If there's one thing Hollywood loves more than a happy ending, it's a happy ending that accidentally screws over the hero. As we've told you before, lots of movies that end with the main characters smiling and hugging their loved ones secretly imply that most of those people will end up dead, destitute or just plain miserable 15 minutes later.
In fact, this happens so often that we should probably just strike the word "accidentally" -- this has to be on purpose. Otherwise, how do you explain ...
6The Dark Knight Rises -- Bruce Wayne Will Get Recognized in 15 Minutes
The "Happy" Ending:
The plot of The Dark Knight Rises would take us five entire articles to summarize, so we're just gonna skip to the end (SPOILERS!): After having his back broken (for a while, anyway), defusing a months-long terror plot on Gotham City and putting up with some outrageous accents, Bruce Wayne decides to fake his own death, retire to Europe with Catwoman and leave all his Batman shit to his ex-cop buddy, John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), whose legal name, conveniently, is Robin.
Clearly a reference to Robin Williams, who nearly played the Riddler.
For a while it looks to the audience like Wayne really died, but in the last scene, his faithful butler, Alfred, is in a restaurant in Florence and sees him sitting there with Catwoman, in reference to a conversation they'd had earlier.
A second later, he starts mouthing, "I'm nailing her."
But After the Movie's Over ...
So, uh, Bruce Wayne is a world-famous playboy millionaire who supposedly died during a terrorist plot that will go down in the annals of history ... and he's just sitting there, in the middle of a crowded restaurant, completely undisguised? Seriously? Imagine some alternate universe where Donald Trump died in the 9/11 attacks, then showed up alive a year later. The question isn't whether someone will recognize him, it's how fast they'll do it. By the time he asks for the check, his photo will be prominently displayed on every major news outlet in the world.
But let's say Bruce simply dropped his fake mustache in that one shot. Let's say Alfred is just senile and imagined the whole thing.
This is Europe, there's probably LSD in that cup.
That doesn't change the fact that Gotham City is still screwed, because there's no Batman. Sure, Bruce left all his gadgets and stuff to Blake, but that was an incredibly naive thing to do, because it ignores the fact that Batman's true superpower was always money. If his tank broke down or exploded, he just got a new one. Actually, forget the tank: What's Blake gonna do when something tears up his Batsuit, like the dogs at the beginning of The Dark Knight? Patch it up with duct tape?
Blake after two nights.
And that's the other thing: Bruce trained to be Batman by traveling the world for seven years, most of which was spent with a group of highly skilled assassins in the mountains. Contrast that with Blake/Robin, who was at one point overpowered by Gary Oldman in a hospital gown. What's going to happen when the Joker comes back (presumably he escaped from prison with the other criminals), or when a guy who looks like the Penguin as played by Philip Seymour Hoffman inevitably shows up?
Actually, the comics have already told us: They'll beat the shit out of Robin, only this time there won't be a Batman to come and rescue him.
The next Batman movie will be this, for three hours.
5Sin City -- Bruce Willis Killed Himself for Nothing
The "Happy" Ending:
Sin City features a perfect combination of insane violence and man-tears-inducing moments. One of the stories follows Hartigan (Bruce Willis), a cop who saves an 11-year-old girl named Nancy from being raped and killed by the creepy pervert son of one Senator Roark. Hartigan saves the girl but gets framed for the crimes of Roark's son and is thrown in jail for his trouble. Eight years later, he comes out of jail and tracks down little Nancy, fearing for her safety, and finds out that she's grown up to become Jessica Alba.
"Pretty sure this is mathematically impossible, but I'm not complaining."
However, it turns out that Hartigan was being followed by Roark's men all along, and now that he's led them to Nancy, Roark's son will try to finish what he started. Hartigan saves her again and kills the pervert, but then he realizes that Roark will never stop chasing him as long as he's alive and will try to get to him through those he loves ... so he heroically kills himself to make sure that Nancy is finally safe.
But After the Movie's Over ...
Wait, nope, she's still in danger, and even more so now that the dude who keeps saving her life isn't around.
Those aren't real six shooters on her hips.
Hartigan seems to think that Roark won't be interested in Nancy once he's dead, but in one scene, Roark specifically tells him that he'll kill anyone who knows about his son's crimes. Nancy fits that description perfectly, since she was almost in those crimes twice. Roark makes it clear that he won't let anyone soil his family's name.
Because Junior still has a shot at being president one day, apparently.
But Roark doesn't know where Nancy lives, right? Yes, he does: Hartigan told him. Roark's men had been following Hartigan since he got out of prison, and before he found Nancy in the strip club where she works, he stopped by her place. So they know where she lives and where she works, and that she could ruin Roark's good name if she talked about what she saw -- honestly, not trying to kill her would be a huge oversight for any self-respecting criminal organization.
Hartigan killed himself with the best of intentions, but how the hell is Nancy going to survive now that the most powerful man in the city wants her dead and her only possible protector blew his brain out? Not that it was working too well before the bullet hit.
"No time to think this through ..."