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It's pretty much a prerequisite in Hollywood that your movie has to have a happy ending. If the story doesn't naturally lead to one, well, you force it, often by simply rolling the credits at the right time. As we've discussed before, a lot of movies with supposedly "happy" endings actually seem closer to Requiem for a Dream than Babe when you sit down and think about them for any length of time ...

5
Django Unchained -- Django Would Be Dead Within Hours

The Weinstein Company

The Happy Ending:

After his BFF Dr. King Schultz gets blasted into oblivion, Django returns to the evil Candyland plantation to kill every remaining white person in the movie (and also Samuel L. Jackson, because he was a shithead). Django rescues his wife, Broomhilda, and detonates the vile mansion with a pile of dynamite, breaking slightly with action movie tradition by staring directly at the explosion instead of walking away from it in slow motion.

The Weinstein Company
You'll never get to run from a fireball in a hallway at this rate.

Django and Broomhilda then ride off into the night as the credits roll, free to spend the rest of their lives together in peace.

The Horrible Aftermath:

Wait. How the fuck is this guy going to make it out of the South alive? Being an African-American couple on the run for the murder of a rich white man -- and dozens of others -- in the antebellum South is literally the worst situation anyone could ever be in.

If Django's plan is to sneak away to the North, keep in mind that he's not exactly inconspicuous -- the movie already established that the sight of a black man on horseback stops traffic wherever he goes. And that was when he was traveling with a white companion who could have passed as his master and before he turned up on every wanted poster in the nation as the single greatest spree killer the South had ever known.

"But how will anybody know Django even did it? He left no one alive!" Not true -- he spares multiple slaves in the course of his murderous bloodsplosion party. But what does Django imagine is going to happen when, say, the two house slaves he spared get picked up by some Mississippi lawman who ties them to the massacre at Calvin Candie's famous million-dollar racist fantasy camp? One or two confessions are going to be coerced out of those gals.

The Weinstein Company
"I'll trade you this cool fire knife for some information!"

It isn't going to take too many red-hot bowie knives to get two women with no particular loyalty to Django to completely dime him out. They know exactly who he is (a bounty hunter formerly partnered with Schultz), so it isn't going to take a ton of legwork for law enforcement to track him down. If Django shows his face anywhere near a county he collected a bounty in, the game is over.

The movie makes a big deal of the fact that Django and his wife have their freedom papers, but what the hell is that going to count for once details of Django's slaughter get out? Again, this wasn't some nobody he shot down -- it was a wealthy landowner from a wealthy family with powerful friends. The killer's punishment would be swift and brutal even if he was white. But when it's that man, committing that crime, in that era? Shit, we're not even sure he'd be safe in the North. Not that he'd ever make it there.

4
Monsters, Inc. -- Monster Society Is About to Collapse

Pixar Animation Studios

The Happy Ending:

Our heroic monster protagonists, Mike and Sulley, who earn their money harnessing the screams of terrified children, discover that laughter is actually a way better power source than unbridled mortal fear after accidentally kidnapping/befriending a human toddler. After deposing their evil boss, Sulley becomes the new CEO of Monsters, Inc., and monsters everywhere begin delighting children with hilarious jokes instead of scaring the shit out of them.

The Horrible Aftermath:

First of all, we're explicitly told that the energy produced by laughter is "10 times more powerful than screams." That's all well and good, but the monster world doesn't exactly appear to be in the grips of an energy crisis. A sudden 1,000 percent increase in energy efficiency means that you can lay off 80 percent of your workforce and still double your output, so the world of Monsters, Inc. is about to have an unemployment rate higher than any Third World country.

Pixar Animation Studios
Pictured: An unsustainable growth curve.

Secondly, it takes absolutely no effort to make children laugh (for example, Cars is far and away the most successful Pixar movie, and Cars is about as funny as a dead clown). At the end of Monsters, Inc., Mike gets his entire daily quota of laughter from a single child just by delivering a mighty belch. That is the very definition of unskilled labor. Anyone who graduated from Monsters University now has a degree in scaring that isn't worth the paper it's printed on, since all it takes to throw kids into fits of hysterical laughter is a long, whistling fart.

Pixar Animation Studios
Or a fart that just got entirely too real.

And all of this is in a world where scream production was the center of their economy -- imagine the Middle East if overnight somebody invented a technology that rendered oil worthless. Sure, energy is suddenly cheap, and that'll surely make for some lower air conditioning bills, but that's not much of a silver lining in a devastating economic depression. A crisis that, by the way, will soon flood the streets with thousands of unemployable monsters, each harboring a bitter grudge against human children.

Pixar Animation Studios
"... and the human-hating racists had access to the children's bedrooms forever after. The end."

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3
Elysium -- Earth Is Still an Impoverished Planet

TriStar Pictures

The Happy Ending:

Max Da Costa, who is apparently the only poor white person still in existence, battles his way up to the orbiting gated community of Elysium and sacrifices his life to install a virus that makes Elysium's hyper-advanced medical technology (consisting of beds that instantly heal people of any ailment) available to everyone back home on Earth, regardless of race or financial standing. It's a scathing piece of social commentary about explosions, robot police, and Jodie Foster's laughably imprecise French accent.

TriStar Pictures
"Just substitute every 'S' with a 'Z.' It iz like we are in Orlean-z already, non?"

