This isn’t a bad movie, the opening sequence alone is worth the price of admission, but oh man I just feel like it would’ve landed so much better if it actually had released between Civil War and Infinity War, y’know? Cos since Natasha is dead in the MCU now it just feels so…begrudging. Like it feels more like a origin movie for Yelena as the Black Widow replacement than a showcase for Natasha, which is what it should have been.
BIG SPOILERS ahead:
I was really happy to see the after-credits scene, finally we see that someone bothered to give Natasha an actual grave even! …and yet the touching moment gets ruined when Julia Louis-Dreyfus shows up blowing her nose and making quips. See I hate it when the MCU does that, instantly throwing aside actual emotion and going straight for the jokes and this movie does it a lot. Also the only scene we ever got of someone mourning Natasha post-Endgame and it was just a teaser in disguise for the Hawkeye Show, blegh.
-So the thing referenced in The Avengers about Hawkeye and Natasha in Budapest, turns out that involved Natasha killing a child?! (Or so she thought, but still.) And then in Avengers she and Clint are all cute and quippy about the event which involved Natasha killing a child?! Okay I know that probably it’s just that no-one bothered to go back and check all the dialogue in the previous films but oh my god that makes Natasha sound like a total monster now.
-Melina is much, much too easily forgiven for a character who helped deprive people of their free will and is partly responsible for the Red Room in the first place. (The Mary Sue thinks so too, turns out.) Plus you know, there was that scene where she tortures an animal for at least a minute in front of horrified onlookers, which didn’t EXACTLY endear her to me.
-A lot of Natasha’s driving force in this film is regarding the guilt she feels about the aforementioned child being collateral damage, which is good, except… There is an insane amount of OTHER collateral damage in this film! Even assuming there were somehow no buildings around the very large area where the Red Room fell, what about the cars on the road during the tank chase scene, or the hundreds of people in the prison?! Oh, that’s another trope I hate, I hate it so much. In a movie about someone making up for an act of collateral damage the decision to show all that is… ?!?!?
I’m sorry! I liked a lot of this movie! But I always loved MCU Natasha and I just wish I felt more from her solo movie than, “oh… that’s it?”
To celebrate the occasion, here’s some of my favourite ladies from fiction!
Row 1: Amy Pond (Doctor Who), Sephy Hadley (Noughts and Crosses), Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy/MCU), Rose Tico (Star Wars), Elsa (Frozen/Disney), Melissa Chartres (The Last Man on Earth)
Row 2: Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings/Middle Earth), Quinn Ergon (Final Space), The Thirteenth Doctor (Doctor Who), Princess Bubblegum (Adventure Time), Jane Foster (Thor/MCU), Amy Santiago (Brooklyn 99)
Row 3: Brook Soso (Orange is the New Black), Nebula (Guardians of the Galaxy/MCU), Erica Dundee (The Last Man on Earth), Kitty Winter (Sherlock Holmes), Rose Tyler (Doctor Who), Briony Tallis (Atonement)
Row 4: Meredith Quill (Guardians of the Galaxy/MCU), Missandei (Game of Thrones), Rey (Star Wars), Donna Noble (Doctor Who), Carol Pilbasian (The Last Man on Earth), Esmeralda (The Hunchback of Notre Dame/Disney)
Row 5: Sansa Stark (Game of Thrones), Ash Graven (Final Space), Tiana (The Princess and the Frog/Disney), Sophia Burset (Orange is the New Black), Misty (Pokemon), Clara Oswald (Doctor Who)
Row 6: Bill Potts (Doctor Who), Mary Brown (Paddington), Mako Mori (Pacific Rim), Gwen Stacy (Spider-Man), Jackie Tyler (Doctor Who), Ursula Ditkovich (Spider-Man)
Row 7: Yaz Khan (Doctor Who), Mary Jane Watson (Spider-Man), Marceline (Adventure Time), Michelle (10 Cloverfield Lane,), Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow/MCU), Mantis (Guardians of the Galaxy (MCU)
So you probably know that I had a couple of issues with Endgame, especially what happened to Gamora, and this is my attempt to fix them. (Pay attention, James Gunn.)
Title: A Scar on the World Fandom: MCU/Guardians of the Galaxy Characters: Gamora, Natasha Summary: Gamora is trying to come to terms with being alone and displaced in time. Luckily, the universe isn’t done with either her or Natasha Romanoff.
So the dust has settled on Avengers: Endgame now, and I’ve had months to turn my problem with it over and over in my head. Really, I think most of my negative feelings are encapsulated in one scene: the one where Thor leaves his people behind and gets aboard ship with the Guardians in the end.
Bear in mind everything that’s happened to these characters at this point. Thor’s lost his brother and spent five years in a haze of bad mental health. Peter’s lost Gamora, thought he got her back, and lost her (in a different way) again. Drax has wanted to kill Thanos since the first movie he was in, Thanos is now dead, and… nothing. Rocket lost all his friends for half a decade and suddenly they’re back. And so on. No-one gets to react to any of this. Like, not anything. Instead they hang around and laugh while Peter and Thor have a pissing contest over who gets to be leader.
