How It Ends. Well, I’ve never seen a movie title that sounded so ambiguous afterward. They should have added a question mark. I was very enthusiastic in the beginning. Once again a film from the Netflix Originals stable. Moreover, Forest Whitaker is in it. Without a doubt, one of my favorite star actors. When there’s a film with this versatile actor in the starting blocks, I’m eagerly waiting to see it. The calmness he radiates is magisterial. Even though he’s about to explode like an awakened volcano. Unfortunately, he can’t take this no-win movie to a higher level. When the end of the world becomes as boring as this movie, the tedium will kill me.
How It Ends is the umpteenth film about a post-apocalyptic world with the usual clichés. Something that Theo James already has experience with after his participation in the Divergent franchise. Now, I’m not a real fan of the Divergent saga, but I have to admit that it had much more to offer in terms of content and visuals. How It Ends is monotonous and repetitive. I hoped that this film would be a combination of Cell and Mad Max, but it turned out to be a miserably long road movie with always the same recurring events. Eventually, I understood it was more about the relationship between Will (Theo James) and his father-in-law Tom Sutherland (Forest Whitaker) than about surviving in a chaotic debris-ridden world. The two have a very difficult relationship. And during the long trip to Seattle, you gradually see a mutual respect growing. But that’s just not what I wanted to see.
What you get is a sort of cross-country through the U.S. along dusty roads, deserted ghost towns, and endless vistas. And of course, there are the usual obstacles of military blockades (which, if Tom uses the correct pep talks, step aside and let them pass) and distraught people who only want one thing. And that is to get away from the disaster as quickly as possible. And it’s not exactly an easy task without fuel. The result is a struggle for this precious stuff. Mind you, this goes on the entire film. And as is customary in post-apocalyptic films, they are the heroes, who are moving against the current instead of fleeing. Closer to the source that causes all the misery. Add to that a pile of dusty desert sand and a bunch of weirdos (the Apocalypse brings out their rebellious nature) who are wildly waving around with their shotguns, and the picture is complete. They should have worked harder on the content. Now it seemed like a collection of ideas that have been raked together.
No, you can hardly call this overwhelming. In Seeking a Friend for the End of the World there was just as much to see. But the latter was at least interesting and entertaining.
Still, some positive comments. First, the girl Ricki (Grace Dove). Her remarks and actions were clever, bold and sometimes also quite humorous. Her remark about the names of American combat helicopters made me raise my eyebrows for a moment. I never looked at it that way before. And then the way in which everything was portrayed, is also worth mentioning.
But otherwise, this would-be dystopian film completely missed the mark. It’s not really a rich addition to this well-known genre.
How It Ends is now streaming on Netflix.