By: Zachary Greenberg | Opinions  | 

Endgame vs. Infinity War

On April 26, 2019, the final chapter in the Infinity War Saga was released. “Avengers: Endgame” earned an astonishing $1.22 billion in the opening five days, nearly doubling its predecessor of Avengers: Infinity War for largest box office opening in history. This movie holds a special place in the hearts of hundreds of millions of Marvel fans, concluding what has been an 11-year, 22-movie run for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Personally, I have been watching the Marvel movies since the beginning when I was in fourth grade. I remember watching over and over again “The Incredible Hulk” (2008), the second movie in the MCU, with my little brother and always cheering when Iron Man appears on the screen saying, “What if I told you we are putting a team together.” We always fantasized on what it would be like for these two heroes, and more, to actually team up. Then finally that statement came true in “The Avengers” (2012), the 6th movie in the MCU where the main characters from the prior films joined forces in the first crossover movie. In this film, Marvel introduced the antagonist of the MCU, Thanos, in a post-credit scene. Little was known about Thanos at the time, until in 2018, “Avengers: Infinity War,” the 19th film in the MCU, was released. In the movie, Thanos managed to wipe out half of all lifeforms using the Infinity Stones and Gauntlet. Having lost half of humanity, the remaining heroes had to find a way to bring everyone back in the most recent film “Avengers: Endgame,” the 22nd film in the MCU.

On IMDB, “Infinity War” received 8.5 out of 10 stars and “Endgame” received 9.0 out of 10 stars. The next highest film in the MCU is “The Avengers” which received 8.1 stars, so for argument’s sake, and in my opinion, “Infinity War” and “Endgame” were by far the two best films in the MCU. These two movies successfully managed to bring together dozens of characters spread throughout different films and even galaxies, while managing to make the film not feel overcrowded. The films were packed with amazing action sequences, special effects, great humor and tear-jerking moments which put them far and above the rest of the MCU.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

To decide which of the two is better, we first must look at each film’s opening. The opening of “Infinity War” was on board the Asgardian wreckage after Thanos had destroyed most of the ship and crew. The strongest Avenger, Hulk, comes onto the scene and tries to beat up Thanos as he had done to hundreds of other foes. But Thanos manages to overpower Hulk in a physical fight, knocking him out after a few hits.

The opening of “Endgame” showed Hawkeye having a nice picnic with his family. Suddenly, he turns around and his whole family has turned to dust as a result of Thanos’s snap which wiped out half of the universe. It is an emotional scene watching a father mourn over his wife and children, but the problem for me was that it was not that moving. We had already seen dozens of people lose their family members and friends in “Infinity War,” so to open up with yet another person mourning over his family wasn’t so inspiring. I understand that it was to set the tone of where the world was holding (in despair), but it wasn’t an out-of-nowhere scene with as much of an impact such as Thanos beating up Hulk and showing he’s the toughest person in the galaxy. The “Infinity War” opening had a much larger impact on me so I give that point to “Infinity War.” 1-0 “Infinity War.

The next comparison for the two films are the two different heists of getting the Stones in each film. In “Infinity War,” Thanos and his four children split up to get the remaining four Infinity Stones. They each have to fight different Avengers to get the Stones and the scenes are very intense and awesome as the Avengers try to stop them. In “Endgame,” the Avengers must travel back in time and recollect the Stones at various points in time where the Stones are mostly unguarded. Although sometimes there is some delay in getting the Stones, they mostly collect them with ease. It was fun seeing the current Avengers turn up at various points of past films and interacting with old characters, including sometimes themselves, but I never was on the edge of my seat like in “Infinity War.” During “Infinity War,” I never knew what to expect, and the fight scenes were far more exciting with more powers and characters going up against one another to get the Stones. During “Endgame” I felt like the heroes got the Stones pretty effortlessly. So once again, point to “Infinity War.” 2-0 “Infinity War.”

Next comparison is the fight scene versus Thanos. In “Infinity War,” Spider-Man, Iron-Man, Dr. Strange and various “Guardians” characters team up to surprise attack Thanos. Thanos, using the Infinity Gauntlet, manages to overpower the heroes, thus capturing yet another stone. It was an intense fight with the heroes almost winning, and it had amazing special effects where Thanos dropped a moon on the heroes. In “Endgame,” Thor, Captain America and Iron Man fight Thanos to try and kill him once and for all. The most incredible moment was Captain America picking up Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, which until then, only Thor was worthy enough to yield. This was a pinnacle moment in the movie which had people across the world cheering in happiness. The fight, to say the least, was of epic proportions. Hands down “Endgame” wins. 2-1 “Infinity War.”

