Last night, I went with some friends to see Endgame. You should know that I am a huge Avengers fan (movies, at least) and have opinions on the character development and arc for each of the heroes (though, the Hulk is my favorite). There are certainly a number of spoiler-free reviews and a number of spoilers out there, so I don’t particularly want to write a review or provide spoilers.
(It was pretty much perfect. Maybe one in-poor-taste joke (hint: cheez whiz) and one token contrived moment (think “she’s not alone”), but otherwise, it was a really great end to an era. We fans have invested over 40 hours of our time watching the movies that led up to this moment. And for those who don’t get it… they just don’t get it.)
Instead, I’ve been thinking about the why behind it all.
Why are we so enthusiastic about this franchise? And why so much about this particular movie?
It’s not only because it’s the end of an arc. There’s more to it. It’s about something bigger. For those 40+ hours, and especially ever since the Avengers first assembled in 2012, we get to be a part of that something bigger. Yes, Thanos’s snap erases half the universe’s population, but it isn’t about the universe. It isn’t about the physical size of the thing (but it doesn’t hurt). It’s about the stakes (and the stakes could not be higher than in Endgame); it’s about everyone coming together to do what clearly needs to be done.
In Civil War, the Avengers were fractured. There were two different philosophies, neither right nor wrong, but definitely mutually exclusive. The minute the stakes were higher, they came together for what had to be done. Yes, in Infinity War, I thought it was absurd that Cap wouldn’t allow Vision to sacrifice himself. And yes, more than one character was hesitant in Endgame initially. But eventually, they come together for something bigger than any one individual, any one philosophy, any one perspective.
In a time when the world is fractured and countries are moving towards isolationism, no one can be blamed for wanting to lose themselves in the MCU where everyone shows up.
In that moment, nothing which divides us is more important than that which unites us. And that is very rare.