Everyone loves a storybook ending. The poor scullery maid marrying the handsome prince, the hero riding off into the sunset, or the little kid who was told his whole life he was not good enough ending up in the NFL Hall of Fame are feel good endings most people can get behind. Even better are the strong endings that stay with us long after we have seen them. The last shot of The Blair Witch Project which features someone facing a wall is one of the best endings cinema history has ever given us.
This is why it hurts so much when franchises nail the ending and then give the fans something more. It is emotional when something has been a part of your life for years and then one day tells you it is leaving forever. It hurts even more when you are given that great final moment only to have it taken away. Avengers: Endgame gave fans one of the most satisfying conclusions of all time. The Marvel Cinematic Universe will continue one, but the movie signaled the end of an era. Can the MCU make sure this ending matters, or will it be another franchise that does not know how to write an ending?
It may sound silly, but when you think about it, an argument can be made that the Indiana Jones franchise gets overlooked. When the movies were released, Star Wars was still all the rage, the Back to the Future movies added a fun element of the fantastic, and action movies like Lethal Weapon were catering to adults. Make no mistake about it, Indy has more than his fair share of fans, but for whatever reason the franchise tends to get forgotten.
The Indiana Jones trilogy is one of the finest ever made. A combination of pulp fiction, strong wit, and exciting action, the movie appealed to audiences of all ages. Temple of Doom is considered by many to be the weakest of the bunch, and it is still one of the most fun adventure stories of the 1980s. (It did not help that it was sandwiched between two excellent movies.) When The Last Crusade was released in 1989, it was a fitting send off. It literally has the word “last” in the title!
In 2008, director Steven Spielberg decided the world was ready for another Indiana Jones movie. While that may have been the case, the one audiences received was not what they expected. The movie still had the action of its predecessors but lacked all the charm. Even worse, the movie seems to have sullied the name of the entire franchise.
The Hangover, Die Hard, Austin Powers, Multiple Horror Franchises
It is hard to know when to stop. Especially when millions are coming in. Yet, the best franchises have done just that. Fans still love Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy because it came to an end. You rarely hear a bad word about Toy Story because it did not wear out its welcome. (Though we will see what the next entry does.) It it also the same reason why long running movie series become jokes. At some point, there is nothing more to be said. The franchise can continue, but it does not mean it has to remain the same. Star Trek is a great example of a franchise that has had few separate endings but has still continued and remained popular.
Every professional wrestler ever
After Terry Funk retired in 1981, he proceeded to compete in the WWF, engage in a memorable feud with Ric Flair, and win the ECW Championship. He also retired around 167 more times. He is not the only wrestler who has hung up their boots only to come back again and again. It has happened so many times that no retirement in wrestling is ever taken seriously. On the plus side, we may eventually get the Steve Austin – Hulk Hogan dream match we have all be waiting for.
Is he the Greatest of All Time? Most who watched him play will give a resounding “YES!” while others will always bring up LeBron James. That is not even counting what Tom Brady has done.
One thing that cannot be denied is “His Airness” had the greatest last play of any professional athlete’s career. Many sports greats have been able to go out with a championship. None have been able to go out after hitting the game winning shot with five seconds left. Jordan even stood and watched the shot go in that sealed the Chicago Bulls’ sixth championship. It was the greatest ending for the greatest career.
Until two years later when MJ came back to play for the Washington Wizards. He was still great, but he was also older and slower. While the game had not passed him by, it just was not the same dominant Michael Jordan we had grown accustomed to seeing. It also took away the greatest ending for any sports career ever.
The only thing worse than a bad ending is a good ending that is taken away. Many times in life we have been given the perfect finale only to see an unwelcome return. Avengers: Endgame gave fans one of the most greatest endings in cinema history. I cannot wait to see what the MCU as in store for us in the future; I just do not want the end of The Infinity Saga ruined for me.