Annoyed by Marvel movies that don't have real endings?


I actually have no problem with the serial aspect of the movies. As long as the movie itself is enjoyable, I don’t really need a real ending (or, at least, I don’t mind the ending leaving things open for more movies). These are puff piece blow em up action movies appealing to my inner 8 year old, I’m not going into them expecting much.

What I do find somewhat irritating, though, is how the individual superhero movies basically ignore (barring a few minor exceptions) the existence of all the other superheroes. I loved the new Captain America, but my thought during some parts of the movie was “Hey, does nobody have Tony Stark’s number? He could probably really help out with some of the problems you guys are having.” I know the movie was very focused on the whole “trust nobody” aspect, and what’s the point of having a Captain America movie if it’s full of Iron Man saving the day, but it felt like a pretty glaring plot hole that was ignored.

1 Like

[quote=“WearySky, post:2, topic:32514”]
I loved the new Captain America, but my thought during some parts of the movie was “Hey, does nobody have Tony Stark’s number? He could probably really help out with some of the problems you guys are having.” I know the movie was very focused on the whole “trust nobody” aspect, and what’s the point of having a Captain America movie if it’s full of Iron Man saving the day, but it felt like a pretty glaring plot hole that was ignored.
[/quote]Consider poor Spidey that exists in the same continuity and could probably have used a hand last time.

Not only ‘comic book’ movies.

But Hollywood does have to compete with things like HBO’s and Showtime’s and [ insert fave mini-TV company here ]'s mostly far-superior serialisations somehow.

Not much different from what you see in the bookstores though. The majority of the shelf space for SF&F is taken up by “Book {N} of the … Chronicles”. The number of writers who have the ability to consistently create new casts and settings, one book at a time, has dropped to a handful.

Books 4,5,6,7 are usually a big drop off from book 1 and 2. Then there are the publishers who fail to keep the entire series in print while new volumes are being published.

And must I mention the #@!!&! Chtorr series?? Yes, I must.

If Lord of the Rings were being first published today, I doubt if I would start reading it. “Hey, the first two volumes ended in cliffhangers. This Tolkein guy might milk it for another ten books.”


Spoiler for Iron Man 3: Tony Stark gave up being Iron Man and destroyed the suits at the end of Iron Man 3.

He was being held captive by Sony Pictures. The X-Men and Fantastic Four were imprisoned by some sort of time-travelling organization named 20th Century Fox.


This article conflates many different aspects of serial film making, some of which have nothing to do with endings. Fans of these movies love that its a shared universe and that having watched one movie leads to greater enjoyment of the next. You get to follow these characters through more than just one arc.

But my real problem with this (and articles like it) is how it fits into a collective hypocrisy in criticism of film vs tv. (This is a criticism of writers in general, not this one in particular).

Pages and pages have been written about the rise of good television recently. Many point out how better budgets, better talent and other changes have made for a better (and more varied) viewing experience. And its all true.

Much has also been written on how tv is trumping film because you can tell more story over 26 episodes, over 3 or 5 or 7 seasons. Mad Men, Sopranos, Breaking Bad are all praised (rightly) as fine art and entertainment. There’s no way you could start the shows half way in or understand what’s happening if you skip even one episode. And since they go on for many seasons, its a long time before anything really ends.

The hypocrisy comes when you compare how the critic class speaks of tv and how they speak of movies. “Breaking Bad is amazing. Can’t wait for the next season”. “Ugh a summer of more sequels”. “Wow, Walking Dead’s one fight sequence was so well done.” “Oh great, another action/zombie/disaster movie”. The same characteristics seen in the highest praised tv shows are what make up the “lowest” form of film making.

I’m not saying all serial films are good (holy crap, they’re not). And certainly I’m not trying to take down television. I watch it, I love it and can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with next. But can’t we just acknowledge that as critics (which we all are, this is the internet) we are wildly inconsistent. And maybe what we’re looking for is greatly influenced by what we feel “good film” should be. Not by what it actually is.

Marvel is a spandex soap opera. Hardly surprising the movies would end with cliffhangers.


Spoiler response to a spoiler:

Actually, I totally forgot about that. I guess they’re waiting for the next Avengers movie for him to come back. Well then, I’m glad that my one niggling criticism of the film was just a figment of my poor imagination, and not poor scriptwriting

Oh but apparently Marvel isn’t doing that kind of television

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. felt, for too much of its season, like a means rather than an end — a brand extension of the movies that couldn’t find a heartbeat as a freestanding series. Here, Marvel seemed to be saying. We’ll throw you one carefully negotiated minute of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in this episode, a passing reference to Iron Man in the next, a minor character from Thor two weeks from now, and a vague sense that a lot of teen mutants are out there even though rights issues mean that X-Men must never be mentioned. Are you not entertained?

Not really, as it turned out, because entertainment that feels designed to be peripheral to larger entertainment isn’t that entertaining. Constant referentiality is neither good world-building nor good storytelling, and S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t really get on its feet until it came up with a central plotline — the agency was revealed to have been infiltrated for decades by a Nazi cult and one of the six team members was a traitor — that could be enjoyed by someone who had never read a comic book or seen a Marvel movie.

I see this as a net positive.

1 Like

Is it really necessary to do spoiler alerts for a movie that’s been out for over a year?

My point was NOT that Marvel makes good anything. In fact I mention Marvel specifically exactly zero times. My point was that the things we like to see in tv get crapped on when they show up in film.

I agree with the author that Agents of Shield had a lot wrong with it. Its great that the movie had repercussions on the show. And watching that play out, from the perspective of characters who had no idea what was going on (because they couldn’t see the movie) was good fun. And once that shoe dropped, the show became much more compelling.

But there were major problems with the show before that point. It was treading water, and poor writing made that obvious. It actually suffered from a similar problem as another Whedon show: Dollhouse. Both shows had an overall end game and huge story shifts that would change everything. But they had no compelling week to week stories to tell before that. Which means I had no reason to care about the characters.

I think we disagree though about the reason all the references were in the show. The author seems to think the creators of Shield thought they could get by on just that. I think they realized how weak everything was and wrote them in, in an attempt to cover up the emptiness. Granted, either way the result is an empty show. The good news is that either way, the creator seem to know what worked and what didn’t and are pointing the way to a better show.

The real question is, did they redeem themselves enough for people to come back for the seque…I mean, season 2.

@WearySky seemed to not know what happened at the end of Iron Man 3 so I put that in a spoiler tag just in case. Plus spoiler tags are cruise control for cool.

What idiot thinks that a neatly wrapped up ending is important to a good movie? The term “Hollywood Ending” is a joke, not an ideal.

In that case, how you make blurry?

Anyway, doesn’t really matter how IM3 ends, because it’s not like Tony Stark is going to forget how to Tony Stark by the time Avengers 2 rolls around.

1 Like

Yeah, I was just continuing the spoiler tag fun. :smile:

To do a spoiler text, you do a [spoiler] tag (and provide an accompanying closing tag, left out so that it doesn’t actually trigger the spoiler functionality).

Would you describe the end of “Dancer in the Dark” as a “Hollywood Ending”?

Is that an Avengers spin-off?

1 Like

I would dearly like to see von Trier attempt a superhero movie.