Film editing is a masterful art, though one that so many directors, no matter how skilled they may be, can't seem to get a grasp of. Of course, most filmmakers decide not to edit their films personally but they almost always sit in on the edit and guide the editor along the way on a regular basis.
As a result, there's really no excuse when a film just seems to have no idea where to finish; this might partially be the fault of a script that drags on past the point of exhaustion, yet the laborious manner in which these ten films closed out made for a punishing viewing experience (even if most of them are on the whole pretty good).
There's nothing like a great film that takes you on an epic, sprawling journey; it's just a shame that these filmmakers didn't have the good sense to realise that not every one of their ideas was a good one, and sometimes, less is more. After all, am I more likely to forgive a film for its flaws if it's brief and to the point or bombastic and torturously long?
Don't get me wrong, this Keanu Reeves-starring action-packed thrill-ride is a whole lot of fun, but the final act taints things slightly because it goes on for about 20 minutes longer than was necessary.
According to director Jan de Bont, the film was originally planned to end once Jack (Reeves) and Annie (Sandra Bullock) escaped the bus (which will explode if it drops below 50mph), but the studio insisted that an additional climax be appended in which Jack faces off against the terrorist who planned the scenario, Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper).
Though it makes sense to find a way to do away with Payne, surely there were other, simple ways that could have occurred within the original climax? Instead we get a protracted finale on a train, in which Payne has incredulously kidnapped Annie, and ends up getting decapitated during a fight with Jack on top of the train. Oh, and then the train's brakes are broken, so Jack and Annie have to deal with that.
It's still a classic action movie, but damn, it goes on way too long...