It makes you nostalgic for the days where movie cliffhangers really carried some weight. However Cap and co counteract that infamous Thanos click, it’s hard to ignore the countless ads, teases and announcements we’ve already had for future instalments of Marvel’s supposedly dusted heroes. Our insatiable need for literally any shred of movie information or newsworthy nuggets has all but sapped any of the peril Infinity Game’s open-ended climax had - and in turn, it’s robbed us of the full potency of the Russo Brothers’ master plan. Undoubtedly the internet and all of its connectivity, opportunity, cat gifs and fail videos has done a lot of good - but for movie-fans, it’s irrevocably changed the viewing experience.
In a pre-web world, this wasn’t the case. It may seem like an eon ago - but cast your mind back and imagine what it must have been like to watch a movie cliffhanger when there was nothing - literally nothing - you could do but wait for the ending of the story to materialise. No shoddy set pictures shot on camera phones from street corners, no accidental plot leaks from sweaty-palmed crew members rolled out for interviews whenever the stars were unavailable - not even any unsubstantiated think-pieces or geeky ‘things you didn’t notice’ scene analyses on YouTube to dissect. All you had was time. Plenty of time. It’s a hard scenario to picture these days but it definitely existed.
Now put yourself in the cinema seat of a moviegoer watching The Empire Strikes Back for the very first time in 1980. Imagine seeing it come to a close: Luke bested by Vader and missing a hand, mysterious rumours of another Skywalker hiding somewhere in the galaxy, Han imprisoned in carbonite and sold off to a bounty hunter - and then: credits. What would you have thought as you stared at the screen, mouth agape, pondering the pure WTF-ness of it all whilst knowing that you wouldn’t get any answers or closure at all until Episode VI arrived in three years time? It goes without saying that the internet has given us a wealth of information right at our fingertips - spoilers and all - but sometimes, ignorance is bliss.
Do you think decent movie cliffhangers are gone for good? Let me know in the comment section below!