The Horrible Aftermath:

Free health care for everyone is fine and dandy, but it doesn't fix the underlying issue: Earth is still poor, crime-ridden, and overpopulated. Now that Max has provided universal health care, those three problems are only going to get worse -- people are going to live longer, which means there are going to be even fewer jobs available, which is going to drive even more people toward crime as a way of making ends meet. All he has really succeeded in doing is creating even more competition for scarce resources.

TriStar Pictures
It turns out you can't just shoot economic disparity until it goes away.

After all, it's not like the wealthy, stable infrastructure of Elysium is going to hang its head and sulk back to Earth -- all of the rich people (and all of their money) are going to stay right the hell in space. And when those magical cancer-erasing beds are shipped down to Earth, what do you think is going to be the number one target for all of those charming, desperate criminals Max hung out with?

We watch them (along with Max himself) engage in kidnapping, hijacking, and extortion, all within a 20-minute period, so there's little doubt that the primary trade is going to become the ransoming of medical beds to people who desperately need them. After all, guys like Kruger, the sociopathic mercenary, aren't going to suddenly forget they're ruthless criminals just because health care is available to everyone.

TriStar Pictures
A flare-up of conscience isn't covered by his HMO.

Meanwhile, the 1 percent will remain on their orbiting Scrooge McDuck halo, continuing to not give a shit.

2
Goldfinger -- The U.S. Probably Nukes China

United Artists

The Happy Ending:

In this 1964 007 film from the Sean Connery era, globetrotting venereal disease farm James Bond foils the evil Auric Goldfinger's plot to nuke the American gold reserve at Fort Knox with the help of the Chinese government by heroically vacuuming the villain's fat ass through the window of a depressurizing jet cabin, then flies off into the sunset to have sex with a woman named Pussy Galore, because movies used to be hilarious.

United Artists
Way to equip your daughter for a totally normal life, Mr. and Mrs. Galore.

The Horrible Aftermath:

Except now the U.S. is almost certainly at war with China.

Remember when we said Goldfinger teamed up with the Chinese government to carry out his plan to nuke Fort Knox? The Chinese supplied the atomic bomb, along with a bunch of soldiers and the unstoppable behemoth Oddjob, who would subsequently be banned from every multiplayer game of GoldenEye. James Bond thwarts the plan by infiltrating Goldfinger's operation and alerting his CIA buddy Felix Leiter, who uses the U.S. Army to stage an elaborate trap for the Chinese when they enter Fort Knox with the bomb.

United Artists
Damn screenwatching terrorists.

This is another way of saying that the U.S. government catches a bunch of Chinese soldiers actively trying to commit an act of nuclear terrorism on American soil in the 1960s, a time when America was looking for any excuse it could find to vaporize a bunch of communists. That shit means war.

United Artists
"I like my martinis like my geopolitical climates: shaken."

Want proof? Check this out -- despite being a film series known for global intrigue and exotic locales, James Bond doesn't set foot in China, or even see a single Chinese person, until 30 years later in Tomorrow Never Dies (he does go to Hong Kong a few times, but it was still part of England back then, and it was presumably spared from America's plutonium wrath). That's just about enough time for a new generation to recover from the fallout (both political and radioactive) of a massive nuclear counterstrike. This also kind of explains why every Chinese person seemed to want to kill him in Skyfall.

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1
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 -- The Dementors Are Set Loose on the Population

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Happy Ending:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 sees the titular boy wizard finally defeat his archnemesis Lord Voldemort and the majority of his Death Eaters, with a body count that rivals the end of Rambo III. The final installment in the film series that doubled as a charity for British character actors also has the ignominious distinction of ending with a shot of the principle cast terrifyingly aged with CGI wizardry to look like embittered community theater acting coaches:

Warner Bros. Pictures
Apparently makeup artists can handle fake children a lot better than fake adults.

The Horrible Aftermath:

Remember the Dementors, the soul-harvesting horror wraiths that traumatized a generation of young readers and moviegoers alike? And remember how they were hanging out at Hogwarts under Voldemort's command? With Voldemort out of the way, the Ministry of Magic in shambles, and the remaining good wizards struggling to pick up the pieces after that final apocalyptic battle, what's to stop them from doing whatever the hell they want?

Think about it -- Dementors can't be killed except by a very specific spell uttered by a seriously formidable wizard. The only reason they'd agreed to help Voldemort was because he promised them plenty of delicious, delicious souls once he'd burned Hogwarts to the ground. Now, with many of the powerful wizards killed or injured, and Voldemort way too dead to keep up his end of the bargain, why wouldn't the Dementors just mosey on over to the muggle world and kill every last person they find? There's literally nothing to hold them back.

Warner Bros. Pictures
"Partaaaaaaaay!"

One thing that remains consistent throughout the Harry Potter movies is the utter ineptitude of the Ministry of Magic (not to mention its wholesale corruption). They can't even protect their own people from Death Eaters, Dementors, and werewolves under normal circumstances, let alone anyone in the muggleverse. Are we supposed to believe that the wizarding world suddenly got their shit together after the Ministry of Magic was overthrown, Hogwarts was destroyed, and half of the wizards and witches on the planet got smoked during the fighting? The Dementors are going to mow through London like Meatloaf riding his motorcycle through a Shoney's buffet line.

Warner Bros. Pictures
"Glowing like the metal on the edge of a kniiiiiife!"


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Related Reading: The craziest endings are the ones that never hit theaters. Like the Scott Pilgrim original ending that had him dump Ramona's ass. We've got some more terrible implied endings for you: Metropolis will never recover from the last Superman movie. And if you'd prefer your happy endings revised for accuracy, just click here.

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