Light spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame.
In the Bible (okay, Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born) the prophet Ally Campana (okay, the pop goddess/billboard star Ally Maine née Campana) shared a deeply important testimony. “Why do you look so good in those jeans?” she asked, via hymn (okay, regular pop song. Fine!). “Why’d you come around me with an ass like that? You’re making all my thoughts obscene.” This was not, not like her. And she confessed as much: “This is not, not like me!” We’d do well to remember Ally’s gospel when it comes to the most important moment in all three hours and one minute of Avengers: Endgame. That moment, of course, is all about which Avenger has the best butt.
Is it Paul Rudd as Ant-Man? No. Is it Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk? That is a good guess, but also no. Is it Chris Hemsworth as Thor? Again: no. Is it Bradley Cooper as Rocket Racoon? No, and I’m not sure that he is technically an Avenger, and also do racoons even have butts? (Something for me to Google later in the day.) Is it Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther? Please. He didn’t even have the best ass in Black Panther! The best butt in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to Endgame, belongs to none other than Chris Evans as Captain America.
In a scene early in Endgame, we are given the opportunity to remember that Chris Evans is, deeply and crucially, very handsome. He has a symmetrical face, two full lips, and eyes that make me want to leave the internet completely, sit on a porch (ideally on a lake), and read something by John Steinbeck. Anyway: Chris Evans remains handsome as the camera observes him doing the unthinkable, which is, in this case, shaving the beard that sustained us through the two hours and 40 minutes of Infinity War. Then the camera zooms out from its close-up on the razor to frame, quite perfectly, Chris Evans’s bubble butt. He stands over a bathroom sink admiring his own handiwork. One leg is popped, and the derrière is quite round. This is Endgame’s thesis.
That first bathroom scene is but the teaser for the moment at hand, however. Endgame’s plot rests on a five-year time jump post-Infinity War, some very complicated science, and a conversation about the 2010 movie Hot Tub Time Machine. The Avengers who weren’t snapped away by Thanos at the end of Infinity War must somehow go back in time, collect the Infinity Stones before Thanos does, and re-snap to order all those lost lives back to the universe. So Captain America, Ant-Man, and Iron Man are deployed to New York City circa 2012, when the latter part of the first Avengers movie plays out. At one point, Tony Stark is hiding in the background, watching as the old gang prepares to hand over the Space Stone to the feds. Lucky for him, his vantage point affords him the perfect perspective on every Avenger butt, and here’s where America’s ass gets its second act. “Mr. Rogers,” he murmurs into his headset. “That old suit design did nothing for your ass.” The camera stalls on Chris’s butt just long enough for Scott Lang to beg to differ. “You look great, Cap,” he reassures. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s America’s ass.”
America’s ass is the best joke to ever happen to Captain America — a straight edge who isn’t funny, like Thor, or snarky, like Iron Man, or Mark Ruffalo, like the Hulk — and the joke hasn’t even fully landed at this point. Fast forward two scenes, as Ant-Man and Tony Stark are busy wrestling the Space Stone from Robert Redford (who said he was going to retire after The Old Man and The Gun but obviously has not). The year 2023 Captain America comes face to face with the year 2012 Captain America. For a few glorious minutes they wrestle: Chris Evans looking into Chris Evans’s eyes, Chris Evans blocking Chris Evans’s punches, Chris Evans calling himself by his own name. When 2023 Captain America eventually bests his 2012 self in combat (“Bucky is alive!”), he stops to look at the version of himself that is 11 years younger. Instead of tossing off a lame line about how the hardest battle is the one you fight with yourself, he just stands there, checking himself out! (Who among us would not do this? Representation matters.) And then he delivers Steve Rogers’s single greatest quote in the entirety of the MCU: “That is America’s ass,” he says. And in a cinematic universe apparently without Beyoncé, he is right!
At face value, all this butt talk seems frivolous. But after years of playing an annoyingly honorable, rule-abiding, greatest good for the greatest number of people Avenger — the literal butt of so many of Robert Downey Jr.’s jokes! — Chris Evans should, at the very least, be able to exit this franchise with the satisfaction that he is a total hottie. Thank you Chris, for sharing your ass with the United States of America, a nation that certainly does not deserve it.