It’s a Tuesday night and I am chuckling my way through Marvel/Sony’s Spider-Man: Far From Home in-between shovels of Cool Doritos. Being my third viewing, I was reminded of its pedigree as a simplistic “fun time” that, while still following the basic formula of nearly every other MCU outings, has a unique sense of personality that really separates it from the rest.
The movie has finished and as I tidy up the destructive scene of an empty Doritos packet, cans of Diet Coke and decimated Terry’s Chocolate Orange (which fell victim slightly after the Doritos), the credits spill over to the self-imposed yet seemingly mandatory post-credit scene featuring Nick Fury and Maria Hill, and I am yanked back through the years to a dimly lit cinema screen with a bucket, rubbish bag, and brush in hand.
You see, as a walking cliche I spent my early years as a film student working in a cinema. It had its ups (free tickets and early screenings) and of course like any job a myriad of negatives (bitchy customers, late weekend work, yada yada yada). But one negative that left my skin crawling was that of the Marvel post-credit scene.
When assigned to screen cleaning, you often had tight turnovers between a popcorn speckled viewing finishing and a neat and tidy showing starting, especially when Marvel films were involved. Eighty percent of the time the second the credits roll and the lights go up, the munching masses would pour out of the screen leaving lucky cleaners such as myself to sweep up popcorn, empty unfinished drinks, and pray to God that no unholy (and more specifically wet) mess has been left behind, as the varying soundtracks drown out your multitudinous sighs. But this was certainly not the case when Marvel was involved.
The mess was still present – quite often worse – but an additional inclusion was that of the enthusiastic fans, eagerly awaiting their twenty seconds of extra, juicy MCU content. Standing there with your bucket, bags and brush, you would have to wait patiently, knowing that what was coming was neither worth their time, and being your 27th time seeing it, certainly not worth yours. Upon completion you would engage in some polite goodbyes before manically sweeping, wiping and pouring, as dozens of excitable Marvelite’s impatiently stood just outside for their showing.
During my stint at the cinema, I endured the post-credits of hits such as Ant-Man, Civil War, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. Yet as the trend of the post-credit scene began to cement its way into the psyche of contemporary movie-goer, the stubborn watcher would begin to wait in the off chance they were gifted an extra cinematic treat, for viewing choices outside of the MCU. All the while, as I wracked up my “screen-side” time, a festering anger began to permeate its way directly to my association with those post-credit scenes. Even now, three years since I last swept up a single kernel of popcorn, this little slither of vapid additional film has left a sort of post-credit-post-traumatic-stress.
Now understandably, as cinemas have you paying out of the arse for the latest blockbusters, you want to get all the value you can out of those expensive receipts. But as I shook my head at the reveal of Nick Fury’s true whereabouts after Far From Home, my heart went out to all the cinema staff that must endure those incredulously long waits, whenever it may be that Marvel inevitably begin to dominate the movie industry once more. Drawing out my conclusion I see that I used this article as a form of venting, and that it serves no real purpose besides a slight insight to the kind of stuff that leaves me typing up my thoughts up at 3 in the morning. So, I suppose to give it some kind of meaning, Marvel if you’re listening… can you just not?