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Cap fighting Thanos

Avengers: Endgame has officially been in theaters for one week, and moviegoers are still recovering from the blockbuster's wild events. The Russo Brothers pulled no punches with the final installment in the Infinity Saga, giving fitting endings to a variety of characters. The blockbuster also took bold narrative choices with Thanos, who was the undeniable protagonist of the last film.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been criticized for the handling of its villains before, but Josh Brolin brought a nuanced performance to the Mad Titan, which helped to elevate the overall quality of Avengers: Infinity War. But according to Captain America actor Chris Evans, he's not a villain at all, but a misguided and extreme figure. As Evans puts it:

It’s easy, when the villain is so clearly bad, to hate him. Marvel Studios have done this strange thing with Thanos where they gave him a logical point of view, in my opinion. He’s a sort of masked misanthrope or something cloaked in a binary logic about the greater good. He’s not just this evil guy. He thinks he’s doing a good thing, which makes him sympathetic to some degree. Brolin really grounds him in this kind of human way so you don’t see a monster or a villain. You see a person who thinks they’re doing something good.

Listen to Cap, everyone. While he didn't share a ton of scenes with Thanos throughout the last two Avengers movies, he sees how significant the performance and writing were toward his characterization. Josh Brolin brought humanity and heart to Thanos, while the audience watched him lose everything to accomplish his goals.

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Chris Evans' comments come from Avengers: Endgame - The Official Movie Special (via ComicBook), and show how much thought the actor has put into his tenure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Aside from the transformative performance as Steve Rogers, the actor is also privy to the work of his co-stars, and the work crafted by The Russo Brothers and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

Thanos was ultimately a character who had quite the tremendous arc, despite not appearing in nearly as many movies as a villain like Loki. While his goal was mass murder, he didn't do it out of malice. Instead, he believed he was saving the galaxy from overpopulation and mass famine. And he succeeded, but at great cost. He had to kill Gamora to acquire the Soul Stone, and all of The Black Order died at the hands of The Avengers.

Josh Brolin's character went more unexpected places in Avengers: Endgame, although the survivors were the true focus of the sequel. And despite losing so much, his resolve never faltered. Because without his signature terrifying world view, who is Thanos?

Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now, so you can see if Chris Evans' comments were correct. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.