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The Best Movie Cliffhanger Endings

- June 28th, 2013

cliffhanger-endings

WARNING: This blog post contains spoilers

Okay, by now you’ve probably seen Fast & Furious 6, Man of Steel, and Word War Z. All three, left us on the edge of our seats wondering… ‘Seriously, what comes next?’ Personally, I love films that have cliffhanger endings, but I can appreciate the frustration some people might experience when they exit the theatre scratching their heads.

A lot of them get resolved – for example, the spectre of the Joker at the end of Batman Begins emerges in full in The Dark Knight – but sometimes the endings are more ambiguous and left up to the viewer to decide (Blade Runner, The Italian Job).

As far as cliffhangers go, I like how Fast 6 went back and referenced Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift. The film was far from perfect but Jason Statham vs. Vin Diesel and the Rock in Fast 7? Ya, I’ll watch that on a Friday night.

If you didn’t like it, you probably won’t like the rest of these, but here are my favourite cliffhanger endings. Let me know which ones you’ve liked, or hated, in the comments.

The Italian Job
At the film’s end, Michael Caine’s gang of bank robbers’ gold-laden van is literally hanging off the edge of a cliff; the bounty and their lives hang in the balance. “Hang on a minute, lads,” Caine’s Charlie Croker says in the film’s closing scene. “I’ve got a great idea.” Film fans never knew what it was, or whether it worked.
Status of the ending: Solved. After four decades, the Royal Society of Chemistry held a competition to solve the riddle of how Croker gets the loot and his accomplices out of the van. It took the winner an afternoon to figure out the solution.

The Dark Knight Rises
The final instalment in Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy left a lot of loose threads. Some people hope they’ll be tied together when DC gets around to making Justice League. Will Robin become the new Batman? We may never know.
Status of the ending: Unknown. Bruce Wayne isn’t dead, but since he has rid Gotham of all the evildoers, it doesn’t look like he’ll be back anytime soon. Whether Robin appears as the new Batman in Justice League is TBD.

Before Sunset
Jesse and Celine met on a train in Vienna in Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise. As that film concludes, they agree to meet again in six months. I always loved the ambiguity of that ending, but in the 2004 sequel Before Sunset, we caught up with them again. Turns out they never reconnected. As they take an 80-minute stroll through Paris, one thing becomes certain: Jesse’s going to miss that plane.
Status of the ending: Solved. Jesse and Celine are married. A new film, Before Midnight, catches up with them nine years later in Greece.

Inception
There are boatloads of theories surrounding the ending of Christopher Nolan’s Inception. Is Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) still dreaming, or did he come back to ‘reality’? Nolan ends the film with an extended shot of the spinning totem Cobb uses to help him differentiate between the dream world and the real world. The totem wobbles, and the film cuts to black.
Status of the ending: Unclear. It’s up to the viewer to decide what realm of reality Cobb is living in.

Blade Runner
When it comes to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic Blade Runner, you have a couple of options when it comes to endings. There’s the saccharine feel-good coda that was tacked on to the 1981 theatrical version – Rachael (Sean Young) is a different kind of replicant, Deckard (Harrison Ford) tells us over Vangelis’ sax-infused score; one with no end date. Or you can go with later incarnations of the film that seemed to indicate Deckard could be a replicant himself, destined for an early death. “It’s too bad she won’t live,” the 1992 Director’s Cut closes with. “But then again, who does?”
Status of the ending: Pretty much solved. Ridley Scott has confirmed that Deckard was a replicant, but plans for a Blade Runner sequel are in the works with Harrison Ford slated to return. Maybe it was all a dream?

Batman Begins
All three of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films ended on a cliffhanger, but I loved how the first film teased the Dark Knight’s arch nemesis, the Joker.
Status of the ending: Sorta solved. The Batman battles the Joker in The Dark Knight, but the ultimate fate of the Clown Prince of Crime wasn’t addressed in The Dark Knight Rises.

Cloverfield
No doubt you had motion sickness by the time this riff on Godzilla ended. The final scene showed something falling into the ocean and the end credits revealed that the monster was still alive.
Status of the ending: Unknown. Since it doesn’t look like Part Two is happening anytime soon, it could all be a dream.

Back to the Future
This time travelling classic transplanted skateboarding ‘80s teen, Marty McFly, back to the ‘50s, but by the end, Doc Brown has been to the future with a warning: “It’s your kids, Marty! Something has to be done about your kids.”
Status of the ending: Solved. In the sequels, Doc and Marty go into the future and way back into the past. It gets pretty confusing.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
A post-credits scene that introduces the next film’s potential villain is always good, no?
Status of the ending: Unknown. The ending for Wolverine’s first standalone film teased a Deadpool spinoff. We’re still waiting.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
After three Pirates movies, you kinda knew that going forward any additional sequels were going to focus on Captain Jack Sparrow. But I liked how the final scene in the original trilogy left the story of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann open-ended.
Status of the ending: Unknown. Will gets one day on land every 10 years or something, while Jack Sparrow is off having his own adventures.

The Happening
M. Night Shyamalan twist-endings generally get under people’s skin. Personally, I like how some of his films manage to weave emotional stories – in this case a couple who are drifting apart – into tales designed to give you goosebumps. A lot of people had problems with the plants-gone-crazy storyline, but I kinda liked it. The film could have had a tidy ending, but just as everyone thinks things are back to normal, the action moves to Paris. A scream is heard, indicating another attack.
Status of the ending: Unknown. M. Night went on to make The Last Airbender and After Earth – ‘nuff said.

First look at Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘Pacific Rim’

- November 29th, 2012

Giant monsters ranging out of control (aka Kaiju films) is definitely a genre that never gets old. So you know when Guillermo Del Toro sinks his imaginative claws into epic monster destruction the action is going to look great.

His homage to Kaiju, Pacific Rim, is not due until July 12, 2013, but movie fans got an early look at what’s in store.

And can we say it looks awesome?

The clip is short, but what we know is that there will be a surprise kaiju attack on San Francisco on August 11, 2013 (so don’t book a vacation there next summer). A CNN-style report informs us there’s “something moving under the Golden Gate Bridge…that must be 300 feet tall.”

A reporter hollers over quick clips: “Unless the jets can bring down this massive creature, I don’t know what is going to be left of this city.”

A teaser website for the film has also been set up that shows snippets of the attack, and Wired has the first “blueprints” for Pacific Rim’s Kaiju-fighting robots.

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Personally, I loved Cloverfield, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

Check out the clip below and let us know if you’re stoked for Pacific Rim.