Movie Review: How It Ends

Movie Review: How It Ends
Netflixable? “How it Ends” takes a shot at the apocalypse without humanity  | Movie Nation

credit: How It Ends

Two main story elements tend to fight for dominance in this movie, and, to be fair. They’re the two that people should be focusing on since Will’s attempt to gain Tom’s approval and blessing to marry Tom’s daughter is one of the two. The other is the strange, unknown seismic event that knocks out power and communication across the country and prompts Will to join Tom as they make their way from Chicago to Seattle in an attempt to find Samantha, Tom’s daughter, who is pregnant with her and Will’s baby. So, in all honesty, the story does start out with the deck stacked against Will just a bit since there’s a story with an expensive motorboat that has caused Tom to disapprove of Will. So trying to imagine the idea of trying to ask for Tom’s blessing while keeping the secret that Sam is pregnant means that Will is already back into a corner before things even start. But the fact that Will is in Chicago when the event happens, it’s not too surprising that he and Tom are the ones to go searching for Sam. 

How It Ends movie review & film summary (2018) | Roger Ebert

credit: How It Ends

The movie feels a little bit generic, which could be why it wasn’t a big hit.

 When thinking about how many movies there have been that showcase the end of the world or something similar, it’s easy to think that a lot of them get overlooked for one reason or another, and being similar to the many others that are depicted is a pretty common excuse for not getting into a lot of movies. But watching Forest Whitaker and Theo James make their way from Illinois to Washington is kind of interesting since one would almost expect Will, played by James, to be the skilled individual that is ready to adapt and survive. But the fact is that Tom, played by Whitaker, is a former Marine who ends up becoming the saving grace for this movie since otherwise, Will would be dead or left on the side of the road. When the two head out for Seattle, it’s very clear that Tom has little to no respect for Will, but as the trip continues, the two men begin to understand each other a little better. Unfortunately, this type of movie is something that has to be something special to really gain the attention of the audience. 

Forest Whitaker as a badass isn’t hard to imagine, but it’s still not quite as effective.

For one reason or another, Whitaker is easy to see as someone who can take action, but at the same time, it’s a limited feeling that he’s going to be effective, something that indicates that if he tries to do more than he’s capable of that the effect is going to be ruined. Theo James has been in action movies, as has Whitaker, and yet, switching it up to show Tom as the guy that can get things done and Will as the guy who desperately needs to learn how to handle himself feels kind of awkward. The movie does work, but it also feels like it drags on in some instances, as though the budding respect between Tom and Will is being doled out in small pieces. That is fairly realistic, thankfully, since it’s a matter of allowing the story to come together as it moves forward. Apart from that, however, the action sequences and the drama feel a bit out of whack at times. 

A Review On Netflix Original "How It Ends" - Ordinary Reviews

credit: How It Ends

This kind of movie does make one wonder how people would react. 

This is an interesting question since one can’t help but wonder how people would react in a true end-of-the-world scenario. The world didn’t exactly end, but the event was violent enough that it did make it easy to think that many people would react in this manner. It was already seen how people reacted during a pandemic, which, sad to say, wasn’t reassuring during 2020. But thinking of how things would go if the power went out, communications went down, and people started turning on each other is kind of an intriguing point since it feels safe to say that those with the ability to do so would take charge very quickly and attempt to assert their authority. 

The ending is kind of tragic. 

On the upside, Will does find Sam, but Tom dies after suffering a broken rib and then a punctured lung before the two men reach Sam. On top of that, a man that had escaped the cities with Sam tries to kill Will but is shot down by Will in self-defense. Their reunion is rather sweet since it shows that there is a happy ending in store for them despite the horror that they’ve witnessed. Unfortunately, the credits begin to roll right as a cloud of dirt and ash starts to overtake the vehicle that Will and Sam are driving away in. Talk about anticlimactic. 


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