FW Presents – Avengers: Endgame

Fire and Water Network Assemble! Network All-Stars Chris, Rob, Ryan, Xum, Siskoid and Shotgun band together for a SPOILER-HEAVY discussion of AVENGERS: ENDGAME!

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30 responses to “FW Presents – Avengers: Endgame

  1. I think there are 3 interesting items to consider following this movie:

    1. How do the careers of Hemsworth, Evans, and even Downey fare going forward. Financially, they’re all set but outside of the Marvel movies they’ve not been able to sell many tickets. Will they follow the Chris Reeves example of having a fine (but lower profile) career as they age out of their superhero prime?

    2. I’m also surprised how many people seem to think we won’t be seeing Tony, Steve, and the others onscreen again. The superhero genre is defined by the “never-ending” battle aspect, and these characters need to persist in the larger culture. There is no definitive ending for any of these heroes. As a new generation of fans, moviegoers, & comics readers gets older they will want their versions of these characters for their own generation (and they should). Marvel paid billions for the characters and not the individual actors. Many of my students seem to think that there will be no more Wolverine movies after Logan either. It’s as if they would stop making Bond movies after Connery left in the 1970s. Let’s give it a few years and then let the casting rumors begin.

    3. My last thought on the MCU franchise is how most of the films don’t seem, for me anyway, to have a rewatchability factor. I’ve enjoyed them all to various degrees individually, but do I really plan on watching Ant-Man or Dr. Strange again? For me, the MCU movies are more akin to a big-budget TV series. Some individual moments may be weak but it’s worthwhile overall. Also, artistically the movies are relatively indistinguishable from one another. The directors they’ve selected are fine journeymen but few put their own stamp on the productions. That’s probably asking too much as they were hired to make each film fit into the larger whole.

    It’s a real accomplishment what Disney has pulled off here. Maybe they will have the Guardians of the Galaxy meet the Skywalkers some day!

    1. > Marvel paid billions for the characters and not the individual actors.

      Chuck, I’ve struggled with this from day one.

      On the one hand, I agree with Rob’s POV in this episode; it’s nice to have some closure for these characters, since we’ve never had that.

      But at the same time, comic artists change all the time. And so, we don’t *have* to have the end of a character, just because an actor has aged out or his contract has expired. Yes, of course, Evens, Helmsworth, RDJ, and Jackman have given us *very* definitive versions of these characters. And no, I’m not looking for them to replaced tomorrow.

      But why can’t we have these characters come back with other actors? We’ve seen it with Hulk and with Rhodey. These characters should be open to different interpretations, without having to reboot the entire universe or start over from scratch.

      1. Here’s a counter argument. We’ve had a LOT of Iron Man and Cap material in the past 12 years. No one thought they could be stars, they were the B-team because Marvel didn’t have access to Spider-Man, the X-Men or the 90s vigilantes. The MCU made them stars to the point where people want them re-cast. Well, why do we need that? I feel like it’s the kind of thinking that has made DC’s brand wallow in reiterations of Superman and Batman almost exclusively for decades, and gave us the “really? this again?” Amazing Spider-Man that had people initially saying Homecoming didn’t interest them. The Avengers became the A-team, and now there’s a new B-team to turn into stars just waiting in the wings.

        Sure, there may be call for a reinterpretation in 10 years, but as long as they are calling this the same one continuity, it would be a disservice to the franchise to recast them, not when the comics can be mined for not-Tony Iron Men, not-Steve Caps, and so on. The Hulk and Rhodey in NO WAY had the same following or history when they were recast.

  2. I’m with you on point 3, Chuck C. Even the films I strongly enjoyed I haven’t rewatched. Once the spectacle is over the law of diminishing returns sets in for me. It’s like a good piece of cake – yeah, I liked it when I ate but it’s not something I need again.

    1. I tend to rewatch most of these films quite a bit. I think mileage just varies on that.

      Their constant rotation of them on FX must mean some other folks like to watch them over and over and over…


      1. I recently remembered I had some of these on blu-ray that have gone unwatched. I think the only recent hero files I rewatched were Logan and the No Man’s Land scene in Wonder Woman.

        I’m glad these exist for the people that enjoy them. Except the Thor films, nobody deserves those – not even criminals!

