'Avengers: Endgame' Trailer Ends on a High When Thor Meets a New Avenger

After a barrage of death, death, death, solemn marching, and more death throughout the promotional cycle for Avengers: Endgame, the latest trailer ends with a little bit of fizzy pop soda. It’s a welcome reprieve that will ensure we don’t forget the Marvel movies can be really funny, too.

On Thursday, Marvel released the second and most likely final trailer for Avengers: Endgame, the last film of “Phase Three” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Spider-Man: Far From Home, out in theaters on July 5, will be the start of “Phase Four.”)

Like the trailers before it, the new Endgame trailer is mostly doom and gloom as the Avengers prepare for one final strike against Thanos, with literally half their strength in numbers.

You seriously see despair everywhere! No one is joking around. (Remember the party scenes in Avengers: Age of Ultron?) Everyone in the new Endgame trailer looks very angry. Captain America intensely tightens his arm buckles on his shield. Even Ant-Man, discovering his family is gone, is not having a good time.

But then, after the titles, some levity: At the end of the trailer, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) stares down the new kid on the block, Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), whose movie has grossed over $540 million worldwide in less than a week. After summoning Stormbreaker, Thor smiles.

“I like this one,” he says.

We obviously don’t know or see what it is that made Thor warm up to Danvers. But if it’s good enough for the God of Thunder, then it’s probably good enough for the rest of us.

It’s a brief 12 seconds, but given its placement in the trailer, it’s a reminder that the MCU can be literally fun to watch. (What’s not fun to watch are the Russo brothers being totally confused about Carol Danvers’ look after being up in space for 20 years and looking like every glossy magazine spread from last month.)

Of all the things Christopher Nolan impressed upon popular culture with his Batman epics (2005’s Batman Begins and 2008’s The Dark Knight), an unwelcome legacy is his blueprints for gritty superhero stories. While superhero movies were on the rise prior to Batman Begins, Nolan’s Batman reboot was like a sudden, tectonic shift for blockbuster movies.

Suddenly, superhero movies didn’t have to be light, visual effects affairs (as films like 2000’s X-Men, 2002’s Spider-Man, and 2005’s Fantastic Four were). After Batman Begins, studios saw that you could actually zap away the color, shoot everything in the pouring rain, and have a talented actor scowl under a cowl, and you could still break office records. The “gritty reboot” aesthetic found its way throughout all of pop culture.

Other franchises that got “gritty reboots” after Batman Begins were James Bond (2006’s Casino Royale), Star Trek (2009’s Star Trek), Ninja Turtles (2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and even Greek mythology (2010’s Clash of the Titans, a remake of the 1981 movie). In 2012, The CW premiered Arrow, a TV show that wore its Christopher Nolan influence on its emerald sleeves.

With Avengers: Infinity War potentially having traumatized an entire generation of moviegoers, it’s a welcome thing that Marvel is ending its latest trailer on a minor laugh. We’re going to need all the levity we can get, because things are about to get really, really dark.

Avengers: Endgame will be released in theaters on April 26.

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