6 Happy Endings That Accidentally Screwed The Movie's Hero
The problem is that 90 percent of the movie is spent piling challenges in front of the main character, only to try to resolve them all in the last 10 percent. Well, as these characters are about to find out, life doesn't work that way ...
The Survivors From Predator Will Have Some Explaining to Do
In one of the most brilliantly insane cases of genre-bending since From Dusk Till Dawn, Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and some war buddies are sent out into the Guatemalan jungle to fight a bunch of rebels. The mission goes pretty smoothly until an invisible alien shows up and kills everyone.
Which, if we remember our history right, was basically the Korean War.
Everyone, that is, but Arnold and a female POW. Arnie defeats the Predator, who detonates himself with a self-destruct mechanism/suicide bomb. Meanwhile, Arnie and the girl escape in a helicopter and the good guys win.
But After the Movie's Over ...
So ... when Arnold is in called to recap the situation to his superiors later, how the hell is he supposed to explain what happened to his team?
"I want an explanation without the words 'alien' or 'sudden river of acid'."
If he tells them it was an invisible alien, it doesn't paint a great picture of his mental stability. There is no sign the Predator was there other than a huge crater in the jungle. Yes, Arnold has the girl to back him up. But which is more likely, that a killer alien showed up on Earth, or that this crazy professional killer 1) murdered his squad and then 2) intimidated this woman into going along with his idiotic alibi?
We were already dialing for a chopper before we realized he wasn't in the room with us.
We know what you're thinking: Arnold could just lie and say the rebels killed everybody. But he didn't do that; in the second sequel, Predators, one of the characters tells the group that the only survivor of a 1987 Guatemalan mission gave a detailed description of the alien. He doesn't say what happened after the guy gave said description, but how could it have been anything other than jail or a mental institution?
"NO ONE WILL EVER BELIEVE YOOOOOOU!"
Remember, Arnold's character, Dutch, is a gun for hire who does borderline illegal missions with a rag-tag group of even more questionable comrades. If you're hearing this story, you're going to assume one of two things: Either Dutch snapped from PTSD and slaughtered his crew because he thought they were aliens, or else the team got into some argument over a game of cards or who had the biggest biceps and murdered each other (and then Dutch went crazy).
Who needs cards when you have rippling sexual tension?
Either way, there's no way society is going to allow this huge, delusional, finely tuned killing machine to ever again sniff anything resembling freedom.
The Little Girls of Kill Bill and Kick Ass Have No Future
We lump both of these movies together for a reason. Both follow a female main character out for vengeance against a crime syndicate. Both achieve this goal through wholesale, indiscriminate slaughter. One is full of snappy Tarantino-penned dialogue, while the other features Nicolas Cage as a Batman analogue with a mustache.
One of the sanest moments of his career.
And in both cases, the slaughter revolves around little girls. In Kick Ass it's the 11-year-old Hit Girl, and in Kill Bill it's the young daughter of the Bride, Uma Thurman's character.
The Bride earns custody of her daughter by killing the girl's father and every single person he knows. Hit Girl sees her own father tortured and burned to death in front of her.
Kick Ass ends with Hit Girl happily going to school like a normal kid, smiling as she beats the shit out of a pair of bullies right as the credits roll. Kill Bill ends with the Bride weeping with joy and relief, while her daughter peacefully watches TV in the next room. All is well!
"Boy, I hope Daddy comes back from his vacation soon."
But After the Movie's Over ...
Let's start with the obvious: Everybody is going to jail.
Hit Girl and the Bride kill more people between them than some tin-pot dictators, and they do it leaving behind multiple messy crime scenes, including several settings where they were either on camera or where you'd expect there to be cameras (or at least witnesses).
Um, there was probably a janitor or something.
With Hit Girl, think about her connection to the title character of Kick Ass and his incredibly high level of media exposure (culminating in the criminal-massacre finale that's entirely caught on worldwide webcast). How long can it be before the authorities connect him and Hit Girl with one of the worst massacres their city has ever seen? In the eyes of the law, it doesn't matter that the victims were all drug dealers. What matters is that Kick Ass killed a prominent businessman with a freaking bazooka. At any point does anyone involved take steps to prevent evidence or witnesses? And this was all done while wearing superhero costumes the witnesses will easily pick out of a lineup.
