How it Ends stars Theo James as Will, an ambitious young lawyer who is starting a family with his fiancée Samantha (Kat Graham). His relationship with Sam’s parents, her stern father Tom (Forest Whitaker) in particular, is less than perfect. While Will is visiting her parents to ask for their blessing, a series of inexplicable events begin to take place across the country. After abruptly losing all forms of communication, Will and Tom set out to rescue Samantha together.
This is a movie that had mounds of potential to be great, however, a script that feels rushed and poorly fleshed out characters are mostly to blame for why it’s a dud.
How it Ends focuses much more on the fear and chaos caused by the mysterious event(s), rather than the actual event itself. Nation-wide power outages, freaky thunderstorms, and billows of fiery clouds are the evidence supporting the idea an apocalypse is imminent.
The majority of the film focuses on Will and Tom fighting to get to Samantha before it’s too late. It’s a long, arduous journey filled with many perils; bloodthirsty thieves, roadblocks, and a weird motorcycle gang are just a few of their close encounters.
As leading man, James’ performance leaves a lot to the imagination. He’s hard to read and because of this it’s difficult to connect to the character in the way I think filmmakers intended. I think we’re supposed to believe that the time he spends with ex-Marine Tom changes him for the better, yet the chemistry between them is often lacking. Whitaker is of course a seasoned actor who has done his share of war-themed movies. He seems right at home with the role, as capable as always, yet even his talent couldn’t save How it Ends.
One of my least favorite things about the movie is the amount of unknowns. The characters we are introduced to are clueless about what is happening and their actions reflect that. It’s also heavily implied that law enforcement as well as the government itself are completely useless.
It would have been so cool if the filmmakers played around more with the idea of what it means for a government to go completely silent and provide no insight or explanation to its people. That was one of my “whys” the entire time I was watching the movie. I was expecting for there to be some form of closure or explanation that would make sense. However, no such moment happens, which is disappointing.
I’m probably one of the few people who actually want to see Netflix succeed; I think they have the potential to produce amazing content, we’ve seen it with original series like Stranger Things and Black Mirror, now they just have to prove they can excel in film as well.
If you enjoy disaster movies with apocalyptic themes, you might like How it Ends.
I really doubt it, but movies are completely subjective so we can agree to disagree. No need to rush and see it. I recommend you wait for a rainy afternoon when you have nothing else better to do 🙂
How it Ends is directed by David M. Rosenthal (The Perfect Guy) and written by Brooks McLaren. It stars Theo James, Kat Graham, Grace Dove, Nicole Ari Parker, and Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker. It’s currently streaming on Netflix.
Netflix has released several original projects: Bright, Altered Carbon, The Crown, and GLOW to name a few. What are your general thoughts about the quality of Netflix movies and series? Let me know in the comments down below!