Note: Spoilers below.
On Saturday, May 4, 2019, my fellow seminarians and I went to see “Avengers: Endgame.” The novice went to the theater in the South Bay while my fellow theologians and I went to the theater by the Commons.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It tied up all the loose ends from Infinity War with awesome fight scenes and story lines.
There were all two things that made me roll my eyes. First, the survivors meeting had a man recounted going on a date. It’s revealed that the other person is a man. It felt a little forced there. Second, the climatic fight scene in the end required getting the infinity stones to Ant Man’s time machine. All the female superheroes gathered around Captain Marvel. What!? Girl power again? That assembly of the feminine mystique withered under Thanos’ determination.
Here are the themes I found most interesting:
Letting go of self
At the start of the movie, Tony Stark was better off than most of the characters. He and Piper were married and had a daughter. True to form, Stark looks after Stark. But his memory of Peter Parker and the possibility of bringing the vanished back forced him to look beyond his interests. Iron Man performed the highest self-sacrifice by snatching the infinity stones from Thanos to defeat him although it meant giving up his life.
But a perverted sense of self-sacrifice occurred at the planet Voromir. Black Widow and Hawkeye learned that the acquisition of a soul stone required the loss of a beloved. While Thanos tossed Gamora in the previous movie, the two heroes fought to keep the other alive so the other would essentially commit suicide. Black Widow died and Hawkeye received the stone. How is this different from Iron Man? His actions were ordered to defeat of Thanos. Black Widow’s and Hawkeye’s actions were ordered toward the destruction of one’s own life, which is wrong. An evil act shouldn’t be done to bring a good result.
I wondered what would have happened if both of them jumped simultaneously. Would the soul stone allow them to live? Or would that be too much like “Joe Versus the Volcano”?
Meanwhile, Nebula confronts her past self in the climatic battle. The younger version trapped under her father, Thanos, only seeks to please him and resents her sister Gamora. If you have watched “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” Nebula reconciled with Gamora and was liberated from her father’s influence. To save Gamora’s life, Nebula slays her old self. Oh, if only it was that easy to dismantle that old self.
Venerable Bruno Lanteri’s motto of “begin again” was playing out in the movie. The time traveling to snag the infinity stones teased at the possibility of new beginnings. The overarching mission was to restart the lives taken by Thanos. But the theme was highlighted in two scenes on an Army base in 1970 New Jersey. Captain America found himself in the office of Margaret Carter, his old flame. He spotted her through the window. That physical separation mirrored the time separation between the two. In another scene, Tony Stark bumped into his father, worrying about the birth of his son. Tony counseled his father and shared a that elusive father-son moment. Tony embraced his father before separating.
Toward the end of the movie, Captain America returned the infinity stones to their respective times. But he took advantage of the time travel to live with Peggy. These scenes speak to the heart about the need for a reboot in our lives. Jesus offers that reboot with his passion, death and resurrection.