The final fight scenes in the movies were also very similar. In “Infinity War,” the heroes try to make one last stand before Thanos wipes out the galaxy in a massive fight in Wakanda. Although there were dozens of main characters fighting at once, it did not feel at all overwhelming. The highlight of the fight was Thor coming down from the sky with his new hammer, Stormbreaker, and crying out “Bring me Thanos!” This scene made me so excited and gave the audience a feeling of hope that maybe the heroes would actually win (they didn’t). It was an epic battle, and I loved every second of it. In “Endgame,” the final fight scene was also spectacular. Hulk, using the collected Stones, brings back the other half of all lifeforms. The previously dead heroes join the fight and pretty much every single character ever in any MCU movie (including Howard the Duck) shows up to fight against Thanos and his army. It’s an epic battle with guns and powers being used everywhere and so many explosions… yet it all felt like too much. I was overwhelmed by all of the characters who entered the screen suddenly, and the bad guys never really seemed to have much of a chance. It was an amazing scene, but I have to give the point to “Infinity War” for not overwhelming me and making me believe that the losing side had a chance. 3-1 “Infinity War.”

Lastly, the conclusions of the films. In “Infinity War,” the film ended with half of the universe being wiped out. Many of the main heroes die, including the famous scene of Spider-Man dying in Iron Man’s arms. (That was a tear-jerker.) The movie concludes with Thanos sitting on top of a mountain, finally at peace for bringing, what he believed, peace to the universe. This was a brilliant moment as it revealed that although Thanos was the villain, he was really the protagonist of the film the whole time. To me, this was an extremely powerful moment since in general, one does not relate to the villain, but here it was clear that Thanos truly believed he had done the right thing even though he killed half of the universe. The conclusion of “Endgame” was Iron Man using the Gauntlet to wipe out Thanos and his army. By doing so, he put himself in a critical condition and was near death. The heroes gathered around him and finally, Pepper Potts, his wife, says “You can rest now” as he dies. They then have a funeral for him where Tony’s arc reactor with the inscription “Proof that Tony Stark has a heart” is floated in a lake to commemorate him. It is a powerful scene and a great closing… but that’s not all.

Captain America agrees to travel back to the past to return all of the Stones. He was supposed to return a few seconds later but does not. Suddenly, they see an old man sitting on a bench and the heroes realize that it is an older version of Captain America. He explains that after returning the Stones, he went back to 1940 to visit his old girlfriend Peggy Carter who he owed a last dance to and decided to live out his life with her. The closing shot is in 1940 with Captain America and Peggy slow dancing and looking truly happy together. It is a tear-jerker moment that shows that true love is possible and is always worth striving for. Although the conclusion of “Infinity War” was phenomenal, “Endgame” tied up so many movies in the most brilliant and moving fashion possible. Point goes to “Endgame.” 3-2 “Infinity War.”

Both films were breathtaking and put me in an emotional rollercoaster which I will never forget. I do, though, give the slight edge to “Infinity War.” Overall, I thought the fight scenes were better, the stakes were higher and the movie flowed much smoother. I also loved how the plot revolved around Thanos despite him being the villain. “Endgame” was a masterpiece and was the best ending that the MCU could have asked for, but I did not enjoy the build-up of the film as much and the fight scenes were not as good. Plus, Thanos was much less complex in the film, as he was mostly just a heartless villain trying to kill everyone, contrasting to “Infinity War” where he was trying to do what he thought was the right thing. The ending of “Endgame” was perfect and made me cry, but I cried even harder during Spider-Man's death during “Infinity War.” I would give “Infinity War” a 10 out of 10 and “Endgame” a 9 out of 10.

Thank you, Disney, for giving the world the MCU. It has been an entertaining, thought-provoking, conversation starter for us. I am happy to have seen all of the films, and am looking forward to the next saga. Maybe this time Galactus will be the main villain.


Photo Caption: Poster for “Avengers: Endgame”
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures