How it Ends – Hoped for Better

Rating (2 out of 5)

I wish I could tell you this new movie on Netflix was the hidden gem of the year. I also wish I could tell you I won the lottery, but alas, neither will be happening this week.

The movie follows Theo James (Allegiant) and Forrest Whitaker (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) as they cross from Chicago to Seattle to save the girlfriend/daughter, during some cataclysmic event.

Setup is quick and simple. Theo’s girlfriend is pregnant, and while on business in Chicago, Theo is going to ask Forrest if he can marry his daughter. Forrest doesn’t like Theo and is alway curt with him, and their dinner doesn’t go well. Theo wakes up the next morning and is talking to the girlfriend/daughter, and they are cut off, as she looks scared and the phone goes fuzz. That then setups the drive across the country.

For some reason, everyone along the way from Chicago to Seattle has turned evil. They go to get gas, and some hicks try to take all of Theo’s money. They come across a sheriff and the sheriff tries to shoot them. There is a bridge and it has armed robbers. They come across a woman in the middle of the road through a fiery pass, and she is being forced to stop cars for 3 guys with shotguns in a Prius.

I went with it, I was along for the ride. Typical post apocolyptic type scenarios. Then of course Theo and Forrest have their bonding moments, and then Forrest dies. I liked that. Don’t like it when everyone lives.

I was all set to give this move a 3, but then I watched it to the end. This is despite the 3 stupid guys trying to make a getaway in a Prius, or cell phones that get fuzz, rather than just drop off.

Miraculously, after the car breaks down, he starts walking and trying to hitchhike. Some nice people give him a lift. He trades his dad’s house for their car, and proceeds to Seattle. This part goes relatively fast compared to the first part of the trip.

Seattle is a disaster. He is the only living person walking through it. That’s is right, no military, no police, no scavengers, no one except this dude. He makes his way through the ashy studio (oh I mean Seattle) to this old apartment. …. Spoiler coming….

His girlfriend was able to write the address in sharpie on the door, for him to find her. Everything is covered in ash except for the freaking door. The message might as well been a neon sign. This is when I started lowering my score.

Then he drives out into the forest area. Oh yeah, and the mystery map that Forrest had in his car seems to have all the side streets for the entire universe. Must be the hitchhikers guide to the universe.

So Theo drives out to the woods where his girlfriend has been staying with their neighbor.

The director immediately strikes out to make the neighbor creepy, and you know where its going to lead. No build up, or even he might be good moments. No, just plain crazy from the onset. But hold on, we have to have sex first. If this scene had been cut. This was a director thinking, “oh in school my teacher always said to add a romantic scene”. Be brave, let the story speak for itself, instead of using some formula for moviemaking.

Of course, creepy neighbor tries to kill Theo, but our Theo has wised up to the world in 4 days, and shoots him dead. Not only has he wised up but he is a crack shot, right through the heart. Just in time to rush back to the house, get the girl, jump in the car and out run the pyroclastic cloud from a volcano. These clouds move at 430 mph, and yes he is able to outrun it in the 1970 Jeep. Give me a freaking break.

Did I mention that the volcano effects were SYFY channel quality. Which means it looked like someone superimposed on the film, which made it look uber fake.

This movie had me interested all the way up to Seattle and then it SUCKED. This was the laziest writing every to end a story. It’s like the director turned up one day, and was told he had hit the max on his budget and wind it up. Which he did. What a waste.