Scott Speer's Endless is an occasionally above average romantic drama, lifted up by reliable and authentic performances from both Alexandra Shipp and Nicholas Hamilton. Unfortunately, the film does very little with its premise, failing to take advantage of its unique approach, instead settling for cliche romance anchored by weightless decisions.
Director Scott Speer‘s latest romantic drama Endless has recently hit VOD and with its release comes a film that feels rather familiar, focusing on story that has been done before, only this time with slight modifications. Actors Alexandra Shipp and Nicholas Hamilton make the best of a cliched situation, providing the film with a core relationship that is at the very least worth following through the film’s hour-and-a-half running time that is mostly padded with genre cliches and occasional sparks of authentic romance.
Riley (Alexandra Shipp) and Chris (Nicholas Hamilton) are two madly in love high school graduates that are just beginning their journey’s in life, with Riley following a law degree that her parents so desperately want her to achieve, while focusing mostly on her art in the background, while Chris sees himself as somewhat of a drifting free-spirit, not too worried about what the future holds, instead focused on his girlfriend and the time that they have together.
A tragic car accident throws both of their lives into limbo as Riley wakes up finding out that Chris has passed away, meanwhile Chris comes to the realization that he is dead, but still “alive” in the sense that he can freely roam this world without interaction with those still living.
Riley struggles accepting Chris’ death and continues to blame herself, while Chris must come to terms with the fact that his soul is no longer apart of Earth. The two are able to form brief connections that bring them back together, but quickly realize that this isn’t permanent and that they both need to move on.
Endless is a familiar plot, wrapped in a somewhat safe blanket that includes a few creative moments that try to help set it apart from similar films. The whole “dead, but not dead” thing has been done before and done a million times better, yet Scott Speer‘s latest isn’t the worst to dabble in post-death relationships with an expiration date.
Andre Case and O’Neil Sharma‘s script smartly chooses to focus on the moments spent between Riley and Chris, because this is where the film’s magic lies. Alexandra Shipp and Nicholas Hamilton have magnetic chemistry that is briefly explored during the film’s opening moments, but better rounded during the various flashbacks and post-death interactions.
Both of these actors are clearly displaying talent that I dare say is above this film, easily making their situation believable and watchable by giving you a true feel for the characters and their mostly likable and self-less nature within the film’s opening minutes. This makes you feel for both parties and this also makes you want to invest in the film’s remaining minutes, despite it arriving at a safe and predictable conclusion that doesn’t really accomplish anything and instead just glosses over such heavy emotions and acceptance in a way that feels digestible, but far from enjoyable.
I’m not sure if this is because the script needed another round of edits or if the direction was always meant to be believable romance paired with surface-level drama that dares not to explore this “other” world or the ties that it has with our own. All I know is that I would have loved to see a bit more backstory or limitations aside from a few brief moments of dialog that essentially spells out what must happen.
Endless doesn’t exactly live up to its title. And that’s mostly fine if you are okay with investing $7 for a VOD rental that’s more of a performance highlight than it is a full-fledged romance. It takes no chances and instead retreats to the comfort zone when the story requires a bit more heavy-lifting. Again, this is all fine and dandy for those uninterested in complex emotions being unfolded on-screen, but those looking for anything more will want to avoid sinking into this one.
I would still consider Endless to be a harmless attempt at something that could’ve been much better, occasionally showing spurts of creativity, while consistent acting keeps the thing from crumbling completely. But there’s so much opportunity wasted — it becomes obvious rather quickly and never really bothers with trying to correct that feeling.