Tuesday, 24 July 2018

how it ends


I received one of those emails from Netflix. "Watch this," it said, "because you liked that..."

I'd just finished a set of episodes of something and thought I'd give this new one a try. How it ends.

Fire it up. Hmm, 1h40. Must be a long opening show or the pilot. Some sort of dystopian futures thing.

Twenty minutes in. They are just finishing the set-up about a man whose partner is to have a baby. The man has gone to visit the woman's stern militaristic father across the country.

Something happens. We get the wobbly coffee rings effect. The wobbly television effect. V-shaped formations of birds. The father and boyfriend argue before getting in a fancy sedan to go find out if the daughter/girlfriend is okay on the other side of the country.

There's no radio, television or internet. No traffic, yet few deserted cars. They drive and meet a military roadblock, which Dad uses military dad speak to get through. They find hillbillies with guns that cause confrontations. They find a native American village and team up with one of the locals. She knows how to fix the broken car. There's a long military train full of tanks and supplies that mysteriously derails leaving no-one visible.

Yes, it's a sort of road movie. Everything that happens has happened already in other movies (except one good line about helicopters).

My slight jet lag facilitated me watching it to the end, with it only dawning on me in the last minutes that this was all they'd got. It wasn't a series, just a single movie.

It had that thing that some TV shows do. The double ending. In Sopranos there's a scene at Series S6E18 (three before the end) which could have been the end of the whole show. It's around this scene, before the show runner writing for the clever end of the end kicks in.

In Breaking Bad it's a little bit earlier. In this movie it's at Movie End minus 20 seconds. They even briefly slow the frame rate. I knew it was the real end and they'd tacked another little piece on just for Hollywood.

Stars? 1. for the sweeping roads cinematography of the second unit and some of the special effects.

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