Assemble the team. Gather the stones. Lose a complex female team member on Vormir. Take part in an inscrutable CGI battle shrouded in smoke, dust, and debris. Snap. The combined budgets for these two films is nearly one billion dollars, which Infinity War earned easily. Every dollar put toward Endgame represents a victory lap for the studio and an insult to the viewer who just paid to see the same movie under the guise of another.
Two heroes, both supposed to be the good guys, can’t help but spar with each other. A complex female sidekick does her best to keep things amiable between the good guys. A villain who threatens both of their livelihoods forces them to set aside their differences and fight side-by-side. Then, a sacrifice that puts their silly fight into perspective. There were less than six weeks that separated these two films in 2016.
Rejected superfans-turned-vengeful supervillians. Intelligence used as a weapon. Inventions proving to be downfalls. You’ve even got a sequence with the hero’s arms bound up. These stories are more or less identical. Sure, there are other themes explored on the surface here, but the bones are the same.
Young heroes with new powers. Older heroes past their prime (and an old villain from their past that the new generation must face). Even a couple superhero training facilities complete with humorous montages where the new supers failing to harness their powers. These movies might be the oldest of the bunch, but they prove that this problem exists far outside the boundaries of DC and Marvel.
Visions of dead dads, confrontations with long-lost evil family members, big gladiator fights, cautionary tales about colonialism, and acceptance of their rightful spots as kings—Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok are more or less the same movie under the surface, released a little more than three months apart. Marvel must think their fans love this stuff. They hope they'll eat it up.