Some sci-fi movies like Everything everywhere all at once deserve praise for their overall quality, but other sci-fi movies haven’t quite made the landing. Movie history is littered with great sci-fi movies that dropped the ball when it came to their endings.
Whether it’s big budget remakes like War of the Worlds or epic franchise episodes such as Alien: Alliance, many sci-fi movies had fans on the hook until it was time to wrap things up. While a lot of sci-fi suffers from bad endings, Reddit users have taken to the site to discuss the ending so terrible it ruined the whole movie.
In order to enjoy science fiction, viewers must suspend their disbelief to accept certain fantastical concepts. However, user gvondra thought ending a movie took things too far, writing “Lucy. The whole movie requires maximum suspension of disbelief. But the shallow sophomore ending destroys everything.”
Scarlett Johansson’s vehicle was silly and fun, but many viewers felt the finale was asking too much of the audience when it came to suspending disbelief. Basing the film on the “10% of the brains” mythos meant that things weren’t necessarily going to represent reality, but the film’s supposed transcendence ending belittled the thrilling action the film had provided up to that point.
Star Trek: Generations (1994)
Make meaningful moves in a beloved franchise like star trek is risky, and Star Trek: Generations presented a turning point in the canon. User Theinspector3000 was downright disgusted with the film, writing of the film, “What he did to Kirk after a respectable bow in… The unknown country makes me despise him”.
Killing the beloved Captain Kirk could have been handled with finesse and gravity appropriate for the character. However, Generations did no such thing and left viewers enraged with its lackluster ending. Although the film was never going to be counted among the best star trek movies of all time, its ending helped solidify it as one of the worst.
War of the Worlds (2005)
While overly cynical endings can often be criticized for being too dark, some movies have endings so sappy they leave a bad taste in the viewer’s mouth. User mattXIX mentioned such a movie when he wrote “War of the Worlds. The movie was enjoyable and even funny at times. The savory ending that brought the characters together completely ruined the movie for me.”
When a film pushes its reach to a global level, it is necessary to make difficult decisions regarding the fate of the characters. When each person in their immediate family survives despite otherwise, the film feels dishonest and removes some of the emotional weight from the film’s events.
Science fiction is generally a bold and ambitious genre, but sometimes the bold choices can alienate audiences as the film progresses. User richterfrollo watched a funny movie fall apart when he said “Passengers was so good in the first third…then the second half started to ruin it and the end put the nail in the coffin.”
Passengers is essentially a good movie spoiled by its third act, but if it hadn’t added its weird ending, it would have had a better reputation. While surprises are good, viewers can feel betrayed when a movie points to one thing and suddenly switches at the end.
pandora was a flop when it first hit theaters, but has since garnered a cult following for its interesting blend of interstellar horror. Despite this, user Aqualung1 was disappointed with the film, commenting, “Such a complex, multi-layered, visionary sci-fi film ruined by a typical, enjoyable Hollywood ending.”
Hollywood cinema is all about compromise, and unfortunately for pandora the film’s Lovecraftian sci-fi horror was compromised by its twisted cheesy ending. The film’s final act was obviously written in a corner, but simply making it work at the end wasn’t the twist fans were looking for.
Alien: Pact (2017)
In the second half of the 2010s, the Extraterrestrial franchise was an embattled shell of what it once was, but Alien: Alliance hoped to change all that. User Lance20000 found much the same thing, however, writing: “The last 20 minutes must have been added by the studio. … It certainly turned a decent alien movie into something I prefer no longer see again”.
the original Extraterrestrial is one of the greatest sci-fi horror movies of all time, and meeting that standard was nearly impossible. Even if the fans did not expect it Commitment to rival its predecessor, the film promised to be a return to the franchise’s roots. Instead, he suffered from much the same issues as Prometheus and his end was tangled with a sequel bait.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
Bringing the hugely popular French comic book to life was a tall order, and Valerian has invested a great deal of its resources into the stunning visuals of the world. User Aethelete couldn’t get past the film’s lackluster ending, writing succinctly, “Absolutely gorgeous but the ending killed it.”
Throughout the film, the clever and interesting world of the story unfolded as a visual spectacle for the audience, but the plot was somewhat lacking. The film’s story weaknesses were easily covered up by its visuals, but the snap’s ending was too hard to ignore. Mirroring the standard action movie endings that viewers were tired of seeing, Valerian wastes its sci-fi set-up with its generic finale.
Mission to Mars (2000)
The late 90s and early 2000s were a defining period in the epic blockbuster world, but Mission to Mars did not leave an impression as did his contemporaries. User mece66 saw the ending as the worst part of an otherwise lackluster movie, saying the movie is “so bad that I couldn’t imagine the ending could still spoil it. But it does.”
In a movie like Mission to Mars, an inspirational twist ending was totally unnecessary. The idea of a space mission to Mars going awry is pretty exciting, and it really didn’t need the punctuation of Martian life seeding the Earth. Had the film focused on delivering an exciting action climax, it might have saved what was an overall forgettable film.
Book of Eli (2010)
Building a movie around a big reveal can be amazing, or it can be horribly disastrous. CleverZerg user saw book of eli fall into the latter category, saying “I remember being incredibly pleasantly surprised by the book of eli until they revealed what the Book was. … A great movie turned into a disappointment at the end”.
For most of its runtime, the film was a refreshing piece of dystopian sci-fi with a stellar cast and impressive effects for its time. However, the setup required gain and it had to leave the audience divided. Some fans were able to look past the ending and focus on the rest of the movie, but others couldn’t ignore the weird, preachy reveal that reframes the whole movie.
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
Originally conceived as an independent film, 10 Cloverfield Lane was slightly modified to make it a quasi-sequel to the 2008 film Cloverfield, which served only a bewildered public. User morehumblethanyou summed up the audience consensus when he wrote: “The ending came out of nowhere and confused me so much at the time. I walked out of the movie thinking it was a joke or something. something like that”.
The beauty of the movie was that it left viewers wondering if it was a sci-fi movie, and that was most likely the intent of the original script. However, the clumsy shoehorn of the Cloverfield the monsters at the end took all the suspense and threw it out the window. What was a subtle and incredibly claustrophobic character drama turned into a bloated monster movie without warning.
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