‘Avengers: Endgame’ is as good as it gets

An honor roll of characters in Endgame. Press photo

By Rene Pastor

It seems more than fitting that Endgame finishes the arc of Avenger movies in the Marvel Universe that began with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man in 2008.

On a dreary Friday with low, dark clouds bringing rain to the AMC Theaters in Linden, New Jersey, I drove at 8 in the morning to watch the three-hour, two-minute long flick. The movie set single-day records in certain Asian markets, such as the Philippines and China, according to industry reports.

I have been watching the various Marvel movies since “Iron Man.” Almost 60 years old now, I would try to scrounge up enough pesos to buy in Cubao the early favorite characters of my childhood. Most of the time, I wound up buying Superman and Batman, the Flash and Green Lantern. But Thor, the Hulk and Captain America were never far behind and when those comic book characters were finally made into such well-crafted movies in the 21st century, I flocked to the movie house to take them in.

DC is trying to match the Marvel universe, but Disney kind of beat them to the punch and has dominated the superhero franchise since. Endgame is a fitting coda to the titanic, battle-to-the-death war with Thanos.

The highlight of Endgame is when everybody who was killed off in “Infinity War” came back. It was almost like an honor roll of the characters that populated a young geek’s dreams while growing up in the streets of Cubao and then Katipunan Avenue. Somehow, you knew the good guys would win. And the world would be right again.

But it was close and right up to the last action-filled scene; the outcome was very much in doubt. The endings though were bittersweet.

That is how it should be. The comic book characters were not one-dimensional heroes who always triumphed over their enemies.

What mattered, in their lives as in ours, are the way they lived and the way they fulfilled that very Star Trek saying by Spock: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Captain James Kirk then added: “Or the one.”

Just one aside in Endgame. I never thought Chris Hemsworth as Thor could be so funny as a beer-soaked God of Thunder who eventually joins the crew of a group of heroes at the end of the movie.

I especially loved the way they handled what happened to Captain America. More than 70 years later from the time he ends up fighting the Nazis and the Red Skull, he gets hitched and grows old with the only person he ever loved. It is endearing and tender. Watch out for the ring on his finger.

Like the “Harry Potter” series which spanned a decade, the Marvel movies did the same thing. For the current batch of thespians, it ends here. But there will be other Marvel movies going out in the years ahead and will take the franchise in other directions.

One woman, a fan of the Marvel movies, said: “Well, one chapter closes with Endgame. I know they will replace the current characters but to me, Downey will always be Iron Man.”

© The FilAm 2019

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: