A expertly handled twist or emotionally wringing finale can raise the average above its station. However it works both ways, a sloppy or out of place ending can severely lessen the enjoyment of an otherwise fine piece of film making. With that in mind here are the worst movie endings.
1: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Just like its name the final part of Peter Jackson’s tour de force is too damn long, a whopping three and a half hours of bum numbing entertainment! Disappointingly the end to the finest trilogy since Star Wars is dragged out unnecessarily. Anyone who wants to know that Sam married Rose, or that Gandalf and Frodo went for an impromptu boat cruise can look it up on the internet. The large majority would have been happy with Aragorn telling the Hobbits that they never need to bow to anyone ever again. And fade out.
2: Oblivion. Tom Cruise has sacrificed himself to save the day in Joseph Kosinski decent 2013 sc-fi yarn but don’t fear ladies because he was actually a clone, one of many to be precise. Olga Kurylenko obviously puts looks before anything else because as a replacement for the deceased shuffles into view she smiles and everything is all right with the world. This is not the same person, his memory only the same up to a point, shared experiences never happened, different choices/life lessons = different personality. Not so much a bad ending as just plain creepy.
3: Source Code. Another morally ambiguous ending, this time courtesy of Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan. From about the half way point you know that there can’t be a happy ending for the heroic paraplegic, not unless a completely ludicrous and out of place twist was about to occur… Not the fact that Colter and Christina live past the explosion but that he is now inhabiting someone else’s body. It might be all puppy dogs and rainbows for these two but that man is now dead, he had a family, loved ones. All left bereft because Hollywood can’t get enough of the mushy stuff.
4:The Dark Knight Rises. As the batwing streaks across the waves, explosion imminent, the audience hold their collective breath. Or they would be if Fox and Bruce had not spent five minutes discussing the finer intricacies of the auto pilot. A slightly less obvious use of Chekhov’s gun next time please. See also The Prestige,
5:Spider-man 2. The cheese factor of the ending is off the chart. Slow motion running to your sweetheart, fair enough. Slow motion running to your sweetheart on the day of your wedding, its been done. Slow motion running to your sweetheart on the day of your wedding to someone else, in your wedding dress!!! That is unheard of. Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst should receive Oscars for managing to keep their faces straight during that!! Pass the vomit bag.
So there you go. Do you love a happy ending? What films would you change? Comment below. Or check out the five greatest endings of all time for proof that I’m not a grumpy old sod.