I Want to Know What all this Avengers Endgame Stuff is About

I thought he was a build-a-bear.

Sorry. Genetically modified trash panda from outer space.

I don’t disagree with this but I can’t imagine the point. It’s like asking someone to just give you a one minute synopsis of a book’s plot so you can read the final chapter. Why even bother?

Watch Iron Man, if you enjoy it watch the rest. The movies go from great to sorta ok, none of them are bad enough to skip. You might understand the plot if you watch a few of the movies, but you are really not going to get what the big hoopla is about. This is the conclusion to ten years and 22 movies worth of stories, that is why its such a big deal.

I mean, THOR: THE DARK WORLD has its moments

Yeah, for me, it’s on the short list of MCU films that aren’t that awesome (along with, IMO, Iron Man 2 and 3, and Avengers: Age of Ultron).

Ironically stuff from Thor: TDW is heavily featured in Endgame and I would have definitely put it in the “must watch to understand what is going on” list. Definitely on the “not that great” list also though.

For those of you with a WaPo subscription. here’s a fun synopsis:
Everything that’s happened leading up to ‘Avengers: Endgame’


I gotta say, I’ve watched a lot of Marvel movies (maybe all of them) but really didn’t keep track of who’s doing what where. And I’ve never taken ANY notice of the stones. Time Stone, Angst Stone, Ennui Stone, ehhh… don’t care.

In retrospect, I’ve watched all those movies for the characters, not the over-arching plot. But that was enough for me to be blown away by the end of Infinity War and thoroughly love Endgame.
So if you want to do it my way, just watch the fun stuff: Iron Man for Robert Downey Jr.'s attitude, Guardians and Thor:Ragnarok for the broad humor, and Ant-Man & Wasp for Paul Rudd (his super-power is being Paul Rudd, and playing with his daughter). Then get serious and watch Infinity War (preceded by Avengers and Civil War if you find yourself intrigued by the Marvel universe).

Then, don’t drink anything for six hours before Avengers:Endust…

I figure a three hour movie (five and a half hours if you include Infinity War) is more than a one minute synopsis. A movie that long should be able to stand on its own merits. Previous movies might add to it; but if they’re necessary, the movie fails.

If you just watch Infinity War and Endgame, you’re going to be able to follow the story. You’ll understand what the characters’ powers are by watching them use them, even if you don’t know how they got those powers. You’ll feel that some characters are supposed to be goofy and some characters are supposed to be taken serious by the way they act. You’ll see that there’s bad blood between some characters and close friendships between others, even if you don’t know the details.

Its about money. They did a bunch of movies with all the individual characters to get people emotionally invested in the characters, then they did a film where thanos kills half of life, then the avengers have to get them back.

No, the one minute synopsis is just briefly reading about the other films. The three hour movie is the final chapter. Or reading the general overview of a ten season show just to ‘start’ the show by watching the finale. You can do it and perhaps even find the final part enjoyable but it still misses the point.

You can watch Endgame without having seen anything else, sure. You won’t need 22 films worth of background to chuckle at “He said a funny” or think “Special effects are neat”. You’ll be able to follow “Half of everyone got dead and that sucks”. But if you’re trying to see what all the fuss is about, you’ll completely miss it since much of the fuss is the culmination of the other films, not “That part where the guy hits the other guy was cool”.

Pardon my ignorance on this but did they make all of those other films with the express intention of bringing them to a conclusion with this film?

I’ve seen a couple of them (GOTG 1/2 and a couple of Iron Mans (mens?)) and enjoyed them well enough on their own merits but never got a sniff that it was part of any bigger conceit.

Yes. This was the plan since 2005, when Marvel set up its own studio to produce its own movies. Make some standalone films (Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America) then merge them in a crossover film (Avengers). If that was successful, throw more characters into the mix and keep going, culminating into the giant crossover that we got with Infinity War/Endgame. The real genius of the plan as you’ve discovered, is that each franchise - indeed, each film - mostly works as a standalone. No knowledge of the other films or franchises is necessary for you to enjoy the individual film on its own.

See Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Thanks for all the great replies and advice. I think I will start with Iron Man and attempt some of the more condensed plans suggested here. I guess I wanted some background without needing to watch 22 movies because that will not happen any time soon. I don’t watch too many movies in general and most of them have been kids/family films since I’ve been a parent. The only one that almost got me into a movie theater when it was released was Black Panther, but I see that’s not on most of the essential film lists here. Also, wasn’t sure if I needed any background to enjoy that.

  1. You don’t need any background to watch Black Panther.
  2. You don’t need to watch Black Panther to understand what happens in Infinity War & Endgame.
  3. Watch it anyway, it’s one of the best of the MCU. Especially since it’s on Netflix, so you can watch it pretty effortlessly.

I saw the pre-MCU movies and earned a warning for being a jerk when I was rudely dismissive of ‘Thor,’ comic book movies and comics in general. Then I saw ‘Iron Man’ and got hooked. Throw out your preconceptions, lie back, and enter a different universe while you watch them all.

When they were replaying all the MCU movies in the theatre last year (for Memorial Day weekend, I think), I ended up rewatching all of the ones that have Black Widow in it.

Iron Man 2
The Avengers
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Captain America: Civil War
Thor Ragnarok (a cheat because she only shows up in a video but I counted it)
Avengers: Infinity War

This could also include Captain Marvel (another cheat because she is only in the post credits scene).

I think it’s a pretty interesting way to watch them and sort of has a through-line to work through. There’s several things missing and some people would object to Iron Man 2 and Age of Ultron as “essential” but I liked that approach.

Looking at it another way, which ones could you safely skip without missing out on anything?

Of the Iron Man movies, you don’t need any more than one. Pick whichever you like, but the general consensus is that the first is the best one.

Of the Thor movies, the first one is pretty much completely unnecessary. You know Thor, he’s the god of thunder, he comes from Asgard, he carries a big honking hammer, yadda yadda. The only important point is that only those who are worthy are capable of lifting the hammer.

The second Thor movie is surprisingly relevant to Endgame, but on the other hand, it’s not all that great a movie, and there’s a recap in Ragnarok that covers the important bits. If, when you see Thor and Loki interacting in the other movies, you said “I’d see a movie just for more of that, even if the rest of it sucked”, then see The Dark World, because it’s got lots of that, but otherwise, go ahead and skip.

Of the Avengers movies, you can go ahead and skip Age of Ultron. Mostly it introduces a few new characters, but those characters play a relatively small part in the most recent two.

Of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, you can skip the second one. It’s pretty fun, but not as much as the first, and has very little relevance to Infinity War.

You can skip the first Ant-Man. Everything you need to know is recapped in Ant-Man and the Wasp.

You can skip Black Panther. All you need to know is that Wakanda is a super-high-tech nation disguised as a low-tech one.

I’ve never seen the MCU Hulk or Spider-Man movies, and didn’t feel like I was missing anything, but if anyone wants to contradict me on that, they can.

Of course, you can skip others, too, but anything beyond those, you’ll be missing something, which may or may not be important.