The Brie Larson Project: Love Her 3000

Posted: August 21, 2019 in Brie Larson Project
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I know it’s been awhile, and this isn’t a movie that anyone needs to know my opinion of, because it’s been out for awhile and it’s the highest grossing movie of all time and everyone else has an opinion already, but I’m getting daily clickbait saying the directors have revealed a minor detail that I thought we all already knew, plus this is my website, and Brie Larson is in Avengers: Endgame, albeit briefly, so away we go.

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I don’t know if I need to get into the whole story here, but obviously Endgame is the sequel to Infinity War, and basically the sequel to every Marvel movie since 2008, with a few ancillary TV shows thrown in. It’s a lot to take in for the uninitiated, and now the term “shared universe” has entered the entertainment lexicon. Thanks, Kevin Feige.

So that’s basically where I want to start. As a life-long comic book guy, I have been familiar with groups of heroes teaming up and fighting bad guys together (and often fighting each other, with very little prompting.) But in movies, other than Freddy Vs. Jason and Alien Vs. Predator, which have been mostly, and best, forgotten, there’s never been anything like this ever. and even those were only a couple characters. This is way bigger. Every character from 20 or so hugely popular movies combining into one long story which is essentially about one guy’s quest to balance the universe by obliterating half of it. And the kicker is that it worked.

The only thing even close to being comparable is maybe the Universal Monsters from the 30’s and 40’s, but even that wasn’t really the same thing because the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the vision from the beginning. I mean, sure, if Iron Man works but the rest flop, well, at least they got a couple good Iron Man flicks out of it. But the vision back then was always to build to the first Avengers movie, which was pretty cool in and of itself. But that’s kind of like Walt Disney saying, “Eh, Mickey’s enough.” Nope, Kevin Feige’s idea from the beginning was always to bring the long form story-telling of the comics to the big screen. And with so many things working against this idea, here we are.

I know it’s hard to believe now, but before Marvel was owned by Disney, they, along with Paramount, gambled on Robert Downey, Jr. launching this thing. Of course, it’s a fair bet that the execs at Paramount had no idea what the future held, or who Tony Stark was, but they must have seen some dollar signs, so they made the thing.  It was successful enough that they decided to get working on a second one. Plus some Hulk, Thor and Captain America movies, all the while sprinkling in characters like Black Widow and Hawkeye, just for future reference. A few years later, The Avengers were born. Man, when you look back on it, and then look at how ham-fisted Warner Brothers’ attempt was to get DC’s Justice League off the ground, don’t you almost feel bad for the DC folks? Nah, me neither.

I have neglected to mention a couple things here. A big one is that comics weren’t considered that cool back in 2008 when Iron Man came out. Sure, Christopher Nolan was making some cool Batman movies, and Hellboy was pretty popular, but overall, not a lot of people cared (I even hid my fandom in certain social circles. I know. Hard to believe.) Also, the biggest stumbling block was that Marvel didn’t even have access to their A-list characters. They had sold away the movie rights to their top-tier guys back when they were facing bankruptcy and Kevin Feige was not on anyone’s radar. Unfortunately, Fox had made a couple really bad X-Men films and Sony had made a mess of Spider-Man, leaving Marvel with a bunch of great, but un-mined characters. Basically, characters who never had a Saturday morning cartoon. So, yeah, Iron Man was a gamble.

This is why Endgame is Tony Stark’s story. I know some people were upset that Black Widow didn’t get her due when she sacrificed herself to obtain the soul stone, and I totally get it, but Tony was the catalyst for this whole thing. Without Tony Stark, we have no MCU, both within the world of Marvel and in the real world. I’m sorry Black Widow fans, but it’s true.

So, you don’t have to love the Marvel movies. You can look at them as a bit repetitive, a tad white-washed, just boring action movies, but I feel like you have to respect what has been accomplished here. As a comic book and move buff, this is history. Over twenty movies that are weaved together to create a giant, cohesive story, done so well that, sure, you can skip one if you want, but in the spirit of old-school Marvel Comics, where the goal was that if you picked up any random book, you would be able to tell what was going on, you can see some or all of the Marvel movies and probably not be lost at any point. However, if you choose to see them all, as I have, and remember all of the little details, Endgame makes for a really cool movie.

But ok, Tony Stark isn’t the only person in Endgame. There’s a certain Oscar-winner who starred in her own Marvel movie back in March. Although she only appears in 15 minutes of the movie, it’s an important and impressive 15 minutes. At the beginning of the movie, she saves Tony Stark from certain death while he and Nebula are marooned on the Milano in space. The movie then kind of explains her away when she says that there are other planets in the universe that need her help in the wake of The Snap, so she is not seen again until the final minutes of the climactic battle between Thanos’ forces and the reborn, but rather decimated, heroes, when she does some decimating of her own. There’s also this moment, which has become an internet sensation:

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Captain Marvel obtains the Avengers’ new gauntlet from a rather spent Spider-Man, and,

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I must admit, I thought this was the denouement. There’s no way that Thanos will get that thing back now. Captain Marvel is ridiculously powerful, right? 

Not so fast, in a brilliant bit of story-telling, while wrestling with Marv over the gauntlet,Thanos grabs the power stone, the real difference-maker of the bunch, and KO’s her, allowing him to reclaim the infinity stones (or technically, claim them for the first time, but don’t get me started on time travel), which leads to Iron Man’s big moment. It’s a cool, small moment. Marvel is still pretty awesome, and one-on-one, she probably beats Thanos, but the power stone changes everything. Captain Marvel remains strong for her big sequel, and for whatever else is in store for her in the next phase of Marvel movies. What? You’re not tired of them already, are you?

Of course, Brie Larson is only one piece of this large, shared universe, but since Tony Stark is gone, Captain America is old, Spider-Man is now out of the MCU, and Thor is kind of fat, someone’s gotta pick up the slack. You wouldn’t hear any complaints from me if it’s her.

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