Endless Parent Guide
The biggest problem is that this film's been made before and made better.
Parent Movie Review
When Chris (Nicholas Hamilton) has too much to drink at a party, his girlfriend, Riley (Alexandra Shipp), refuses to let him ride his motorcycle home. Borrowing a friend’s car, Riley takes the wheel and the couple argue their way down the highway, until Riley collides with the vehicle in front of them. When she regains consciousness, Riley learns that Chris is dead.
Endless is a movie about loss and grief and what happens when that process is interrupted. Riley’s grief is deep and angry and she alternates between weeping, yelling, and blaming herself for Chris’s death. She argues with her parents, who urge caution in her police statement, lest she be blamed for the accident. “All you think about is future, future, future!” she yells. Focusing squarely on the past, Riley spends her time thinking about Chris, afraid that her memories will fade and she’ll lose him again.
As Riley suffers, Chris is coming to terms with his own death. And he does so within an existentially terrifying universe. Whatever your beliefs are about death, they surely can’t be as unnerving as what happens to Chris. His introduction to the afterlife is confusion – he’s trying to soothe Riley but neither she nor her parents can see or hear him. As he runs, panic-stricken, through the streets, he meets another departed soul. Jordan (DeRon Horton) tells Chris he’s dead and shows him the ropes for those who are “stuck” and who can’t “skip ahead” to the next level. A universe of confusion, ignorance, powerlessness, and fear seems bad enough, but it gets worse: turns out that the universe keeps score and someone has to pay when we break the rules, even after death. The only reason this movie doesn’t feel scarier is that Nicholas Hamilton has such a limited range that he is incapable of portraying any emotional depth. When he tells Riley he loves her, it sounds like he’s reading a teleprompter; his anger simply looks petulant; every other emotion boils down to a wrinkled forehead and a befuddled expression.
Despite Hamilton’s limp performance, Chris and Riley’s love is apparently strong enough to overcome the barrier of death. First Riley can see, then hear, then touch her lost love. While this softens her grief, it also complicates her life. How do you move forward when your past is right in front of you? How do you explain to others that you hang out with your dead boyfriend? It’s not only her mental health that comes into question - the dark circles under her eyes just keep getting bigger…
Endless is aimed squarely at a teenage audience and although it has no MPAA rating, it clocks in at a PG-13 level. Parents will be relieved that there’s no sexually explicit material and, aside from one sexual expletive, swearing is comparatively minor. What parents will not be happy with is the depiction of an attempted suicide by a major character (thankfully, this is not a gory scene). Adults raising teenagers will also not be thrilled by Riley’s belief that her relationship with Chris is more important than her academic achievements or future plans. This film is a clear reminder that even movies with comparatively minor content issues can still carry profoundly negative messages for teen audiences.
Aside from these content issues, the biggest problem with this movie is that it’s been made before and made better. Endless simply isn’t good enough or original enough to justify interminable remakes of a familiar story. Here’s hoping this is the end…Directed by Scott Speer. Starring Alexandra Shipp, Ian Tracet, Famke Janssen. Running time: 95 minutes. Theatrical release August 14, 2020. Updated August 15, 2020
Watch the trailer for Endless
Rating & Content Info
Why is Endless rated Not Rated? Endless is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: A car accident is shown: car rear ends another vehicle and is then t-boned. The accident is repeatedly seen in flashbacks. A woman identifies her son’s body in the mortuary: his body is not seen. A man grabs another man and screams at him. A main character punches a school locker. A main character spits blood into sink after brushing teeth. Two guys punched each other and fall off a roof. There is mention of abducted and murdered child. A character mentions of suicide. A main character attempts suicide.
Sexual Content: There are frequent scenes of a young man and woman kissing.
Profanity: There are approximately ten swear words in the movie, including one sexual expletive, and a handful of terms of deity and minor curse words. A sexual hand gesture is used in one scene and a photo shows a group of people making the same gesture.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Young people drink alcohol at a party (they might be underage). A main character is shown drunk. A young man is sleeping or passed out; it is implied that he is drunk. A secondary character is shown drunk at a restaurant.
Page last updated August 15, 2020
Endless Parents' Guide
What do you think happens after we die? Why do you believe that? Have you ever had a discussion on this topic with someone whose beliefs differ from yours?
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