Tuesday, July 17, 2018

How It Ends (2018)

I’d like to review this movie with no spoilers, but I don’t know if that’s possible.  I’m going to have to give away some detail, even if it’s minor and vague.  The first such detail is that How it Ends is a misnomer.  Not only do we never really find out how everything ended, the movie doesn’t have much of an ending, itself.

It starts with Will and Samantha looking at an ultrasound of their baby-to-be.  Will then goes to Chicago to meet with Sam’s parents, Tom and Paula.  Tom and Will don’t seem to get along that well, which is a shame, as Will wants to ask for Sam’s hand in marriage.  The evening ends with Tom and Will arguing.

As Will’s waiting for a flight back to Seattle, all the flights suddenly get canceled.  He gets back to Tom and Paula; Paula will be staying with a friend while Tom and Will drive to Seattle to find Sam.  Being that the apocalypse has now begun, it should be no surprise how the drive plays out.  Their trip is punctuated with scenes that alternate between someone trying to hurt them and someone that can help them.  Along the way, they pick up Ricki, who’s good with cars.

We never get any sense of what happened.  People speculate, of course.  It might be aliens.  It could, of course, be a natural disaster, but that wouldn’t affect the entire country at once.  It might even be China and/or North Korea attacking us.  Some people head to Canada, but there’s no evidence that things are better there.

This is another Netflix movie that would make more sense as part of a larger story arc.  It has better-than-moderate production values.  However, it’s basically a weak road-trip plot with a disaster as a backdrop.  Speaking of which, I find it odd that America went from all normal to roving bands of outlaws overnight.  Yes, people will steal your gas and leave you for dead and it didn’t even take two days.

We also don’t get to see many characters for more than a few minutes.  It’s mostly about Tom, Will and Ricki.  Even Samantha gets maybe 15 minutes of screen time total.  This means that three actors have to do all the heavy lifting.  Their characters seem to be somewhat generic.  Tom is a former Marine, which is just enough to give him combat skills to protect Will.  Will is sort of a stock husband/boyfriend who cares about the person they’re going to meet.  Even the dynamic of a man at odds with a potential father-in-law is nothing new.  It’s like the writers took some basic elements and used that for a fairly generic movie.

If you do put this on your Netflix list, I’d save this for last.  You might think that it’s good that Netflix gives you a decent selection, except that many of the options I’ve seen aren’t that good.  Altered Carbon and Lost in Space seem to be fairly good, but I’m still waiting for Netflix to hit one out of the park.  This isn’t going to be the one that makes you sign up for the service.

IMDb pge

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