It's said that the ending of a movie is the most important part. You've journeyed with the hero, or heroes, for hours, have seen them overcome insurmountable odds and, naturally, would want to see them come out the other side a changed person, with the story resolved in a fulfilling manner.
But with that being said, sometimes that doesn't happen, and a perfectly good movie is sullied by an ending that doesn't seem to work, or is tonally redundant.
There have been a number of instances where script rewrites or a negative test screening have lead to alterations to the closing of a movie, and the guys over at ScreenRant have put together a video giving us a glimpse at the alternate endings to 5 popular films that, in all honesty, could have made these already great films utterly superb.
Check it out:
But if you haven't the time to watch the vid, allow me to break it down:
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
The theatrical ending to this killer sequel had Sarah Connor contemplating the future of the planet and humanity, with an ambiguous shot of a long, dark highway, which left the movie tantalizingly open-ended and primed for the thousands of sequels that came after it.
But if James Cameron would have had his way, T2 would have ended with an aged Sarah Connor dictating her memoirs into a nifty little dictaphone, and watching as an older John, now a US senator who is "fighting the war" on a very different battlefield, is seen playing with his daughter. Damn shame this didn't come to pass.
I Am Legend
The now infamous case of Warner Bros. shooting the cinematic adaptation of Richard Matheson's incredible novel in the foot by altering the ending is a necessary choice for this list.
The theatrical ending had Will Smith's Dr. Robert Neville find that his cure works, and, in order to keep it safe, he sacrifices himself so Anna can escape with the materials and return to the comfort of humanity.
Naturally, many people were less than pleased with this iteration due to how drastically it deviated from the source material. The much preferred alternate ending would have had Neville realize that the Darkseekers are in fact creatures capable of emotion, and simply want to be left alone.
Neville's hunting and experimenting on the Darkseekers made him a bogeyman of sorts, legend basically! And would've made for a far, far better ending in my honest opinion.
28 Days Later
Despite the movie being as bleak as hell, the theatrical cut managed to end on a rather optimistic note, as Jim, Hannah and Selena end up rescued. But this only came to pass due to test audiences negative reactions to director Danny Boyle's original ending.
In order to bring Jim's tale full circle, Boyle's preferred ending would have had him severely injured rushed to a hospital by Selena and Hannah. Try as they might to save him, Jim would die, leaving the two alone to the horrors of the post-apocalyptic world.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
While this ending is a bit wild, there is something even sweeter about it than the theatrical cut. When Pete's girlfriend Gwen Stacy dies, Parker ends up quitting his Spider-Duties, but is later inspired to return after watching a copy of Gwen's valedictorian speech.
In the alternate ending, however, Peter's father Richard Parker comes out of hiding and lays on the sentiment, which Peter readily gobbles up. After all the " I will always be there for you" niceties, and the "with great power comes...." speech, Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man once again. Pretty cute, right? It's also fantastically acted!
Rambo: First Blood
First Blood is an incredible movie to begin with, and is an heartbreaking look into the mind of a soldier suffering from PTSD. But if you thought the original ending was melancholic enough, the alternative one would have had the toughest man squeezing out a tear in the cinema.
The alt ending sees Rambo commit suicide to gain peace after his rampage through the small town, and would've successfully tied up the movie. Test audiences found this ending too depressing, and the rest is history.
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