Avengers: Endgame will be hitting theatres April 26. It will be the biggest movie of the year in the world’s highest grossing film franchise of all time. Avengers: Endgame will be the 22nd movie in the franchise and will mark the end of MCU’s “Phase 3”. The runtime of Endgame is going to be 3 hours, so you can expect an epic conclusion.
“These are the highest stakes that the Avengers have ever faced.”
— The Avengers (@Avengers) April 6, 2019
To refresh your memory you might be thinking a re-watch of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe is a must! If you have the time and inclination to sit through 59 hours of all the movies then do it! If you can’t face that much comic book action and with time running out then check out these essentials:
Avengers: Infinity War
This is a no-brainer! The events in this film lead directly into Avengers: Endgame. You might also notice that many of the surviving characters were from the Marvel’s Phase 1. You can bet that these first MCU characters are going to be major players in Endgame.
Jon Favreau’s Iron Man, released in 2008 kick-started the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe and revived Robert Downey Jr’s career. The Avengers story starts in Iron Man so it makes sense to start at the beginning.
The Avengers are a team but at the Core there is Tony Stark and his iron suit. This film has a brilliant story, real character development and humor. Robert Downey Jr captivates as the arrogant playboy inventor who eventually transforms into a hero. He shows great bravery and publicly reveals his identity at the end of movie.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Perhaps not everyone’s favorite Marvel movie but still essential viewing. The film debuts Captain America and the Infinity Stones. These powerful stones are the beginning of the story that culminates in Thanos’ mission in Avengers: Infinity War. This works as a great standalone movie and the historical WW2 setting gives a different feel to the other Marvel films.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Age of Ultron has been described as ‘boring’ and ‘forgettable’ by some critics. In retrospect this film is worthy viewing. It lays down the groundwork for the dramatic conflict that will divide the Avengers team. Captain America (Steve Rogers) begins to have suspicions about Tony Stark’s intentions. To make matters worse the whole Avengers team are forced into hiding due to a global backlash.
This film has a greater international feel as the action is not limited to one city but worldwide. As the superheroes begin to question their roles and Tony Stark’s paranoia and fear develops, this film has a more mature feel.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.1 & Vol.2
These are both fun films, this alone is a good enough reason to watch these. The first Guardians film is the better of the two. If you don’t have the time, watch vol.1 as it’s a great adventure and introduction to these misfit heroes. Both movies have great humor and awesome soundtracks.
(Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | 2017)
— Marvel Clips 🎥 (@MarveIClips) April 5, 2019
Vol.2 doesn’t have major MCU development but it does have decent character development. We learn more about Gamora and her estranged sister Nebula (another survivor from Infinity war), the adopted daughters of Thanos.
Endgame is likely to reveal more of Thanos’ backstory, I have a feeling that these two characters will be major players in his story. Gamora’s relationship with Thanos’ was a major story arc in Infinity war so I suspect we will be seeing more of Nebula in Endgame.
Captain America: Civil war
This film could easily be titled Avengers 2.5 with the ensemble cast of superheroes. The roots of division from Age of Ultron become fully asserted in Civil War creating two opposing teams. The battles on screen between the two factions reflect a philosophical battle about the regulation and oversight of power.
Smashing the Avengers team apart makes for epic drama and character development. In Civil War we get to see the morally driven Captain America face off against an emotionally motivated Iron Man. Tony Stark is plagued by guilt and both characters are heavily affected by events from the previous movies. The Avengers break-up only goes to create a greater sense of vulnerability as Thanos’ seeks to claim his infinity stones.
— Captain America (@CaptainAmerica) April 4, 2019
The breakdown in the relationship between Stark and Rogers will be resolved in Endgame and it could result in a final epic goodbye to both characters. Civil War offers the viewer a change from the usual superhero vs villain motif. As such the stakes are higher because at this point we care more about the heroes within the Franchise and their welfare.
Civil War debuts new characters. Spiderman and Black Panther have awesome introductions. These two character arcs started in Civil War and will continue into the MCU Phase 4 so you can bet they will be doing something in Avengers: Endgame.
The third film in this series of movies effortlessly reinvigorates the Thor franchise. Unlike the previous Thor films, Ragnarok doesn’t take itself too seriously. The director Taiki Waititi has definitely been influenced by the humor and action style of Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool.
Waititi successfully crafts a new zany world for Thor’s talents and ego. The film explores Odin’s roots and his blood thirsty world conquering past. This highlights the moral complications of a character that we have seen as a benevolent man in the previous movies.
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— Thor (@thorofficial) August 3, 2018
Thor’s character also develops further in this movie. We see some great brotherly banter between Loki and Thor which makes for hilarious viewing. Thor’s character becomes more interesting when he loses his godly powers along with his magic hammer and the long hair!
Thor is knocked, pushed, thrown and walked over in Ragnorak but he keeps picking himself up ready to face more punishment. At the same time the Hulk is shown to have emotion and feeling, this movie gives him a voice. The film is set during the events of Captain America: Civil War and leads directly into Avengers: Infinity war as Thor and Loki gets picked up by Thanos during the post-credit sequence.