Daily Archives: July 18, 2015

Good Movies with Bad Endings

You expect a bad movie to have a bad ending. What is really frustrating is when a good movie is ruined in the last 5 minutes by a terrible ending. Sometimes the endings are so bad they actually make you angry. Below are 3  movies that could have been great with just slightly different endings. Spoiler alert – We will be giving away the endings of these movies.

The Ninth Gate – Johnny Depp plays a rare book merchant who makes an extraordinary find. There is an ancient  manuscript which was supposedly written by the Devil himself. At first, Johnny is only interested in the monetary value of such a book. However, as the plot progresses, he begins to believe in the power of the book

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Supposedly,  if you can collect all the right pieces and read them out loud, you can open up the Ninth Gate to Hell and walk through it. Why exactly anyone would want to do this is never made clear. That point aside, this movie is very exciting. It has mystery, suspense, and even a beautiful woman with supernatural powers.

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However, the ending will leave you shouting at the screen. After many long and dangerous adventures, Johnny Depp successfully collects all the parts of the book. He then arranges them in the correct order and begins to read the incantations.  This is the moment the whole film had been building to. Will the Ninth Gate to Hell really open? If it does, what will Hell look like?  We never find out.

The movie just stops. The credits roll and that’s it. It was as if the movie company ran out of money on the film and had to shut down production. There is no use sitting through all the credits either. There is no hidden scene after the credits. We never get to see what happens when Johnny Depp reads the book.

The Devil Wears Prada – Anne Hathaway plays Andy, the young innocent woman who gets a job as an assistant to Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) at the fashion magazine Runway. This movie is terrific.  Runway Magazine, of course, is really Vogue, and Miranda Priestly is actually Anna Wintour the dictator of Vogue.

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Meryl Streep gives an amazing performance as a woman who is willing to do whatever it takes to retain the top position in the cutthroat world of high fashion. Anne Hathaway starts out knowing nothing about the business, and finds the whole Fashion scene rather silly. As the film progresses, however, she comes see the true excitement that draws so many to that world. She looks more and more beautiful as she learns the secrets of how to dress perfectly.

It turns out that Andy  has a natural aptitude for the business and eventually becomes the indispensable “right hand woman” for Miranda.

Then we come to the end of the movie. After having reached the top, Andy simply quits the job and walks away. It is supposed to be one of those morality tale endings.  She does not want to have to make the moral compromises it takes to stay at the top of the fashion world.

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It is a ridiculous ending. We are supposed to believe that this young woman quits a job where she meets famous people, attends amazingly lavish parties,  goes to fashion shows in Paris, and gets one-of-a-kind dresses for free. Yes, she drops this so she can spend more time with her boyfriend who is a short order cook in Brooklyn.

It simply makes no sense. To make it worse, the final scene shows Anne Hathaway in a coffee shop, wearing frumpy clothing and obviously about 20 pounds heavier than when she was at Runway Magazine. In the coffee shop she is looking very happy.  Apparently the makers of this movie really believe the old adage, “fat and happy.”

Despite the ending, this film is still worth seeing. It is one of the best performance Meryl Streep has ever given. She plays a woman who will never leave this exciting and glamorous word willingly. In the final scene when Anne Hathaway talks about walking away from the job; Meryl Streep answers, “Don’t be ridiculous. Everyone wants to be us.”

Wall Street: Money never Sleeps – Most people will  simply refer to this movie as Wall Street 2, although that is not the title. This is the long awaited sequel to the 1987 blockbuster movie Wall Street, which ended with the business tycoon Gordon Gekko going to prison for insider trading.

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Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas)  is now out of prison and is a changed man. The movie was made in 2010, but the film is supposed to take place just before the Great Recession of 2008.  Gekko is no longer bold and adventurous. He is meek and tries to warn people about the excesses of the banks. He is no longer allowed to trade securities in the United States, and even if he could he has no money with which to do so.

The twist is that his new personality is all a ruse. He is still the same son of a bitch, money driven person who went into prison. He steals the large trust fund from his own daughter, and moves to England. There he is legally allowed to trade securities. He has not lost his touch, and makes many millions. He returns to wearing hand-tailored suits and even changes his hair to the slicked-back style that he was famous for the in the first movie, when he gave his “greed is good” speech.

The movie would have been terrific if it had stopped there. It even had the perfect ending line. After making his millions in the UK and wearing his new suit, Gordon Gekko looks straight at the camera and states “I’m back!”.

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However, the makers of the movie decided instead to end it with a sappy, feel good morality theme. Apparently they thought you just can’t have the bad guy win. So in the last five minutes of the movie they change this classic bad guy into a good guy. He takes his millions and wires it  to a project for his daughter. Not only does the money go back to his daughter, it gets invested in a Cold Fusion research facility, which will magically solve the environmental problems caused by fossil fuel.

This is an idiotic  ending. We have seen Gordon Gekko through two entire movies and everything he does is motivated by greed and money for himself. You can’t just change him into a caring philanthropist is the last 5 minutes of the sequel.  Gordon Gekko cares only about himself, and that is what has made him such an iconic American figure.

The ironic part is that anyone who had read anything about cold fusion knows it does not work. Everyone who ever invested money in it lost 100% of their investment. The Gordon Gekko we love to hate  would never make such a stupid mistake.