        1. I love the first two Thor films, specifically the second one. I love watching heroes fight mythic monsters rather than just Shield or the military over and over again. Bottom of my list are Iron Man 2 and 3.

  3. If Marvel/Disney does a daughters of Thanos show or movie, Gamora & Nebula could be their answer to Thelma and Louise.

  4. I truly appreciated the team effort it took to cover Endgame, and enjoyed the discussion a great deal. The group pointed out several things I missed on my first viewing, so I’m now properly prepared for my second viewing. Beyond that, I just had three comments to make.

    1. Like a couple of you, I was a little disappointed in the five-years-later Hulk. I had hoped that Endgame would bring some resolution to the fracturing of the Banner-Hulk “relationship” that occurred in Infinity War. Apparently, that resolution happened. Unfortunately, it all happened off-screen, where we couldn’t see it.

    2. I saw the movie with my wife and daughter, and they both cheered when all of the Marvel women rallied around Captain Marvel. I agree that the scene wasn’t integral to the plot, but it was bloody awesome.

    3. In regards to Endgame raising Doctor Strange’s profile, my daughter came out of the movie declaring that her favorite characters in the MCU are now Scarlet Witch and Doctor Strange. That’s a big deal, because she rarely (if ever) gives a second thought to the boy characters.

    Overall, I loved the movie, but definitely need to see it again to help process it all.

  5. All of your cap theories don’t work with how time travels works in the rest of the movie. There’s no way for him to insert himself into MCU prime that way without creating a new timeline.

    So he must have been in an alternate one. And since he was fairly happy, he can’t have untimely outlived Peggy and their kids in that timeline. And he wouldn’t have abandoned that family, likely not even the grandkids. So what I’m saying is he’s probably pushing 200 years old at that point, when he finally comes home. In a stealth suit, probably, because the man knows how to make an entrance.

    1. Since our show the Russos have confirmed Cap did indeed live in an alternate timeline with Peggy. I think I like that better, because we can suppose she and Cap took down Hydra, saved Bucky, etc, early, taking advantage of Cap’s knowledge. I prefer it to thinking Cap let bad stuff happen just to preserve a timeline. And he used his Stark Time GPS and Pym Particles to come back to his Prime Timeline and hand the shield to Sam after Peggy died. Who knows, he may have went back to that other timeline to see his kids afterwards.


      1. Right. We were discussing how Cap would go back in time and live in the past *without* changing anything and thus creating an alternate timeline… momentarily forgetting that Cap had the time-space GPS (and had taken more Pym Particles than needed in 1970), to be able to come back to his original timeline in 2023 at the end of the movie…

  6. Seeing a lot of teeth gnashing online and in other podcasts about the time travel mechanics used in the film. As a one-time physics major, I fist pumped when Bruce dismissed Rhodey’s (and the audience’s) Back to the Future assumptions. Quantum mechanics does not support the single-timeline assertions of Back to the Future, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, Doctor Who (sorry Shag), etc. Bruce’s explanation is fully grounded in current scientific theory (actual theory—as borne out in experimentation and computation, not just a guess).

    Though not explained in the film, the reason our heroes can return to their present is because Stark’s time GPS devices have to operate via some kind of quantum entanglement, like that between Janet and Scott in Ant-Man & The Wasp.

    Overall, I enjoyed the film but had some serious issues with it. Plot convenience saved the day as much as our heroes in this film. If it hadn’t been for Carol just happening to cross the Benatar’s path or a random rat stepping on random buttons, the Thanos-induced dystopia would have continued.

    Back to the basement of the science building…

    1. Carol didn’t just happen across the Benatar’s path. We see at the the end of Captain Marvel that she has already met the Avengers, and the beginning of Endgame shows that they’ve been working together. The implication is that she was sent to find Tony.

      The rat is pure happenstance. But then again, presumably it didn’t hit the right combination of buttons in the other 14 million + futures foreseen by Dr Strange, all of which would have made for less entertaining stories.

      1. When I was watching Endgame, I had the same issue as Iced De, thinking that Carol happened upon the Benetar. It was only after I walked out of the film that I realized the post-credits sequence in Captain Marvel wasn’t a scene from Endgame, but took place just after Infinity War ended. She then goes out to get them and bring them back to Earth.

