Theo James is no stranger to dystopian worlds, with his breakthrough films being the adaptations of the YA Divergent series. Even his recent role in the spoiled rich-person world of The White Lotus could be considered dystopian in some ways.
However, one of James’ more lesser-known dystopian films, 2018’s How It Ends, flew under the radar for a lot of people and might be worth streaming on Netflix if you missed it when it first came out.
Theo James stars in How it Ends streaming on Netflix
Directed by David M. Rosenthal and written by Brooks McLaren, Theo James stars in How It Ends as Will, a man who must travel thousands of miles to reach his pregnant wife, Sam, in the midst of an apocalyptic event.
Along with James, the film stars Forest Whitaker, Grace Dove, Nicole Ari Parker, Kat Graham, and Mark O’Brien. The film is definitely an action sci-fi, so if you enjoyed James’ work in the Divergent franchise, you’ll probably find this film to be pretty enjoyable as well.
With that being said, you might want to keep your expectations relatively tempered, as the film got fairly mixed reviews upon its release. Upon its initial Netflix release, it did get quite a few people watching it, but it didn’t really have a lot of staying power. Theo James definitely gives a solid performance in How It Ends; it’s a pretty by-the-numbers thriller that admittedly has an interesting backdrop of an ongoing apocalypse.
Though Theo James is a solid leading man for an action thriller, some people did outright hate the film, and there are quite a few bad reviews for How It Ends on Rotten Tomatoes. In other words, your results may vary, and you may outright hate this film. If you’re not a big fan of apocalyptic thrillers, then giving this one a skip probably would be the right call.
However, if you’re trolling around on Netflix and find that you want to watch something with Theo James in it, there are quite a few projects he did for the streamer that are rated much higher than How It Ends. Funnily enough, though, all of them are voice roles in animated or stop-motion projects. James has lent his voice to both the canceled-before-it’s-time Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and the fantastic animated Castlevania series.
Theo James and How it Ends received generally negative reviews from critics
Theo James even lent his voice to the animated The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf as Vesimir on Netflix, which is arguably the best thing from the Witcher universe Netflix has put out so far.
How It Ends is a pretty standard Netflix film, and it’s not necessarily something that many people would recommend, but Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Castlevania, and The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf are all easily recommendable projects that are some of the best work that James has done. It turns out that Netflix is better at utilizing his voice talents rather than his live-action skills.
Theo James’s Star Is On The Rise
Of course, Theo James has gone on to do much better live-action work than How It Ends, with his most recent project being one of his best roles yet. James appeared in the second season of HBO’s The White Lotus anthology series as the smarmy rich guy Cameron Sullivan. For his performance, James, along with quite a few of his co-stars, received an Emmy nomination for the 2023 Emmys.
However, we’ll have to wait a little while to find out if Theo James or any member of The White Lotus team takes home an Emmy win, as the 2023 Emmys were postponed due to the ongoing strikes in Hollywood.
In the meantime, Netflix will be attempting to put James to better use than they did in How It Ends when he stars in the upcoming Netflix series The Gentleman, which is inspired by Guy Ritchie’s 2019 film of the same name. Joining James will be Kaya Scodelario, Daniel Ings, Joely Richardson, Peter Serafinowicz, Giancarlo Esposito, and Vinnie Jones.
Theo James’ The Gentlemen TV series is reportedly shooting for a late 2023 release window, but there’s no official premiere date announced yet. At the very least, we should be getting to check out the series sometime in 2024, as it is reportedly in post-production. In the meantime, you can stream How It Ends on Netflix now if you’re interested.