6 Happy Movie Endings That Actually Ruin the Hero's Life

#3. Timecop -- Van Damme Can't Remember the Last Ten Years of His Life

The "Happy" Ending:

In Timecop, Max Walker is a cop who protects time, and he's played by Jean-Claude Van Damme, so that tells you that his main method of preventing universe-shattering paradoxes consists of kicking people in the face. Ten years ago, Walker's wife was killed under mysterious circumstances, but he can't go back and save her because that's against the law. A seemingly unrelated case, however, leads Walker to the year of his wife's death, and he teams up with his own past self in order to stop the bad guy from changing the future.


This was during Van Damme's "I'm the only co-star I can work with" period.

At the end of the movie, Walker goes back to his present in the year 2004 ... and when he comes home, he's shocked to find that not only is his wife alive, but they have a kid. Hooray! Now that he has his life back, Walker and his family live happily ever after.

But After the Movie's Over ...

Except that Walker didn't get "his" life back -- he still has the memories from the old timeline where his wife was dead and they never had children. He doesn't even know the kid's name.


"Hey, uh ... Bicep? Roundkick? Mullet?"

The movie establishes that when the future is changed, anyone who was traveling in time when it happened still keeps the memories from the old version. The first time Walker travels to 1994, he fails to stop the bad guy, and when he gets back to 2004, the whole world is different and he's the only one who realizes it. The same thing happens at the end of the movie: Walker's wife and son remember him, but they are practically strangers to him. He has ten years of useless memories from a different life where he was a bachelor living alone in his apartment.


This means he can't do butt crunches in the kitchen anymore.

That's the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is that this timeline's Walker is still out there, and once he gets home, it's gonna get extremely awkward (they're probably going to have to kung fu fight each other to decide who gets the family). Think about it: Walker left his double in the past, stepped into the time machine and then stepped out in the present -- at no point did the two merge with each other or something. Walker is now a man out of time, an exile from a shittier world that no longer exists.

Meanwhile, a dude who looks like him is banging his wife. Happy ending our rock hard, kitchen-crunching asses.


At least he has the splits to keep him company.

#2. The Goonies -- The Families Are Still Losing Their Homes

The "Happy" Ending:

In The Goonies, a bunch of rich dicks are about to foreclose on an entire neighborhood to build a country club, because that's all that rich people did in the '80s -- turn everything into country clubs and snort coke. After discovering a pirate treasure map in their attic, a bunch of kids led by Mikey (Sean Astin) head out to claim the riches to save the neighborhood, but they end up losing all of it due to the interference of a gang of inept criminals.


Led by Tony Soprano's mom.

All seems lost, but at the last minute they find a marble bag full of gems that Mikey had taken from the treasure stash before the criminals arrived. Mikey's dad takes one look at the jewels and tells the rich dicks to shove their motherfucking country club up their fucking asses. The neighborhood is saved!


We haven't seen the movie in a while, so some of the details may be a little off.

But After the Movie's Over ...

Unless Mikey's dad happens to be a jewelry appraiser or something, the families are most likely still screwed. Here, take a look at the "gems" Mikey got from the ship:


The costume jewelry industry was huge back in the '80s.

Sorry to ruin yet another part of your childhood, but there's nothing in the movie that suggests that this shit is anything other than glass. In pirate days, ships used to carry lots of colored glass beads, just meaningless baubles that were only valuable back then because they were used in the slave trade. As we've told you before, pirates rarely went for the fancy stuff when looting a ship: They were more interested in practical things that they could use to survive. In fact, some of these crappy glass beads were recently found in the treasure of Blackbeard himself.


And One-Eyed Willie ain't no Blackbeard.

In other words, Mikey grabbed the worst possible thing he could have grabbed from that room full of treasure. In all likelihood, the "gems" aren't going to be enough to save the neighborhood. Unfortunately for the Goonies, we don't really trade colored beads for slaves anymore, so the only thing those things are good for is getting flashed at Mardi Gras. So maybe that's what Mikey's dad was so excited about.

#1. Taken -- Half of Europe Wants to Kill Liam Neeson

The "Happy" Ending:

Taken, if you haven't seen it, is basically Liam Neeson killing people for 90 minutes, with three minutes of him and his daughter tacked to the beginning and the end to give the movie the semblance of a plot. The bulk of the film seems made up of scenes they had to cut out of 24 because they made Jack Bauer look too crazy.

When his daughter is kidnapped by a huge sex slavery operation, former CIA Agent Bryan Mills (Neeson) goes on a bloody rampage across Europe until he finds her and brings her back to America to be with her mother and her pony. The end.


There's a pony in this movie, and Liam Neeson didn't shoot it? What kind of world are we living in?

But After the Movie's Over ...

Obviously, the mere existence of a sequel proves that the ending isn't as happy as it seems, but Taken 2 only deals with the least dangerous of the loose ends left by the first movie.

It turns out that going on bloody rampages across continents isn't a good way to make friends. The second movie deals with the revenge of the low-level European kidnappers Mills shot his way through in the first one -- but these are only the henchmen of the real bad guys, and the ones who had the least resources to track him down in America. The only reason they're able to kidnap him in Taken 2 is that he takes his family on a vacation to their home turf.


Actually, this sounds exactly like this man's idea of a vacation.

The ones that Mills should really worry about are the wealthy international criminals who actually pay for (and enjoy the fruits of) the sex slave ring. Mills shot some of their men, took his daughter and left their operation relatively undisturbed. These men invest a considerable amount of money kidnapping and enslaving teenagers just for shits and giggles -- they could easily pull together a few million or so for a "make Bryan Mills' life a living hell" project.

But let's say that, despite all their money, they don't know Mills' name and can't track him down. Luckily for them, there's someone who does: Mills' ex-CIA buddy, Jean-Claude. At one point, Mills finds out that Jean-Claude has ties to the sex slave operation ... so he shoots Jean-Claude's wife in the arm in front of him to get information, then leaves him alive.


"I gotta go now, but we should all get dinner sometime."

This guy knows who Mills is and where he lives, is well-connected and just watched Mills shoot his innocent wife. Why wouldn't he go after Mills, or at the very least send a few hit men to do the same to his wife? Anyway, sorry if we just spoiled the plot of Taken parts 3 through 5.



Alex Race can be added on Facebook, or emailed at arrace@buffalo.edu.

For more movies with regrettable endings, check out The 6 Most Depressing Happy Endings in Movie History and 6 Movies That Didn't Realize They Let The Villain Win.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 6 Important Things That We Built On Top of Supervolcanoes.

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