The Bride's trial would be even more open and shut; she carries out her vengeance with the typical Tarantino level of subtlety, and she doesn't even hide her identity beneath a half-mask. Who knows how many people saw her come and go from her various rampages while wearing a "can't miss it" yellow jumpsuit. Oh, and her murder spree involved all of her former associates and the father of her daughter. Hers will literally be the first door the cops knock on.
So Hit Girl is going into the juvenile justice system and the daughter of the Bride is going into foster care (her father being dead and all). That, or they both spend their lives on the run, using fake identities, always living in fear of a justice system eager to get literally dozens of unsolved killings off their books. This isn't like skipping out on some parking tickets here.
Holy crap. Bear with us, but we reckon we have a theory here.
And then we have the emotional trauma. Hit Girl had absolutely no childhood beyond learning how to murder people. In addition to the fact that she's had none of the normal upbringing, role models or interaction with peers that would let her develop as a stable human being, she also has the memories of dozens of murder victims that will start weighing in on her once she learns to develop empathy. And no, these weren't self defense -- all of this was a mission of revenge. At one point, Hit Girl slices apart a woman in an evening dress as she tries to get away, simply because she was hanging out with the bad guys Dad hated.
"If I kill enough women, maybe Mom will come back."
The Bride's daughter? She was raised by murderers, then rescued by another murderer who murdered the first murderers. That's a hell of a knot for some future therapist to untangle.
Westley From The Princess Bride Will Be Hunted Down
The Princess Bride is a lot like '80s pro wrestling, what with all the ridiculous one-liners, choreographed fight scenes and Andre the Giant. There are so many charming lines and adorable moments that you can watch it five times before you realize it even has a plot.
There are literally 93 minutes of film that don't include this scene.
Basically, an evil prince is about to marry the beautiful Buttercup. In reality, he intends to kill her and blame it on a neighboring kingdom to justify a war. It's up to the dashing pirate Westley to swoop in and save the day.
Westley and his cohorts break into the castle. Even though Westley is too injured to duel with the evil prince, he uses his wits to get the prince to surrender. The good guys tie him to a chair, and Westley escapes with his girl.
Excuse us, we have something unmanly in our eyes.
But After the Movie's Over ...
"Evil Prince" isn't the guy's name; he's royalty. He has a kingdom, and guards, and an army. So Westley kind of picked a bad time to mend his swashbuckling ways and spare the evil prince's life. It's not like you can just break into the White House, strap the president to a chair and carry the first lady over the lawn and just get away with it. Especially if the president knows your name and where you live, which the prince does.
How far can we even reasonably assume Westley and his band of adventurers could have possibly gotten? The only statement the movie makes on the matter is that, when the sun came up, "They knew they were safe," which only makes sense if the prince was also a vampire.
Or a massive World of Warcraft fan.
But let's be optimistic for a moment and imagine that Westley and Buttercup will be able to defy impossible odds and escape unharmed. That definitely involves disappearing -- going away, changing their names, etc. Well, remember that the whole point of the prince's plan was to kill the princess and frame the neighboring kingdom for the crime. So he got what he wanted, right?
"So the moral is, if your foe has all the money and power, you can never win. Night, junior."
Jack Black's Teacher in School of Rock Will Have Some Legal Trouble
In School of Rock, Jack Black plays every Jack Black character ever. This time he's Dewey, a struggling musician who impersonates his substitute teacher roommate to make some extra cash. Struck by one of his Jack Black trademark crazy schemes, he assembles a bunch of fifth graders into a rock group that he can use to win a band competition.
Also it stars Jack Black.
Of course, the newly formed kid band enters the contest and wins. As the credits roll, the film implies that Jack Black's rock music program becomes a permanent feature at the school.
But After the Movie's Over ...
Either Dewey had one hell of a lawyer, or word of what he did hadn't reached the parents yet.
"How many years in prison? Just for kidnapping a few kids? This country is going straight to hell."
In the course of his wacky adventure, Dewey has unwittingly committed so many crimes that the Supreme Court will probably be naming new laws after him. To understand the shit that's about to come down on his head, try impersonating a teacher in order to kidnap a busload of children and see how well that goes. And that's after he's committed identity theft, which is a Class A misdemeanor. And we're not even going to get into the scene where he sexually harasses three students by assigning them the band role of "groupies," which we're pretty sure they told their parents about because those particular students never appear in the movie again.
"Make sure you know where the drugs are, and always accept the invites to the party bus."
