Why I'm not Excited for Avengers: Endgame

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There's a good chance if you didn't post the Mad Max "That's Bait" gif when you saw this article, you're actually wondering why I feel this way. I'll try to explain myself in a way that doesn't sound biased, bitter, or boring.

To start off, my entrance into comic books was with the X-Men. NOT the Avengers. But when Iron Man hit theaters over 10 years ago, I was excited to see it. A comic book property that wasn't Batman was about to be on the big screen. It was something new and refreshing!

And I LOVED IT!

Do you know what else I loved nearly 5 years later? Man of Steel.

Man of Steel carried a very different theme and look than the movies Marvel was pumping out. Marvel movies were riding high on fun, family-friendly entertainment with all the action comedy you can handle. Man of Steel looked to focus on something with a bit more gravitas. The goal of director Zack Snyder was to really dive into how the people of Earth would react to finding out that not only aliens were real, but one was walking among us and had the power to destroy us all.

Over time Marvel continued rolling out one successful movie after another. Critics raved and Rotten Tomatoes became the measuring stick behind a movie's success. Then Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hit theaters to build on the thematic masterpiece of Zack Snyder's vision. Introducing complex villains, layered plotlines, and deep-rooted philosophy that allowed people to discuss and unpack.

There were no witty one-liners or bright colors or slapstick that had parents laughing and kids quoting the movie. It was dark, gritty, serious in tone and the action was too intense for younger audiences. Batman didn't make a single joke as he single-handedly took down an entire squad of goons to rescue Martha Kent. His mission was taken seriously because someone's life was on the line.

While fans of the movie loved the deep weight it carried, there were other fans who had been indoctrinated by Marvel to feel that comic book movies were meant to be fun and heroes (named Batman or Superman) shouldn't kill. They refused to accept DC's offerings for what they were: A deep dive into the reality of how vigilantes and Gods would be accepted in today's society. Bloggers raced to compare it to the fun-loving, good-natured, family-friendly offerings by Marvel.

It wasn't funny, therefore it wasn't fun. Fans of the MCU took to Rotten Tomatoes and bashed and tore down Warner Bros. for their "poor handling" of these beloved characters. Making claims that Batman and Superman weren't acting how they do in the comics (even though it was quickly proven otherwise with very little effort).

But perception is the reality for many people and "That's not my (insert name here)" became a running theme. Audiences were split. People slung insults on the internet. Even to the point of attacking director Zack Snyder when he lost his daughter to suicide and stepped down from Justice League. The vitriol and hate were so much that the mob influenced a poor decision for Warner Bros to bring in Avengers director Joss Whedon to "clean up" Justice League.

That only made things worse.

I've spent a lot of time mulling over the differences between Marvel and DC movies. I love BOTH of them. I can appreciate the serious tone of what DC was doing and I also love the fun I have going to a Marvel movie. But as time went on, I became jaded at the thought that Marvel fans insulted DC properties for many of the same things their favorite movies were doing. How could this hypocrisy be so obvious but also so acceptable?

The jokes. The jokes and comedy make everything okay because the good guys were winning and the bad guys were jerks, so they deserved what they got coming to them. And cracking jokes along the way helped people ignore the fact that their heroes were killing humans and aliens left and right. Destroying city blocks without showing human casualties made it fun and exciting. Watching a powerful godlike being, slaughter an entire alien army, was cool because at that point there was nothing Marvel could do wrong.

I grew weary of things that I loved constantly be trashed because they weren't "fun" (ie: filled with jokes). I was jealous that Marvel's offerings were gaining so much fanfare and there was a tremendous majority of people that didn't really care what happened in the movies, and what the consequences were, because those movies were "hilarious", "a flat out good time", and any other cliche one sentence review you can think of. Inconsistencies were ignored when Infinity War came out because plot holes were covered up by the fact that people were having too much fun to care. Some of my biggest issues with Infinity War that I just can't shake:

  1. Vision handled Ultron but then he was being treated like a coward in Infinity War.
  2. HULK was scared and needed counseling even though it's been established several times that Banner has literally killed himself to get HULK to fight.
  3. Thanos claims to love Gamorra but killed her because the Universe was more important to him. How is that love? Especially when we were told that Wanda and Peter wouldn't kill the ones they love because there "had to be another way". Thanos loved that Gamorra was a weapon, but once she stopped doing his bidding how could he claim to love her? Then, how could he claim to love her when he murdered her? The soul stone should not have been awarded to him. Name one person in your life, that you love, that you will murder to save the universe while they're begging you not to kill them. And if you find someone who says, "kill me, I'll make the sacrifice" it doesn't count. Because Gamorra wasn't on board with the plan. So, how do you plan on getting the soul stone now?

So here I am struggling with Marvel movies now. I enjoy them, but they just can't be taken too seriously. And when that happens, they lose some of their polish and I don't think I can ever say "greatest movie of all time" in a sentence when talking about a Marvel movie. They're just good movies. Which is fine. And that shouldn't make you angry to hear someone say it (feel free to attack me in the comments).

Marvel movies present very little repercussions or accountability. And everything is covered up with a joke. And when every character in the movie is funny, no one is funny. It's hard to be bludgeoned with constant one-liners and always know when they're coming. It kind of dulls the experience. It's almost distracting because you know it's coming and it takes away from the real problem at hand. Which is why it's fun for kids and families. Look at the Disney formula throughout history. The protagonist almost never suffers repercussions for their actions and all is forgiven because the movie is funny and family friendly. The ends justify the means, right? One example that stands out is The Little Mermaid. She was a selfish bitch that sacrificed her father and his entire kingdom because she was thirsty for a man. After a bunch of funny moments and a few song and dance numbers, she still got what she wanted because of reasons.

The Little Mermaid (and every Disney movie) is a great family movie that's full of fun and adventure! Disney's partnership with Marvel just created live-action comic book versions of this template. Looking for an Avengers movie example? Tony Stark literally had a mom shove a picture in his face of her dead son and blamed him for it. What does he do? Does he reconsider his actions? No, instead he completely ignores it and finds a high school student to fight in a superhero slugfest. Which is against people that have shown they will kill their opposition.

All the Avengers kill. And nobody bats an eye because jokes and bad guys deserve it. Everybody loves Iron Man because Tony Stark is witty, nobody thinks about the fact that he dragged a kid into a fight with people like Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Winter Soldier who will kill their enemy without blinking an eye. Do you know why nobody cares? Because the movies are funny and the ends justify the means. And the people who ignore those sequences are the first bash DC movies for similar circumstances minus the laughs.

How about setting up a gag between Hawkeye and Quicksilver just to kill Quicksilver and get a laugh. Let me re-phrase that: Marvel killed someone and made a JOKE out of it. I bet you didn't see that coming!

The hypocritical acceptance of one studio and not the other turns me off and irritates me more, as the problem becomes magnified.

So, while I will be watching Avengers: Endgame (eventually), I don't know when I'll get around to seeing it. I know the good guys win, it'll be funny, and there will be no real repercussions to their actions. Lots of bad guys will die, lots of heroes will be funny, and there will be lots of slapstick (violence that's funny). I hope everyone excited for the movie gets everything out of it they're hoping to get. I hate finding flaws in things. I feel like that's counter-productive to people's happiness. Which is why you won't read a review, written by me, of something I didn't like.

I'm not excited for Avengers: Endgame and if that hurts your feelings, or makes you angry, there's a good chance you're one of the fanboys that ruined it for me.