So, The Embargo Has Been Lifted, Here’s My Biggest Problem With Avengers: Endgame
Leading up to what would be one of the biggest box office openings of all time, diehard fans of Marvel’s Avengers found leaked footage from the final installment of the series and dropped it online, making everyone who worked on the film very unhappy. To the point that the directors had to publicly ask all viewers to not ruin the film by posting spoilers online till at least after the second weekend. Now that the Russo brothers have lifted the #DontSpoilTheEndgame informal ban, we can finally discuss in detail, and nuance, Avengers: Endgame.
The success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is one that no other franchise has met. MCU has consistently delivered top performing movies, with strong celebrity leads, good storylines, realistic CGI animations, and humor (the latter being wildly disregarded in the DC cinematic universe).
However bizarre the concepts for Marvel movies got, the one thing that they had going for them is that it wasn’t as dystopian as Blade Runner or as CGI-heavy as Batman Vs Superman. It still always felt like these movies could have happened IRL. The human element was never lost, which made the movies relatable.
That was till they pushed the envelope of reality for true fiction – time travel.
In order to save the world and rescue half of the universe’s population that had be extinguished by Thanos’ snap of the infinity gauntlet, the remaining Avengers, post Infinity War, must go back in time and stop a younger and unknowing Thanos from finding the infinity stones.
It’s a time heist.
And here’s where it all gets fogged up.
Introducing the time travel element was always a strong possibility, especially with Doctor Strange (who is a superhero in possession of the time infinity stone).
But in Avengers: Endgame, time travel, came across as a deus ex machina - a phrase used to describe any situation where something unexpected or implausible is brought in to the story line to resolve situations or disentangle a plot. The resolution could come from a new character, device, or event. It is a way to introduce a plot device to move the story along with your desired outcome – not what would have naturally happened in the plot.
Time travel is such an easy out for the Avengers series. It’s obvious and tired device to move the story along. Albeit, Avengers: Endgame did do a fair job portraying time travel, but even at it’s best, it is still unrealistic. Even for a superhero movie.
The idea of time travel something that’s already hard to follow, and Endgame makes it more complicated.
From what we know of Back To The Future, the Harry Potter series, Men In Black, X-Men, and countless other films, is that time travel works a certain way. That is, if you go back in time and alter the past, it will have a correlating effect to the present. "Back To The Future has been lying to you," according to Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd).
Not only does Endgame introduce time travel, it also rewrites the preexisting theories of time travel. It’s not one or the other; it’s both. It’s a whole new concept.
The use of time travel is already a convenient way to move the plot along, but to change the rules as well has many sci-fi purists raising their fists in rage.
Nonetheless, at least it was tastefully done. The film had multiple scenes explaining how time and timelines worked in their universe, and at the end all if it did come together (in a way). All we’re saying is that the Avengers is above using time travel to move the plot along. It’s no Hot Tub Time Machine.