In the beginning of CQ, the director of Code Name Dragonfly, on which Paul works as an editor, is fired because the studio execs think his ending is too dull (one calls it an action movie with no action).

After the second director breaks his leg in a car accident Paul is assigned the task of director and put under a lot of pressure to come up with a good ending.

Thing is, Paul's ending for the movie is pretty much the same one the first director was fired for, the only major difference I saw was a shootout just prior to the last scene- yet this time the execs seem to like it.

How was one exchange of gunfire just before the end enough to satisfy the studio execs?

1 Answer 1


From the Wikipedia entry for this film.

The movie's high-living Italian producer, Enzo (Giancarlo Giannini), not intimately involved in the production shoot but still subtly fatherly and supportive, guides Paul that “the ending is the most important part of the movie, the part that people remember when they leave the theater.” He tells Paul a good ending must be exciting and must finally resolve the mystery for the audience but “surprise them a little.” “Astonish me,” he challenges Paul.


As the crew prepares to shoot the climactic chase scene in Codename: Dragonfly, the saboteur sneaks onto the set and steals their finished footage. Valentine (still costumed and made up as Dragonfly from the shoot) and Paul jump into Dragonfly's futuristic prop car from the movie and chase the saboteur through Paris, with the fantasy of Dragonfly's world melding slightly into Paul's reality, and as the car chase ends Paul and Valentine/Dragonfly kiss. Paul on foot chases after and finally confronts the saboteur in an alleyway on the banks of the Seine not unlike the climactic alleyway in Codename: Dragonfly, and it is confirmed the saboteur is Andrezej. In a moment of vulnerability and mutual respect as filmmakers - even shared identity - Paul convinces Andrezej to return the film, while Andrezej secures Paul's promise that a main aspect of the movie's ending will remain as Andrezej had wished, though their exchange reveals nothing else of the ending. The movie's ending is shot according to Paul's idea. It plays for us as it will be seen in the finished movie, and the identity of the mysterious figure chosen by Paul is revealed.

The ending Paul devises is everything the producer asked for. It is unexpected, satisfying, and for Codename: Dragonfly even astonishing, carrying in its plot twist an emotional heft and genuineness that lifts the otherwise cheesy movie. The final scene finishes for us and fades out.

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