        The Russo’s confirmed last week that the rat did save the universe, and that Doctor Strange had foreseen that the one future that they did win, included the rat stepping on that button to get Scott out.

  7. I thought this movie was a hot mess. Now the hot was very hot but it seemed more like a collection of great scenes than a good story. I told my kids to enjoy it and not to think about it too much. I could not stay in the movie but i kept seeing issues. I will rewatch parts of the movie.

      1. I personally don’t think Endgame is much messier than any of the Marvel (or super hero) films, for that matter. Just like the comics, they all rely on plot contrivances and lots of coincidences. Endgame may set itself up for more criticism due to all the time travel rules they lay down, and for being the wrap-up to 22 movies. But the fact that they tie a bow in so many threads so well is amazing to me. I agree with Siskoid that the Russos don’t have to answer all of these questions. It’s cool that they care to do so, but I don’t need everything answered. That’s part of the fun, figuring it out for yourself.


  8. To each his own. I know a lot of people like it but for me it’s middle of the pack. I’m not sure why no one saw Tony Stark doing the sacrifice play when it was really broadcasted in the last movie. It’s better than bad but it’s just not something that I would really ever need to watch a again except for big fight scene. I personally can’t wait to see what they do next.

    1. Oh, many of us did see the Stark sacrifice play months before the release of Endgame… I suppose the fact that we had discussed it via personal message before was why it did not come up in the recorded conversation…

  9. Ryan mentioned the track “Portals” on the soundtrack. Of course, that’s the music that backgrounds the arrival of all the heroes for the final battle. I really loved that the biggest crescendo leading up to everyone rallying around Cap is the moment when Pepper arrives. I loved the emphasis Silvestri put on her. And one of my favorite moments was when she and Tony are fighting back to back. While short, it was a beautiful image to see spouses as partners and supporting each other.

    1. Agreed Paco. And I have since bought the soundtrack, and am wearing out “Portals” and the track before it “Worth It”, which has that great moment where Cap does that thing everyone wanted, but didn’t quite expect.


  10. Finally had the chance to see it. It was a good movie but definitely lacking a sense of fun overall. A young friend told me that Disney will never make another Iron Man movie and she seemed convinced of this. Do any of the more “mature” fans out there actually believe it. Yes, the upcoming MCU films will surely play up the legacy aspect but that will fade. Steve Rogers is Cap, Tony Stark is Iron just as Bruce and Clark are Batman and Superman. They shall return.

    I saw one guy say he’s sad he’ll never hear the phrase “I am Iron Man” spoken again onscreen. How many decades of “Bond…James Bond” lines have we heard? Can you imagine the publicity several years ahead when Iron Man Returns hits theaters?

    What do you all think is the time frame for the next Wolverine actor to be chosen?

  11. Sorry for such a late reply, but I FINALLY got a chance to see the movie, which I tried very hard to limit the amount of spoilers, which mean I finally got to listen to this episode. It was a fantastic episode that brought all the contributors into one conversation (not unlike Endgame bringing in all the heroes into one film!). It was great to hear all the different reviews and what different moments people related to the most.
    Have any of you watched the movie since and have any of the reviews changed? I would be interested to hear if repeated viewings have brought any other thoughts to the forefront or whether you picked up on things you didn’t notice the first time.
    For my two cents, both Infinity War and Endgame have impressed me so much just on the sheer scale and ability to pull off such a spectacle. As for the stories in themselves, I not a huge fan. As mentioned above, these movies pull from comics in the need for coincidences and plot contrivances. I don’t think that is bad, but when you see 22 movies that are set up like this, it can start to feel a little old. On the other hand, I feel like Marvel have changed movie making so much, now everyone and their dog are trying to make their own connected movie universes, so I have to applaud the vision that was needed to make all these movies.
    And for the last point of what character(s) we would like to see Marvel bring in next, with no sarcasm, I would like to see a Power Pack movie. I not a big fan of the Power Pack, but I feel with Power Pack, they could try their hand at making a different movie in age and tone. Just for something different, I think it could work. I mean, they made the Guardians of the Galaxy popular and are making an Eternals movie. I feel like they could make Power Pack work.
    Anyways, thanks again for the communal review! I can’t wait to see wait movie everyone gets together for next.

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