But Dewey also manages to hijack a class of students for an entire semester, teaching them nothing and managing to take them away from the school grounds under false pretenses. If he'd had more nefarious motives, it'd be less a scandal and more a tragedy. Given society's obsession with protecting the children, it's likely going to be a long time before Dewey sees the sun again. But then again, prison doesn't charge rent, so it really would solve his problem in a sense.
"Wheeee! This is the last time I'll ever touch a woman!"
The Family in Cape Fear Apparently Murdered an Innocent Man
Max Cady (Robert De Niro) is paroled from prison after 14 years and seeks revenge on his former lawyer, Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte), who buried evidence that could have exonerated him. Acting reasonably, Cady begins raping and murdering everyone in Sam's life and framing him for the crimes, finally confronting the family on a houseboat ...
... at which point Sam manages to handcuff Cady to the boat while it sinks. Problem solved!
"I bet if I spout off a cool one-liner, this will seem less like murder."
But After the Movie's Over ...
You might be asking, why didn't Sam just call the cops instead of letting this psychopath stalk him? Well, that's the problem. De Niro's character was something of an evil genius, and he meticulously figured out how to ruin Sam's life without ever getting caught. As far as the world knows, Cady is completely innocent right up until he drowns.
"Innocent" is not the same as "mentally stable."
In other words, it looks like Cady is just the last victim in Sam's murder spree. Yes, even Cady's murders may end up getting pinned on Sam, because he was present at -- and dumb enough to put his hands all over -- the crime scenes. One piece of evidence that could be used against Cady -- his gun -- also ends up at the bottom of the river. We're not reading too much into the plot here, either -- Sam's cop friend pointedly tells him that he fled a crime scene and he is a suspect in these murders.
And remember, the whole reason Cady was after Sam was that Sam had suppressed evidence in Cady's original case. He even admitted it. So, from an outside perspective, it sure looks like Sam Bowden had some sort of vendetta against Cady, instead of vice versa.
"Yeah, turns out that I am a really terrible lawyer."
At the film's climax, Sam is already under investigation after he was recorded threatening Cady and confessing to hiring men to attack him outside his apartment. Meanwhile, they just can't pin anything on Max Cady, and given the suppressed evidence, nobody can even be sure he's ever committed a crime in his life.
If you're a reasonable detective, it sure looks like Sam and his family framed an innocent man, took him out onto their houseboat and murdered the shit out of him.
"Missing? No, I swear I didn't set him on fire, handcuff him to my boat and leave him to drown."
Will Ferrell's Character in Stranger Than Fiction Is Still a Writer's Puppet
Will Ferrell, in a heroic attempt at serious acting, discovers that he is actually a fictional character in a novel that someone else is writing. Or maybe he's a real person who, due to some black magic, is living out a life a particular author has written for him. Either way, he finds himself in a race against time to find the author before she can kill him off at the end of the book.
"If only she'd killed me off before Bewitched."
Ferrell eventually tracks down the author because it turns out they live in the same universe somehow. He pleads his sentence down from a tragic death to a mere brutal injury (even though Ferrell admits the book is better if he dies). The author changes the book, and Ferrell lives happily ever after.
"Also, hookers. Stick some hookers in there."
But After the Movie's Over ...
Well, except for that whole "I'm living a fictional life created by a stranger" thing. So now that the novel is over, what's next? Does he have free will, or is he just acting out what the writer wants? The best case scenario is that the rest of his life is going to be meaningless. The worst case is that he may simply cease to exist. Even though he's scored Maggie Gyllenhaal, he's going to face the mother of all existential crises one way or the other.
"And then suddenly she stopped shouting and had sex with him. This made Harold happy."
But more than that, the central conflict of the author's character is that killing off Ferrell is necessary for her novel to make sense. By sparing his life, she's settling for a shitty book in exchange for assuaging her guilt about killing a guy who is caught in some reality/fiction limbo. What happens when her editor rightly informs her that she should reconsider her ending?
"You're going to have to play The Sims like every other reclusive control freak."
Let's not forget that she wasn't exactly keen on letting him live, even after she met him. Then again, we're never really sure if she still has the power to edit his life after the book is done, or whether Ferrell's character is even real. Now that we think about it, it's kind of a silly movie.
For more questionable writing from Hollywood bigwigs, check out 6 Obnoxious Assumptions Hollywood Makes About Women and 5 Things Hollywood Thinks Computers Can Do.
And stop by LinkSTORM because no one works on Monday anyway.
Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up for our writers workshop! Do you possess expert skills in image creation and manipulation? Mediocre? Even rudimentary? Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? You can create an infograpic and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow!