Movie Review: How It Ends (2018)

Synopsis: After learning he and his pregnant girlfriend, Samantha, are going to have a boy, Will Younger flies from Seattle to Chicago to ask her father for permission to marry her. His visit does not go well and, the next morning, an unknown event knocks out power and cell phone service for the entire country. As society begins to disintegrate around them, Will and Samantha's father, Tom, begin a 2000-mile drive from Chicago to Seattle with no knowledge of what happened or if she is even still alive.

Who's in it? The movie stars Theo James, Forest Whitaker, Kat Graham, Nicole Ari Parker and Grace Dove.

Review: There were brand new episodes of Doctor Who and The Walking Dead on television last night. But, I was kind of in the mood for another movie and wound up scrolling through our choices on Netflix. My wife and I both thought this one looked interesting and decided to give it a chance. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as I was hoping it would.

OK, actually, to be fair, the first three-quarters of the film (maybe a bit more) were actually pretty good. I liked the idea of a fiance (James) and a father (Whitaker) putting aside their differences and putting their lives in danger to save the woman they loved. And, I thought both James and Whitaker pulled that off beautifully, working as a team whenever it was needed but still managing to make their underlying dislike of each other be apparent.

I also found I liked the mystery surrounding the event (at least to a point. More on that later.). All anybody knew was something happened on the West Coast that was devastating enough to affect the rest of the country. There were hints the military was being deployed but, since there was no internet or even a radio signal, all they were left with were rumors.

Even their actual journey provided very few clues about what was happening. There were some strange-looking storms, a crashed military plane and derailed military train. However, there was nothing that gave them any firm evidence about what was happening. All they knew is they were on their own and, as society was falling apart around them, they needed to do everything they could to protect themselves.

Unfortunately, the last part of the movie wound up ruining the rest of the film for me. Not only are things dragged out considerably when Samantha (Graham) is found, it doesn't bother to give the viewer even a hint about what actually happened. In fact, and I'm sorry about this spoiler, we don't even know if Will and Samantha end up surviving. The movie just cuts off without clarifying anything out.

My best guess is the writers were expecting a sequel to this film when they wrote the ending. But, as filmmakers probably should have learned from The Last Airbender, that's a big risk and, at minimum, there should have been some attempt at closure, even if it was just showing two of the stars still alive and a slight hint (crashed spaceship, military jet from another country, volcano in the distance) of what happened. Because there wasn't, I feel cheated.

Final Opinion: The ending, in my opinion, is a disaster and, because of that, I would not recommend watching this film until they come out with a sequel.

My Grade: D


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