Twist Ending - tuesday 2006-05-30 0207 last modified 2006-05-30 0208
Categories: Film
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Some movies use a twist ending to reverse the fortunes of the protagonist, such as heist films in the tradition of The Sting and the Ocean's N (where N >=11) franchise. Others introduce a radical shift in your perception of the film, like the iconic ending in The Usual Suspects and several of M. Night Shyamalan's movies, most famously The Sixth Sense. These are all films where knowing the end is likely a severe detriment to enjoying the movie the first time through.

And then there is the movie with an ending that eliminates most of its own preceding emotional impact, a plotwise cutting of its own legs out from under it. X-Men 3 is such a film. It would hold a lot more weight if the last scene and the scene after the credits were excised. Character choices and happenstance are rendered moot in light of that last scene, and much of the dramatic weight that carried through the last two-thirds of the film is suddenly made cheap. The comic book universe simply doesn't know when to let something that's over stay over. I wish that mentality hadn't made it into the movie version. It's time for American francises to take a cue from the Japanese: things end.

Which is not to say that a better ending would have made for a better film, only that within the context of the film as is, less endings could only have been an improvement. If instead we were talking about improving the entire film, perhaps a few key phrases will suffice in place of lengthy and unrelated discussion: character development, plot creativity, Bryan Singer, and no Storm.

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