By Nick Maylor
Having already become the second highest-grossing film of all time, Avengers: Endgame (2019) is a film that one could easily argue is loaded with “awesome”. After months of anticipation, I presented the 10 things I wanted to see the most in the massive, ensemble superhero blockbuster. I left the theatre having not gotten everything I wanted. Nevertheless, I was completely thrilled and satisfied with what I got. The film is filled to the brim with fan service, emotional highs and lows, uproarious laughs and plenty of spectacle. Although many future viewings are surely in store, after my initial reaction to the film, here is my list of the 10 most awesome moments from Avengers: Endgame.
Needless to say, MAJOR SPOILERS ahead.
10. THOR ORDINSON: FAT, DRUNK, BADASS VIKING
Did you come to the theatre excited to see Chris Hemsworth all jacked and trim? Did you love being wrong? I did.
There’s a meme floating around right now that goes: “Thanks to Thor, I now have the body of a god.”
He finished off Thanos, settled New Asgard and then just lost his shit for the next five years. Steeped in a depression, he spent most of his time playing videogames with Korg and Miek. Thor’s put on a few pounds and basically looks like The Dude from The Big Lebowski (1998). Yet, when he gathers with Iron Man and Captain America to face down Thanos (the other one), lightning shoots down from the sky, giving Thor his battle armour. He doesn’t magically become muscular and well-kempt. This was a pleasant surprise. He looks ten-times more badass with that long beard and the braided hair; the kind of style a Norse thunder god should be rocking. It doesn’t hurt that he simultaneously wielded Mjolnir and Stormbreaker, the weapon he used to decapitate Thanos.
The Avengers travel to Thanos’ garden in an attempt to steal the infinity gauntlet to reverse the snap. Upon discovering that a severely wounded Thanos used the stones to destroy the stones, Thor just has enough of the Mad Titan’s BS and decides to rectify his colossal mistake from the end of Avengers: Infinity War (2018). As Thanos starts to ramble about his motivations, Thor uses Stormbreaker to cut his head clean off while the big purple conservationist/genocidal maniac was in mid-sentence.
He went for the head. It was awesome.
9. THE ONCE AND FUTURE CAP/PASSING THE SHIELD
To comic-book aficionados, it’s not terribly surprising that this moment happened. In the world of print, both Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson have taken up the mantle of “Captain America”, succeeding Steve Rogers in the role of the red, white and blue Avenger. After Rogers decides to stay in the past and live a full life, he returns to the moment he left (now as an old man) to give a final send-off to his friends. After Sam Wilson (Falcon) says he is not ready to live in a world without Captain America, Rogers hands Wilson the iconic hero’s shield. Deciding to go with Sam over Bucky, Marvel nevertheless gave a nod to Barnes’ association with the character as Sam Wilson gets a nod of approval from Bucky before taking hold of the shield. Wilson says that it feels like it belongs to someone else. Rogers simply responds by saying “It isn’t”, passing the torch to Wilson, allowing him to take up the mantle. A beautiful moment in the film’s final moments.
8. I WANT A CHEESEBURGER
The Marvel Cinematic Universe would not exist without Jon Favreau, who directed the first film in the franchise, Iron Man (2008). Having played the character of Happy Hogan throughout the franchise’s history, we see him at Tony Stark’s funeral comforting Tony’s daughter, Morgan. When the child expresses her desire for a cheeseburger, Hogan smiles and informs Morgan that her father liked cheeseburgers too, before telling Morgan that he will get her all the cheeseburgers she wants. This was a throwback to Iron Man (2008) wherein upon returning from captivity, Tony Stark declares that the first thing he wants is an “American cheeseburger” before holding a press conference.
7. TONY HUGS PETER
Tony has been overwhelmed with guilt after losing Peter Parker during the snap. Seeing the young Avenger as a surrogate son, Tony’s worst fears were realized when Spider-Man was ashed away, leaving Tony to live with his failure. After the film’s actions lead to the fallen being resurrected to return to fight Thanos, Peter approaches Tony, rapidly explaining to him what happened after he was ashed and subsequently resurrected. Tony can only smile and grab the young Avenger, embracing him with a hug. Tony never felt such love and humility. A truly beautiful moment.
