Is No Ending
really appropriate for works that leave the hero alive but, ultimately, doomed? Or works that don't resolve everything but do, on the whole, wrap up the important points? It seems there's a lot of misuse of this trope to describe ambiguous
endings or endings that imply without explicitly showing you everything.
For example, John Carpenter's The Thing leaves the heroes alive but stranded in the antarctic. It's not a "no ending"; the plot is resolved. The Thing is dead, the heroes are going to die. That's all there is to it. Do we have to see their frozen corpses to call it an ending?
Or take Inception, which has an ambiguous ending. We don't know if the ending was a real happy ending or a happy dream. But the movie is
over. It did end; it just didn't resolve that last question.
Other examples of problematic entries:
Sky Captain ends with the bad guy's plan stopped and revived dinosaurs walking the earth. The plot is over, so I don't see how this is "no ending".
How the heck is Empire Strikes Back listed on this trope? I get that it doesn't stand on its own, but that's the Sequel Hook
, right? The actual plot of the film, with the fight between Vader and Luke and all that, has resolved. Luke got away. They'll have to come back and fight again later, but it's not the same thing...
Snakes on a Plane ended. The trial wasn't the point of the film anyway, it was just the motivation for the events of the film.
This one is I guess debatable, but I thought the end of Final Fantasy 7 was clear even without the Advent Children movie — Jenova and her progeny were defeated. The use of Mako energy stopped and the people left their mako-powered cities (as shown by the overgrown reactor in the far-future finale). Everyone went back to a "closer to nature" way of life. That's the end, innit?
edited 3rd Oct '12 8:25:57 AM by Escher