Final Approach (1991)
Nomination Year: 1993
SYNOPSIS: Disoriented, a man with no name (though the audience knows him as James B. Sikking) finds himself in some kind of psychiatrist's office, with no idea how he came to be there. During the course of the interaction with the "psychiatrist" (Hector Elizondo), bits and pieces of his life come to the surface. It's eventually revealed (with agonizing sluggishness) that the man is a test pilot, that he crashed at some point, and that he doesn't remember anything afterward. Throughout the stream-of-consciousness-style interview/session, the "doctor" sprinkles occasional questions and insights about the nature of Life, God, the Devil, and other imponderables. Ultimately, we are left with the conclusion that the pilot has died and that this is some form of preparatory stage of the afterlife. At least, that's what I glean after four or five watchings of this incomprehensible drivel.
- Crummiest Ending
The simplest description would be, "Don't ask me, I don't know." But...here anyway is the nearest I can figure.
In the last ten minutes or so, we get to see the budding realization on Jim Sikking's face that he's dead. We also, unfortunately, get to see nearly the entire film again, sped up and chopped into even more incomprehensible, randomly-flashed bits. Sprinkled among the jump-cuts is a computer screen flashing the word "BAILOUT," presumably the last thing the doomed pilot saw, but perhaps better taken as an instruction to the audience. At the very end, both "doctor" and "patient" become very calm and the Doc says simply that the session's over and that he can "pay the receptionist on the way out," whatever the heck that means. The ex-pilot walks through the door into complete whiteness. There's music, noises, and then, a baby crying. The End. What the-- ?!
So, was the Doc God? We don't know. Was he the Devil? We don't know. Does this imply reincarnation? We don't know. Do we care by this point? That one we know.
- Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame James B. Sikking "Lt. Howard Hunter" on Hill Street Blues and "Doogie Howser"'s dad Hector Elizondo Round face, thin moustache. He was the hotel manager in Pretty Woman, "Dr. Phillip Watters" on Chicago Hope, and "The Bean," as in "Freebie and the..."
Director Claim to Fame Eric Steven Stahl
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