Warning: There are spoilers down there!
Why are people laughing/cheering/crying?
Going to Endgame without knowing anything about the Marvel universe is like stepping into a parallel universe. Everyone laughs at inside jokes you don’t understand. Everyone cheers at seemingly random moments that have no significance to you. Everyone bursts into tears when you’re… well you might be getting a little misty eyed. You’re human after all and Iron Man made such a cute father.
Who the hell is that dude?
I know what the Hulk looks like and I’ve seen enough pictures of Chris Hemsworth with his hammer to figure out who Thor is — but there are a million different characters in this damn movie. Even once you use context clues (or risk whispering to the person next to you) to figure out everyone’s superhero name, you have no idea what their backstory is — and there is a lot of backstory, twenty-one movies worth. It can be tricky to tell who has grudges against each other and who has slept with each other. You’re going to be doing a lot of guessing.
Should I have studied more before seeing this?
I thought watching Infinity War the night before seeing Endgame would catch me up on the storyline, but it did little to help. Yes, I understand why everyone is so pissed at Thanos and his sparkling, snapping glove but pretty much everything else was a blur to me. Why? Because Endgame has scenes taken from older Marvel movies I’ve never seen before. There are conversations with Thor’s mother and Iron Man’s father that looked emotionally impactful but did nothing for me. I didn’t even piece together who they were until their scenes were almost over.
Is someone in this theater going to kill me?
You might not be a fan of Marvel, but you’ve seen how intense their fanbase can get. You’ve also seen the memes about people trying to hold their pee for three hours straight. Even though you don’t mind missing scenes (since you have no idea what’s happening anyway), you don’t really want to get up for the bathroom or another bucket of popcorn because then you’ll have to walk in front of everyone — and you’re worried about what would happen if you got in someone’s way. You don’t want to start a riot.
Should I keep my (unwanted) opinions to myself?
When the movie ends and your friends are freaking out about the film, you might want to jump in with your input, but you should probably keep quiet. Even when they voice their complaints about the time travel inconsistencies, resist bashing the plot or the characters. It’s like when your friend calls their sister a bitch but it would be inappropriate for you to do the same. It’s best to just smile and nod, smile and nod until you can go home and binge something you’re actually into.
Should I finally get into this franchise?
You might have been confused throughout the entire movie, you might have had a hard time resisting the urge to check your phone for the time, but you saw how everyone else around you reacted. They laughed. They screamed. They cried. You kind of wish you were a part of the fun — but you don’t really have enough time to watch twenty more movies which may or may not be three hours long. So you’ll have to live with your ignorance. At least you know who the purple guy is now.