Like many Disney movies, Avengers: Endgame threads the needle between age groups, trying to offer a solid story that youngsters and adults can appreciate, but also adding enough mom-and-pop jokes to keep Mom and Pop engaged. Avengers: Endgame had plenty of things that went right over kids’ heads. Spoilers ahead.
After the five-year time jump early in the film, we see Captain America leading a grief counseling group meant to help people move on after Thanos’ snap. With half the living creatures in the universe gone, there are a lot of issues left unresolved.
All the surviving Avengers are struggling to move on after the weight of a crushing, genocidal loss that’s beyond alien to most kids. Adults, on the other hand, are more likely to key into what are obviously some largely unhealthy coping mechanisms for the Avengers’ loss. Of them all, Tony is the closest to moving on in a healthy way, but he’s done so by moving as far into the country as he can so as to never engage with the wreckage of his biggest heartbreak. He’s deep in denial, to the point where he kicks the Avengers out when they try to convince him there’s a chance to make things right.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are built on father issues. You’ve got the ultimate abusive big dad in Thanos, who tells everyone he meets that his genocidal warpath is all for the good of the people he’s killing; that he’s actually being the good guy by doing the bad thing for the right reasons. Then you’ve got Tony Stark, who struggles with being a father figure for Peter Parker, and for whom the latter’s death weighs heavily enough in Endgame to lead Tony to undertake a mission through time to bring Spider-Man back. Then there’s Thor, who often struggles under the weight of his own father’s expectations. Keep watching the video to see things only adults notice in Endgame!
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Coping with loss | 0:17
Fatherhood issues | 1:02
One last conversation | 2:15
Guts and grief | 3:02
Time travel references | 3:38
The Terminal Beach | 4:27
Thor is the Dude | 5:12
America’s assets | 6:03