Some science fiction movies like Everything everywhere at the same time earn praise for their overall quality, but other sci-fi films have failed to keep up. Film history is littered with great sci-fi movies that dropped the ball when it came to their endings.
If big-budget remakes like Worlds War or epic franchise installments like Alien: Alliance, many sci-fi movies had fans on the hook until it was time to wrap things up. While a lot of science fiction suffers from bad endings, Reddit users took to the site to discuss the ending so terrible it ruined the entire movie.
To enjoy science fiction, viewers must suspend their disbelief to accept certain fantastical concepts. However, user gvondra thought the end of a movie took things too far, writing “Lucy. The entire movie requires maximum suspension of disbelief. But the shallow end of the second year destroys everything.”
Scarlett Johansson’s vehicle was silly and fun, but many viewers felt that the finale was too demanding on the audience when it came to suspending disbelief. Basing the film on the myth of the “10% of the brain” meant things wouldn’t necessarily represent reality, but the film’s supposed transcendence ending cheapened the thrilling action the film had provided up until that point.
Making any significant move on a beloved franchise like Star Trek it’s risky and Star Trek: Generations presented a crucial turning point in the canon. From User Inspector 3000 was completely disgusted with the film, writing of the film: “What did it do to Kirk after a respectable farewell in… the unknown country makes me despise him.”
Killing the beloved Captain Kirk could have been handled with subtlety and character-appropriate gravity. Nonetheless, generations did nothing of the sort and left viewers enraged by its lackluster ending. Although the film was never counted among the best Star Trek movies of all time, its ending helped solidify it as one of the worst.
While overly cynical endings can often be criticized for being too dark, some films have endings so sentimental that they leave a bad taste in the viewer’s mouth. User mateXIX mentioned one of these movies when they wrote “Worlds War. The movie was enjoyable and even fun in parts. The sentimental ending that brought the characters together completely ruined the movie for me.”
When a film expands its reach to a worldwide level, difficult decisions have to be made about the characters’ fates. When everyone in her immediate family survives, despite appearing to be otherwise, the film feels fake and removes some of the emotional weight from the film’s events.
Science fiction is generally a bold and ambitious genre, but occasionally bold choices can alienate audiences as the film progresses. User richterfrollo watched a nice movie fall apart when they said “Passengers it was so good in the first third… then the second half started to spoil everything and the end put the nail in the coffin”.
passengers it’s essentially a good movie ruined by its third act, but if it hadn’t added its awkward ending, it would have had a better reputation. While surprises are nice, viewers can feel betrayed when a movie is aiming for one thing and then suddenly changes at the end.
pandorum it was a flop when it was initially released in theaters, but has since gained a cult following for its interesting blend of interstellar horror. Despite this, user Aqualung1 was disappointed with the film, commenting, “Sci-fi film so complex, multi-layered and visionary, ruined by a typical good Hollywood ending.”
Hollywood cinema is a matter of compromise and, unfortunately, for pandorum the film’s Lovecraftian sci-fi horror was compromised by its corny ending. The film’s last act was obviously written in a corner, but having it all just work out in the end wasn’t the twist fans were looking for.
In the second half of the 2010s, the Abroad franchise was a beleaguered shell of what it once was, but Alien: Alliance I hoped to change all that. User Lance20000 found much of the same, though, writing: “The last 20 minutes must have been added by the studio… It certainly made a decent alien movie into something I’d rather not watch again.”
The original Abroad is one of the greatest sci-fi horror movies of all time, and living up to that standard was next to impossible. Though fans weren’t expecting Covenant to rival its predecessor, the film promised to be a return to the franchise’s roots. Instead, he suffered from the same problems as Prometheus and its ending was tangled with sequel bait.
Bringing the immensely popular French comic book to life was a difficult task, and Valerian invested much of its resources in the stunning visuals of the world. User Aethelete couldn’t get over the film’s lackluster ending, writing succinctly: “Absolutely beautiful, but the ending killed him.”
Over the course of the film, the clever and interesting world of the story unfolded as a visual spectacle for the audience, but the plot was a little lacking. The film’s story weaknesses were easily covered by its visuals, but the clichéd ending was too much to ignore. Reflecting the standard action movie endings that viewers were tired of seeing, Valerian wastes its assembled science fiction with its generic ending.
The late 1990s and early 2000s were a milestone in the epic blockbuster world, but mission to mars did not leave an impression as his contemporaries did. User mece66 saw the ending as the worst part of a lackluster movie, saying the movie is “so bad I couldn’t imagine the ending could still ruin it. But was”.
in a movie like mission to mars, an inspirational ending was totally unnecessary. The idea of a space mission to Mars going wrong is exciting enough, and it didn’t really need the score of Martian life seeding Earth. If the film had focused on making a gripping action climax, it could have saved what was an overall forgettable film.
Building a movie around a big reveal can be amazing, or it can be terribly disastrous. From user CleverZerg saw book of eli fall into the latter category, saying, “I remember being incredibly pleasantly surprised by the book of eli until they revealed what the Book was. … A great movie turned into a big disappointment in the end.”
For most of its runtime, the film was a refreshing piece of dystopian sci-fi with a stellar cast and impressive effects for the time. However, the setup required a reward and would certainly leave the audience divided. Some fans were able to look past the ending and focus on the rest of the movie, but others couldn’t ignore the strange, preachy revelation that recasts the entire movie.
Originally conceived as an independent film, 10 Cloverfield Lane was slightly altered to make it a quasi-sequel to the 2008 film Cloverfield, which only served to confuse the public. From the humblest user you summed up the public consensus when they wrote: “The ending came out of nowhere and confused me a lot at the time. I walked out of the movie thinking it was a joke or something.”
The beauty of the film was that it left viewers wondering if it was a science fiction movie, and that was probably the intention of the original script. However, the clumsy horseshoe of the Cloverfield monsters at the end took all the suspense and threw it out the window. What was a subtle and incredibly claustrophobic character drama turned into a bloated monster movie without warning.