How It Ends Review: The Netflix Apocalypse Falls Short

It's the end of the world and we already knew it

how it ends netflix movie
Image Source: YouTube Screenshot | Netflix

How It Ends tells the story of Will, a young rich guy who sets out to find his pregnant Fiance Kat after a strange apocalyptic event turns the United States into chaos.

The movie is one of the latest Netflix releases and has been given a real push by them. And so it should.

Netflix have spared little expense in the production of the movie, hiring a solid cast to help create a tense setting and scenario.

Spoilers ahead

Will, played by Theo James (Insurgent, Underworld: Awakening), is a wet behind the ears city type who’s frankly pretty clueless throughout the film. Were it not for his soon to be Father in law Tom, played by Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai), he would have died after the first 20 minutes.

Treading old ground

The premise of the film is decent but nothing new. Young guy tries to get across the United States during a crisis event to get to his Fiance, we’ve seen it all before.

Obviously, they hit snags along the way, mostly rednecks patrolling the deserted roads trying to steal petrol or bizarre and extremely dangerous weather conditions.

If we’ve seen it all before then why bother watching? Well, you ask a good question and to be fair you do have to invest yourself into it a bit, especially as it’s quite hard to empathise with the characters. Rich city boy and Ex Miltary father in law aren’t your typical everyman characters but believe us when we say that this is worth a watch.

The trailers looked great and it almost lives up to them. It’s genuinely suspense-filled in places and it leaves you guessing all the way to the end as to what the actual disaster that has plunged the country into chaos actually is.

How it ends?

We had hoped for more “apocalypse” but you only really get hints along the way as the setting takes place in the opening days of an event that will presumably take a lot longer to reach its climax.

And herein lies this movies downfall. Many movies over the years have finished on surprise twists that leave you wondering what it was all about. This film doesn’t really do that, instead much like other Netflix apocalypse movie Extinction, it just ends and gives you no real answers.

You invest the time and want to know what this apocalyptic even is. There are hints along the way, Bizarre weather, compasses going crazy, cities on fire and earthquakes. All of these lead to the conclusion that the poles are shifting or the world is generally going to hell, but it never tells you.

One character even hints that it’s a government coverup after they accidentally nuked LA. The idea being that to cover it up they disrupt the nation’s communications and lock down as though a natural disaster has happened, sacrificing lives in the process.

What just happened?

Unfortunately, you never find out although the final scene finds our lead character outrunning a pyroclastic flow, so the natural ending of the world seems the correct assumption.

Just a note on that, we all know the science behind Volcanic eruptions and Pyroclastic flows by now right? They travel at immense speeds so outrunning them in a dodgy pick-up truck just isn’t going to happen. This has become a pet hate for us over the years and unless you’re making a movie that’s supposed to be ridiculous, like 2012, then stop showing people escaping things which 100% will kill them quickly.

We aren’t quite sure what the deal is with Netflix films just randomly ending but we hope it isn’t some new trend as it’s extremely frustrating. We don’t invest almost two hours of our lives in a film to have no resolution unless it’s done in a very clever way.

So, should you?

Despite all this moaning we still enjoyed the film and for the most part, it was above average. The acting is top notch and they’ve nailed the ambience and drama of the situation.

There is an honest realism in most of it which is rare and the mundanity of life on the road certainly comes across, even when you are constantly in danger.

The other cast members play their parts well too, including Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries, 17 Again), Grace Dove (The Revenant) and Mark O’Brien (Arrival, Halt and Catch Fire).

The film was directed by David M Rosenthal (A Single Shot, The Perfect Guy) and was written by Brooks McLaren who is writing the new Rambo movie.

Whilst it has its flaws we would still say that this is a decent film and would perhaps suggest it to be a great Sunday afternoon film rather than a prime time watch.

How it Ends is available to watch now on Netflix

Did you enjoy How it Ends? Why not let us know in the comments.

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