Like… that’s it? That’s where you think these characters should be right now? Really?
It’s all the worse because that scene should be about Gamora. She was the cog the whole of Infinity War spun around, hell she was the cog the whole Thanos story spun around, and what happens to her? She gets thrown in a pit, brought back from the past, allowed to fight a little and then more or less forgotten about.
Does Gamora get even a reaction shot when Thanos, her tormentor, the person who’s haunted her and brutalized her for three damn movies, dies at last? No, she does not. Okay, my slightly infuriated thoughts went at the time, perhaps maybe the last scene with the Guardians might be aboutherand where she is and how her friends will start the search for her? Nope! Instead it’s about… Thor. Bad luck.
So yeah. I wanted to stop short of saying “It’s sexist” but I can’t because really none of the important women in Endgame get their due at all, not just Gamora. Captain Marvel got built up and built up, but she’s in the movie for like… five minutes, and we don’t get to learn her thoughts and feelings about anything going on. (She has close friends on Earth, we learned in her solo movie, but she doesn’t even mention them or worry about their fate.) Black Widow gets agency in her sacrifice at least, but then – not unlike Gamora actually – she’s forgotten about. While Tony gets the massive funeral and the tributes, Hawkeye remembers Natasha in one line at the end. Nothing the Avengers did in this film would have been possible without her but she’s not getting any of the accolades.
Nebula is a strange case, because she does get a lot of agency and depth in this movie, but I can’t forgive the scene where she kneels over Thanos – the man who abused her and murdered her sister – and closes his eyes. That makes no sense. It’s bewilderingly out of character and if it was supposed to make her more palatable as a heroine, or something, it doesn’t. The best Nebula line is in the second Guardians movie, I think, when Gamora tells her she could help all the little girls in the world who are suffering like they used to. “I will help them by killing Thanos,” Nebula says, and that’s the line which turns her from a sympathetic villain into (finally) a crusader against injustice and abuse. To have her show a shred of tenderness against her father takes all that away, and it’s so, so baffling to me that apparently the writers couldn’t see that.
Then there’s the women the movie appeared not to have time for, like Okoye. She was prominent on the poster but got maybe two lines in the movie. There was time to follow Hawkeye’s Adventures in Murder but not time to check in on her? Especially since her storyline – let’s assume she was left essentially the leader of a whole, suddenly devastated country since the royal family were dead – would have been really interesting. Come to think of it Natasha falls into this category too, since she was supposed to have a great subplot that ended up on the cutting room floor, because of course it did.
Some of the MCU women who’re bit players in this one – think Valkyrie, Pepper etc – actually do get treated well in the movie, credit where credit’s due. Pepper’s last scene with Tony hit really hard, for example, because it’s played straight. And I mean that sounds ridiculous, of course the death of a major character in one of the biggest franchises of all time is gonna be played straight you’d hope, but there were moments where I wondered, because this movie is so incapable/terrified of believing people would take it seriously. When Thor bids goodbye to his mother and leaves her to die, after the heartfelt I love you’s she tells him to eat a salad because he’s fat now and that’s funny and we’re meant to laugh. When Gamora finds Peter again and no longer knows who he is, which is a tragedy for both of them, she kicks him in the balls and he rolls around in pain making a quip and that’s meant to be funny too. Is it not realistic that Tony’s death might have been interrupted by someone falling over, or a fart joke? Is it weird I’m almost surprised that it wasn’t?
Anyway. Wait, why did I hate Thor for a little bit? Well, I can’t bring myself to hate him really, or even dislike him, he’s an adorable golden retriever of a man. But that scene with him and the Guardians at the end is teasing Guardians of the Galaxy 3, and that is the last chance anyone has to give Gamora her due, to make her story and her constant victimization mean anything. And with that scene, suddenly her importance was pushed to one side to make room for Thor. Who despite his many good qualities is still a white straight able-bodied male superhero, not exactly an underrepresented group. And he’s also one who has three movies bearing his name already, plus major roles in all the Avengers films. Who looked at Thor, looked at Gamora, and decided he not she was the one the audience should have more of? And that Gamora is so unimportant that in the scene where her friends should be discussing how to find her, they are instead trading jokes with him, because the one BIG thing Endgame can’t take seriously is its women?
You’re great and I like you fine, Thor. Honestly. And you didn’t deserve those fat jokes. But you’re done. Now take your hammer, and your snazzy axe thing, and just… go away for a bit.
i can’t write about it for work but i have to tell people who will understand — you guys the black widow infinity war figure is so bad her dead eyes are watching me from across the desk why would they do this
…I want to say “At least they made one this time” but… jeez
Because I’m tired of the “Steve sucks at modern technology” trope. He was picking up and using HYDRA tech that was powered by the tesseract in WWII. And user interfaces were pretty un-intuitive back then — knobs labeled in German or French, most likely. And think about the number of dials and thingamabobs on an airplane control panel! Yes, he’s a man out of time, but it’s probably the social stuff that’s much harder to adjust to. (You can tell he’s recently-thawed because he still insists on wearing at least a button-down shirt and suspenders when out in public.)