6. HAIL HYDRA
During the Avengers’ mission to go back in time to capture the Infinity stones, Captain America finds himself in an elevator with SHIELD agents carrying Loki’s scepter from The Avengers (2012). Although the past-version of Cap didn’t know it at the time, these agents are secretly working for HYDRA, something our Cap knows. In what looks like a recreation of the elevator scene from Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Cap finds himself in an elevator with the HYDRA agents but this time, instead of a massive brawl, Cap uses his advanced knowledge of their loyalties to gain access to the scepter by uttering “Hail HYDRA”. This itself is an homage to a recent comic-book storyline that saw a clone of Steve Rogers working as a HYDRA agent.
5. OLD MAN ROGERS
In the movie’s closing moments, Captain America is revealed to have stayed in the past and lived a full life on his own with his love, Peggy Carter. It’s the victory and the win that Captain America always deserved and it is incredibly satisfying to see that the film version of the character got it. Chris Evans appears as the aged Steve Rogers. There is something utterly brilliant and nuanced about this small performance as the aged cap that left me spellbound, even long after I had left the theatre. Evans is simply brilliant as old man Rogers. I’d go so far as to say the performance is as good as the best of Marlon Brando. I was speechless. Utterly brilliant.
4. “I AM IRON MAN”
During the third act battle, Tony Stark once again finds himself battling Thanos one-on-one. We see that the tables were so close to being turned that Thanos even got another “snap” out with the Infinity Gauntlet. It is only at that moment that we see Tony has stolen all of the stones from Thanos, rendering the latter’s snap meaningless. In a moment of ultimate triumph and sacrifice, Tony incorporates the Infinity Stones into his nanotech suit, creating a gauntlet of his own. As Thanos boldly declares that he is “inevitable”, Tony responds with the same line that finished off the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe all those years ago. I… Am… Iron Man…
Tony then snaps, ashing away all of Thanos’ minions, his army and the Mad Titan himself. Tony likely knew this would kill him, making it the ultimate sacrifice.
3. CAP WEILDS MJOLNIR
We knew there would be laughs and tears, but we also knew there would be moments of uproarious cheering during this epic movie. I genuinely screamed for joy when this moment happened. As Thor lays down, nearly defeated, Thanos seems about to waste him by stabbing him with Stormbreaker. Not a moment too soon, Thanos is knocked over by the floating hammer of Thor, Mjolnir. We then see the legendary weapon fly back to the hand of the man now wielding it: Captain America himself. It was a pure and awesome joy. During Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), we see each of the Avengers unsuccessfully attempt to lift Mjolnir. The hammer does not even budge, except when Cap tried to lift it. Thor looks on with panic but Rogers seems to fail just like all the others. The Russo Brothers have recently stated that Cap was always “worthy”, he simply did not want to upstage his fellow Avenger.
2. THE WOMEN’S MARCH
There is an ongoing comic-book series called “A-Force” featuring a lineup of exclusively female Avengers. During this badass moment from the film, every Marvel maiden from The Wasp, Pepper Pots, Shuri, Okoye, Gamora, Mantis and Captain Marvel assemble to march into battle against Thanos. I haven’t felt such pride in “Girl Power” since seeing Wonder Woman (2017), as a 32-year old man, I can only imagine the power this scene had on all the girls and women who shared the viewing experience with me in that theatre. It was simply awesome.
1. “AVENGERS, ASSEMBLE!”
We’ve been waiting for years to hear the Avengers’ legendary battle cry. Was there any doubt that this moment would take the top spot? Every hero imaginable lined up to face Thanos. Cap yelled out “Avengers…”, summoned Mjolnir and almost whispered “Assemble”. It was earned. It was brilliant. It was damned near perfect.
Nick is an actor/writer/comedian/musician from Hamilton, ON Canada. Having been a film nut since the early days of his life, Nick has had an obsession with cinema and popular entertainment. Nick has written for thecinemaholic.com and is currently working on a book about the American Cinema Renaissance (1967-present) with John H. Foote. Nick met John when studying acting at the Toronto Film School, for which John H. Foote was director and Film History professor. The two have been arguing ever since.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickMaylor