Not every movie can end with the main villain being punched, electrocuted, smashed by a fire truck and dropped on a conveyor belt, like in Con Air. (Unfortunately.) We understand that.
What we don't understand are the movies where the writers seemed to forget about the bad guys completely.
In Independence Day, the film that inaugurated Roland Emmerich's obsession with seeing America destroyed, the bad guys are a "far more advanced" form of intelligent life that looks like something the Queen from Aliens gave birth to after getting drunk with Predator.
ALF just... stared.
These guys packed quite a lunch bag for their Independence Day barbecue: spaceships the size of Hawaiian islands, shields that could withstand the nuclear bombing of Houston, weapons capable of leveling Washington D.C. in a single blast, plus all the information about human anatomy they could possibly probe out of Randy Quaid's asshole.
But, after pancaking dozens of cities, a rag-tag group of humans cause each and every one of the alien ships to crash, the thousands of people who were no doubt crushed under each one a small price to pay for victory.
But We Forgot About...
Let's be generous and assume that every one of the alien city-destroying mother ships was downed. Do you have any idea how large a 15-mile-wide spaceship is? Each one is like a flying city, 1,000-stories high and about 100 blocks wide in every direction. And while New York may not have been designed to have giant spaceships fall on it, we have to imagine the space crafts had been designed with a contingency plan for gravity.
We're not sure how many troops and crew were on board each, but we know each one housed an entire air force worth of those little fighter craft.
Speaking of which, any aliens who happen to be sitting in one of those crafts is probably going to make it. We saw earlier that an alien shot out of the sky was able to survive. And by survive we mean it hot wired a human brain and had a conversation with the fucking President after going through a crash-landing, a cold cock delivered by none other than Will Smith, and being cut in half on an operating table.
"Wow, he went down really easy. It's almost like he wants me to take his unconscious body to my leader."
Take into account the weaponry the aliens will be able to recover from their downed ships, and we have a District 9 situation on our hands... only we're the ones herded into camps.
And we can't quite rock a red vest.
Let's disregard for a moment all of the numerous problems we have with the "happy" ending of Back to the Future. Let's grant the filmmakers that everything wrapped itself up perfectly; Marty is happy, parents are happy, Biff is their slave.
All he wants is a case of Schlitz and time to forget.
It's so easy to get wrapped up in the Biff Tannens and time paradoxes as the main obstacles to be overcome that we forget the guys who should have kept Marty McFly up late at night.
But We Forgot About...
The Libyan terrorists Doc Brown ripped the plutonium from. You know, the armed, pissed off terrorists driving freely through Hill Valley, who wanted Doc Brown to build a nuclear bomb for them.
Take a close look at that VW van. These guys pack more wallop in there than the collected drug cartels in Breaking Bad and The Wire. These Libyans have AK-47s, RPGs, a shoot-first policy, tracking abilities that baffle even the guy who perfected time travel, and... oh, fucking plutonium.
This is some Tom Clancy shit right here.
OK, so Marty hooks up with his mom and warns Doc about the Libyans, which he takes as his cue to dig up a bulletproof vest capable of stopping assault-rifle slugs at point-blank range. Good for him. They then take off in their van and chase Marty in the Delorean. When Marty disappears back in time, the van crashes into a one-hour photo stand. Then... what?
...they back up, drive to Marty and shoot him in the face?
Nothing happens. Seriously, there are no terrorists flying through windshields; no RPGs going off; no big cathartic explosion to justify the use of the word "bomb" in the movie. All we see is the van kind of tip over, but sustain the abuse like any good, German-made car was built to. But when Marty returns from the past to check on Doc, they have an emotional reunion that completely ignores the fact that there is a dented van full of terrorists right over there.
If it can survive hippies, it can survive anything.
Hell, even if the van burst into flames and vaporized the gunmen, there's no way those few guys represented the entirety of their terror cell. This is a group serious enough to sneak into the U.S., obtain military-grade weapons and goddamned weapons-grade plutonium. You know, the stuff that no terrorists and only a few militaries have ever been able to get their hands on. If anything, Back to the Future is a cautionary tale about how disastrously vulnerable small U.S. towns were to terrorism during the Reagan years.
And how vulnerable the terrorists were to crimes of Chronomancy.
Tarantino's Death Proof is actually two stories: the story of the psychotic Stuntman Mike harassing a group of ladies, and the story of Stuntman Mike harassing a (different) group of ladies (who fight back and kill him). This is about the latter.
The former didn't last long.
This part of the story is a girl-power picture which focuses on a white 1970 Dodge Challenger that our heroines hope to borrow for a dangerous game called "Ship's Mast."
They borrow the car from a scary-looking dude, and eventually use that car to get their revenge on Stuntman.
But We Forgot About...
Mike is just one of two. That white 1970 Dodge Challenger our heroines have their sights on is being offered for sale by a hardcore Tennessee "son of the soil" named Jasper. Bear in mind that Jasper is played by Jonathan Loughran, who you may remember as the trucker who tried to rape Uma Therman in Kill Bill, Vol 1. He's basically the same character here, right down to his trademark pre-rape "heh heh."
Nothing can go badly here.
Our heroines have no intention of buying the car, but nevertheless finagle their way into getting Jasper to let them take the hog for a spin by offering their single hottest friend as collateral. To sweeten the deal, they even point out that she's a porn actress as a nudge-nudge that she might be down for some intercourse while they're out. Oh, and they never mention any of this to her. Oh, and she's wearing this:
And the last we ever see of her is this:
What the hell were they expecting to find when they came back, especially after that little porn actress lure they used? The cheerleader and the hillbilly playing chess?
Even if they come back and the cheerleader is, somehow, still intact, there's the little matter of her girlfriends leaving her behind as collateral. You know, in case something bad happens to the Dodge Challenger, like maybe an on-and off-road duel with a homicidal stuntman.
By the end of the film the car is completely totaled, so what does that mean? Does the hillbilly get to keep the cheerleader (or her mutilated corpse, as the case may be)?