sequel to the “Avengers Infinity War” cliffhanger has arrived and one of two opening sequences, begin with something rarely seen in a Marvel movie, consequences. The three-hour epic, again directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, have touted this finale as something that will change the genre forever. The irony for the Avengers franchise is concluding the same week as television epic “Game of Thrones”. While the two franchises have different fanbases, the biggest differences are “Avengers” (Marvel) is trying to please everyone, sell toys and ensure there are future sequels for families to enjoy. “Game of Thrones” cares little to nothing about how its audience feels after the dust settles and intends to tell whatever story it deems needs to be told. The other notable difference is the respect and equality given to female characters.
The Universe has suffered a tremendous blow after Thanos (Josh Brolin) randomly erased half of all living creatures from existence. The surviving Avengers: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must work with Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) to decide to travel back in time and change the future. They formulate a plan to split up and go back into their own past to get each of the powerful Infinity Stones before Thanos acquires them. Each one must face events in the past and some are forced to make great personal sacrifices. Tony Stark warns against the dangers of doing this, but ultimately decides he can’t live with himself if he doesn’t try.
You might expect with the global numbers and record breaking success of “Captain Marvel,” Brie Larson’s latest addition would demand she be one of the key components in this story. You would be wrong, she has very limited screen-time, as do all of the female characters. Marvel has always had a female character problem, and as we saw in “Infinity Wars,” one of the two characters killed was a female. You won’t find any spoilers here, but I am stunned with the excess of white male characters running around. Why we can’t get rid of a few more of those? While nearly every female character does get a few seconds of screen time, they are rarely involved in the main plot of the story. Even when the battle rages, fleeting moments of screen-time are offered to our heroines only to cut back to the men so they can have the more of the same climactic moments we have seen for a decade.
While “Game of Thrones” is a television show that has had nine years to develop characters, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had four “Avengers” movies and countless spinoffs that rarely feature a female in the main role. The hands of power on both the heroic and villainous side reside with women in “Game of Thrones”, queens versus queens, instead of the major female characters in Marvel who are wives or mothers.
“Avengers” fans will get off very easy compared to the fan favorites expected to die this Sunday on what’s being called the longest battle on film or television in “Game of Thrones.” “Avengers Endgame” will please those already drunk on the Kool-Aid and ready to love the movie before they even see it. Looking at the film as just another movie, it doesn’t break any new barriers as far as cinematography, musical score or editing are concerned. For those expecting “Game of Thrones”, or heck, even “X-Men The Last Stand” casualties in “Endgame,” lower your expectations.
Final Thought – “Endgame” is a paltry attempt to introduce true catastrophe and finality into its franchise when compared with more fearless and ground breaking epics.