Does it always matter how a movie ends?

Illustration for article titled Does it always matter how a movie ends?

The ending of the movie has, by default, it's last word. But, sometimes the scene is stolen by a wrap-up that comes before ending, a thematic ending that eclipses the actual ending.


In response to some new thoughts from Zack Snyder on Watchmen's polarizing ending, a discussion began about some of the movie's better closing moments that may have even overshadowed any problems with the movie's ending:


You know, the more I think about it the more I realize the bit before the credits. . whether space squid or Dr. Manhattan antics . . really isn't all that important.

The real ending was earlier.

Illustration for article titled Does it always matter how a movie ends?

There's really no way to follow that up. Even when I read it for the first time, that's what was going through my head all the way through the end of the book.

I think that's why I didn't even care about the space squid the first time around, and barely reacted to Snyder's change.


You're confusing climax with ending. If you want the thematic ending, I'd say it's when Manhattan says, "Nothing ever ends." He kicks the legs out from Ozymandias the same way Ozy kicked the legs out from Nite Owl and Rorschach, and completely destroys the remains of any ideas of "good guys" or "bad guys" triumphing "in the end."

That part's not as exciting, but it's really important. More important that any squid or explosion or slo-mo dropkick.


So what do you think? Can a thematic ending eclipse a problematic chronological ending? And what are some of your favorite scenes that stole the show from the movie's actual ending?

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Yes, it matters.