starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Brolin
screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
by Walter Chaw Marvel has a gender and diversity problem and it tries to address this, in real-time, in Avengers: Endgame, the last of their "Broadway Melody" cavalcade-of-stars studio extravaganzas (or so they say). In the end, though, it's still a solemn pageant of white saviours and their Christ-like sacrifices. The interesting thing about this storyline is that it explores both Christ the martyr and Christ the family man; there's enough blue-eyed soulfulness here to present both paths of the Choose Your Own Judeo-Christian Epic. By doing so, there's something for literally everyone in the film's target audience of men of a certain age and predilection to get emotional about. Yes, the tragedy of masculinity is to be misunderstood: we, Captain Americas (Chris Evans), all, shod in the clothes of Sisyphus and, in this iteration, literal God of Thunder Thor (Chris Hemsworth), who gets a dad bod, a bad case of alcoholism, and enough self-immolating insecurity and self-loathing to make legions of mediocre men misty-eyed in recognition. It's true, all of it, but underneath this disgusting robe and a hundred pounds of ugly fat is a Greek Adonis who loves his mother. It would be more enlightening to spend time with T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) on the question of loss, or with Natasha (Scarlett Johansson), or, even better, how about Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson)? Instead, here's an extended comedy sequence where Thor drinks beer, eats pizza, and plays video games with his slovenly buddies. Bros feeling sorry for themselves, completely alone, drinking beers at the Gas-N-Sip with no women around. A recent poll told the story of how men aren't getting laid much anymore. In its way, Avengers: Endgame is a curious commentary on why that might be--and one way of many to look at its title.