2. Avengers: Endgame
It all came down to this. Avengers: Endgame was the last movie of the MCU’s Infinity Saga and the final step in Marvel’s mastermind plan that took 11 years to execute. Expectations were rocket-high for it, and with good reason. Even though the MCU would go on and release many more projects to this very date, many saw Avengers: Endgame as definitive a conclusion for Marvel stories on the big screen. And while it would seem like an enormous task for any movie to wrap up a saga of enormous proportions in a satisfying way, the Russo brothers sure managed to do so.
Not only did Avengers: Endgame gave a resolution to the events that transcurred in Avengers: Infinity War, but it was also a love letter to the MCU as a whole. When Scott Lang figured time works differently in the Quantum Realm and Tony Stark discovered a way to use this to time travel, it allowed the movie to revisit many settings and scenarios from previous projects. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were able to go back to the events of The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: the Dak: World, and even to somewhere after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger. This enabled audiences to revisit everything the MCU had accomplished so far, while also bringing closure to the stories of some of our favorite heroes.
Tony Stark met his father one last time when going back in time, and you could argue this allowed him to find the necessary peace in order to sacrifice himself at the end of the movie. Captain America also saw Peggy Carter again, and that’s what ultimately made him take the decision to stay in the past with her once the world was saved. So time travel wasn’t used only as fan service, as it also allowed to close some necessary arcs.
This was executed beautifully, being one of the film’s main strengths, but it also had many other numerous positives. Very few things top the feeling of watching almost every single hero in the MCU come together to fight against Thanos and his army. Now, “Avengers: Assemble” is a phrase that lives in every fan’s heart.
People that complained there were no true stakes and sacrifices in the MCU couldn’t argue the same after watching Avengers Endgame. Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff’s deaths were devastating, even if they were necessary. And even when the movie was meant to be a conclusion to everything that came before it, it still managed to set up things for the future (like Falcon becoming Captain America).
Overall, Avengers: Endgame was an amazing and memorable movie. It will forever be one of the MCU’s biggest and most ambitious projects and one that was made with love. However, there is another project in Phase 3 of the MCU that managed to be better than it in some ways.