Den of Geek has a list of movies that don’t have endings. Rather than trying to think of suggestions they might have missed, I started thinking about movies that have too many endings — and as such, spoilers abound — prompted by…
Air Force One
…because it was on last night. Russian dissidents hijack Vietnam vet Harrison Ford’s plane, and he fights back in his signature rumpled everyman style. Aside from having an astonishingly high number of innocent people getting wasted, there’s not much noteworthy about this Die Hard 2 clone (yes, it’s not even a Die Hard clone!) until we get to the end. There’s a final showdown in which a shifty Brass off of CSI shows he’s a patriot after all by throwing himself in front of a bullet destined for President Han Solo, complete with slow-motion roar. Then there’s another fight in which chief villain Gary Oldman is tossed out of the back with the last parachute by President Jack Ryan (“Get off my plane!”), but that’s not the end. There’s a MiGed-up dogfight which culminates in a random fighter jock shows he’s a patriot above all by throwing his plane in front of a missile destined for President Indy, complete with slow-motion roar — but that’s not the end either. The plane still has to be landed, and at least here the film sidesteps talking-down-the-inexperienced-pilot-from-the-tower cliché by knackering the plane’s engines. Instead we get a protracted sequence of characters ziplining to another plane, at which point a traitorous Secret Service agent reveals his hand, despite the fact that he’s totally escaped detection* and has no actual reason to kill President John Book. He shoots loveable William H Macy — another example of how callous this film is with its supporting cast — before President Richard Kimble beats him up and jumps out, leaving Air Force One to ditch in the sea. Which, with plenty of support on hand, may not actually have been the worst thing in the world. I wasn’t timing, but it seems like a good twenty minutes of faffing about after Gary Oldman’s scenery-chewing baddie is dispatched, and that’s just not on.
*although frankly, the mere fact that he’s Xander Berkely should have set alarm bells ringing in the Secret Service. On the form you have to fill in to get into the Secret Service, it should say at the top ‘Are you Xander Berkely? Yes/no’. Even above ‘name’. It should say ‘If you answered yes, get on your knees, interlace your fingers behind your head, and wait to be carted off to whichever third world country we’re currently carting wrong’uns off to. If you answered no, go to question 2’.
Now I think about it, this seems like a problem endemic to a certain brand of pre-Bourne action movies, which attempt to top the pyrotechnics of the first ninety minutes in the last twenty minutes. So after Speed‘s repeating the bus bits on a subway train (“But I’m taller!”) we get perhaps the nadir of this trend: Con Air. After all the plane-related banging and crashing we get a messy landing right on the Las Vegas strip, from which John Malkovich, Ving Rhames and a big redneck escape in a fire engine. John Cusack and Nic Cage give chase, there’s an overblown but dull scrap, and the fire engine crashes into a bridge. My problem is the number of ways Malkovich is offed: he’s thrown through a glass bridge, electrocuted and finally has his fucking head flattened to a pulp by some kind of construction equipment that seems to have the sole purpose of sitting around waiting to squash somebody’s fucking head. And that’s not to mention the frankly insane ending where paedophile mass murderer Steve Buscemi just gets away!**
**Although it would have been totally awesome if Xander Berkely had just got away.
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
The king of films that never fucking end, that is. Oh. My. Gollum. There’s a big battle. That’s got to be the end, right? Oh no, there’s like an hour of Sam and Frodo crying on each other as they try to deny that they’re totally hobbit-hot for each other’s hobbit bottoms. And then there’s the bit with Liv Tyler getting on a boat but wait she’s not getting on the boat aaaagghjesusmakeitstopineedafuckingppppiiiisssss!
Any more suggestions in the comments. But don’t go on too long.