Spoiler Alert: Is It Possible To Go Into Movies Blind?
[THERE IS NOT SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS: ENDGAME IN THIS ARTICLE]
I feel like this a rare thing on the internet. Unless I provide you with some tiny tid-bit of information, how will I get your attention? Articles about the Avengers needs to provide opinions or theories off of a screenshot or leaked rumors. I am going to attempt an impossible feat and write about Avengers: Endgame and not actually spoil anything for the movie.
I have made it a point to try to avoid the trailers for the next MCU movie. It actually isn’t that hard to do. There have been accidents of it starting before a YouTube video or during the commercials of a basketball game. But in reality, it hasn’t been that hard to have the self-control to not click something. I remember when Age of Ultron came out, I engulfed information. I watched every single trailer and featurette. I read every leaked rumor and watched countless videos of people giving me all the comic book comparisons and fan theories. By the time I saw the film, I pretty well much had the entire plot mapped out. Looking back, the movie has quality, but at the time, knowing so much actually hindered my first time experience.
Marketing teams have a very specific job. I understand that. There is a fine line of what you need to show in order to sell tickets. Nerds like you and me, we are going to go to every comic book movie regardless. However, there is still a solid chunk of people, specifically families, that are undecided. In a perfect world, a trailer wont show us the best moments, but it happens. Christopher Nolan makes sure that only the first 1/3rd of his movies get to be used for marketing but not every director has that kind of power.
I took a step back and learned my lesson. I tried to be less obsessed with every little thing and just let my life go on, if I see something, I see something. No biggie right? The problem is, I still saw everything. Avoiding trailers is no longer the biggest hurdle. Essentially you need to avoid everything. This morning Legos advertisment spoiled something for Avengers for me. If you think that is untrue, then you do not remember Infinity War Legos series. Weeks before the Infinity War, Legos announced a Thor set, which showed the character with both eyes and Stormbreaker. Some people at the time did not find that as a spoiler but when you watch the movie, you realize Thor’s entire plot revolves around whether or not he can get the weapon.
You may be thinking “Well it is your fault for following Marvel social media” or “just avoid Facebook.” I wish it were that simple. Despite making it a point to not look up the ‘Avenge the Fallen’ poster line, I know about the two posters that had spoilers. I avoided the posters themselves but wasn’t so lucky with the headlines about the characters shown. I’m not just referring to Facebook or Twitter either. All news organizations and websites are posting the images of anything they find interesting. If you don’t want to look up a trailer, they will just show the moment in the trailer that has the biggest click-bait percentage with a headline “This means ——- is ———– which could be —— !!!” It is impossible to avoid the Avengers Endgame hype. Honestly the safest place on the internet right now is probably PornHub.
Let us take it a step farther. I know that the internet is a volunteer place, I dont have to be on it. And I think we can all agree that it is really only a vocal and annoying 24% of the internet that is ruining it for the rest of us. But what I am seeing goes far beyond a marketing issue. I’ve discussed click-bait reporting before (Henry Cavill Leaves Daily Planet Amid Click Bait Style Reporting) but this is people feeling the need to join the cultural zeitgeist. I wish I didn’t know about this word… We are witnessing a need for people to feel relevant in a society that forgets about a person’s existence in micro-seconds. It is hard to be seen, and people use something extremely popular in order to be known and interact with others. It doesn’t feel good to be left out of the conversation, especially when it is something 2 billion people are talking about. But you can be interesting and not spoil things for people.
I am not suggesting anyone walk on eggshells. I have been the person who has accidentally let out major spoilers for both Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones in front of friends. I’m sorry you didn’t know about The Red Wedding! But there are people who are just rude about it. You know the person I’m referring too. The guy who flat-out says “Han Solo dies” while walking out of the theater of a midnight showing of The Force Awakens next to a line of people waiting to get into the next showing. If you don’t want to be lumped in with that guy, than just be a little more courteous to your neighbors. We have no idea what a spoiler could be for another person. So don’t post a picture of a character in a movie and then ask “Is it a spoiler if you know she’s in it?”
When ‘Ant Man and The Wasp’ came out, it might not have felt like a spoiler to know that Michelle Pfeiffer was cast as Janet Van Dyne. That is just casting news right? However when you watch the movie, the moment that she is revealed is a big deal. The director, writers, and creative team made an artistic choice for her existence in the film to carry an emotional response. And knowing who was cast fills certain holes in your brain, lessening the blow. Knowing a character is in a movie, the age of the person cast, or the uniform the character will be wearing before going into a film will create thought bubbles that ruin the version of the movie the studio has created for you. And you cannot get that experience back.
I go and see movies at the ‘midnight release’ (now you can see a movie up to 5pm on that Thursday and it somehow counts as a midnight release.) I honestly do not like spoilers. I do not like theorizing what will happen. I trust the creators of these films and want the first time it comes out to be as cool as possible. I don’t want to come up witha possible alternative version of the plot that will make me upset when I do not see it on screen. Even knowing if a movie is “good” or “bad” can change the mindset going into a film. After I see the movie, I try not to say too much to people. I pride my reviews on having little to no spoilers. After I got out of Infinity War, all I told people the next day was that they should see it. These experiences are one-shots.
Spoilers ruin the only single time someone can be shocked or surprised by a movie. Simply seeing a picture of two cast members in a room together has made it so that I know they will meet and anything before that is has no stakes. But maybe avoiding spoilers isn’t a possibility. I have actively avoided as much of this movie as possible and I know so much. I could list out all the things I know about this movie that I wish I hadn’t and make an article that might get more clicks. Perhaps the cultural zeitgeist is a plaque that has taken over the source material I cared about long before it was popular…. On the other hand it is just a movie and I’m likely going to love the fuck out of it anyways.
Things spoiled for and rant written by: Troy Smith