‘Bionic’ Ending Explained & Movie Recap: How Do The Bionic Limbs Work?

Sports are inspiring; they motivate you to rise above and beyond your limits. All physical sports are mostly about the indomitable human spirit breaking through every boundary to set new records. However, when machines become involved in a human sport, the advantages that come with it nullify the whole purpose of it. Afonso Poyart’s sci-fi sports drama Bionic takes its audience to the future, 2035 to be precise. It’s an era where technology has advanced enough to replace human limbs with machines. This revolution has led to regular athletes going jobless, while bionic athletes have taken over the sports scene. Bionic games have replaced the Olympics, and here we are. Let’s get to the subject then.


Spoilers Ahead

What happens in the movie?

Atila Hirsh, a man with a prosthetic arm, gets inside a bank vault to replace his arm with a bionic one. He then robs a bunch of diamonds from the vault before making his escape. Atila gets shot by one of the cops, and his brother, who was also the lookout, Heitor, refuses to leave without him. Atila snaps his own neck so that Heitor can leave. Heitor and his men fight for the regular athletes who are deprived of their rights post-Bionic Revolution. Maria Santos is the daughter of legendary long jumper Helena Santos, who lost her limelight to her sister Gabi after the bionic athletes took over. Maria trained her whole life only to see her sister with a bionic leg breaking records and becoming a superstar of the new world. After Atlia’s death, Heitor and his men are still in need of money for their cause, and the newcomer to the gang, Gus, tells them about his sister. Gus is Maria and Gabi’s brother, who stayed under his sister’s shadow all his life. When Maria’s frustration over Gabi’s success takes over her head, she and Heitor plan to get her a bionic leg as well. Maria creates a scene at Gabi’s party and then gets into an accident. She wakes up with an amputated leg and breaks out in tears. The grief doesn’t mean much, though, as her father Ricardo and bionic expert Dario present her with a customized bionic leg. Maria and Heitor sleep together, and this chaotic relationship is only the beginning of the story. 


How do the bionic limbs work?

Bionic body parts were originally introduced to rehabilitate war veterans back into society, but soon they became available for the rest of the world. Anybody could get a bionic arm if they wanted to, but the version available for the general public is, of course, not as strong as the ones athletes use. A chip called NIM gets inserted into the motor cortex, which helps the bionic parts sync with the user’s brain. The transfer process between the brain and the prosthesis is perfect, and one can use their bionic body parts just the way they’d use a normal one. The only problem with this is that if the brain gets into an extremely intense zone, the NIM percentage can come down and the user can fall into a coma. To check the NIM’s capacity and percentage, one must check the display on their forearm. 

Why do the cops suspect Heitor and Maria?

Getting an amputation to get a bionic body part is a crime in this world, and for athletes, it’s the equivalent of doping. Detective Guerra is investigating the bank robbery, and he finds Heitor while looking into his brother’s skull tattoo. Even though Heitor doesn’t have a serious criminal record, Guerra decides to follow him because he’s the only lead. Through this, Guerra finds out about Heitor and Maria’s situation. When Maria helps Heitor and his gang rob a truck full of cash, Guerra grows suspicious about Maria too. He figures that the sister of the world champion recently got a bionic leg, and her meetings with Heitor aren’t just coincidences. Guerra and his partner find out that the emergency call they received about Maria’s accident was made before the accident even occurred. The CCTV footage and the call both show different timings, and Guerra now has conclusive evidence of Maria faking the accident. 


What happens when Gabi gets to know about the premeditated accident?

Maria isn’t okay with Heitor killing one of the guards from the truck. When they go back to their den, Maria confronts him, but Heitor says he only did it because the guard saw her face. She finds Gus in the den too, and Gus is there by choice. With a new skull tattoo on his arm, Gus has had enough of his sisters always hovering over his head, and now he wants to do his own thing. Maria leaves her brother, who clearly has a major inferiority complex. Ricardo tells Maria that she’s now eligible for the Bionic games, and Gabi feels threatened by it. The sisters never had a good relationship, and this only makes things more sour than they were. Guerra and his partner come to the training facility to investigate, but Maria shuts them off, saying they better find the man who crashed into her. Guerra shows the CCTV footage of the accident to Ricardo, Gabi, and Gus. He explains how the accident was clearly planned, but Ricardo refuses to believe it. Only Gabi seems interested in what the cops had to say, and she becomes fixated on it. Gabi realizes that the cops weren’t wrong when she hears Maria’s favorite Italian opera music in the background of the emergency call recording. 

What happens in the Bionic Games?

Bionic Games are nothing but a small-scale Olympics full of neon lights. Men and women both compete in the long jump competition, and Gabi goes first, receiving massive applause from her fans. She breaks her own world record on her first jump and starts to think it’s over for her sister. However, Maria had other plans and jumped a tad bit farther than Gabi to set a new world record on her debut jump. The last contestant pulls himself out of the game, and now it’s the sisters who face each other in the final round. Gabi gets extremely anxious seeing Maria perform better than her, and her NIM percentage takes a huge dip. Despite Ricardo and Maria telling her not to participate, Gabi goes to complete her final round jump. The low NIM levels lead to her collapsing into the ground while attempting the jump, and Maria is hailed as the new World Champion. 


Why does Heitor kidnap Gabi?

Gabi’s interface between her motor cortex and NIM got so badly affected by the fall that she could never compete again. When she wakes up in the hospital, she tells Maria that she knows everything. Maria thinks it’s better if they let it go, but she sees Guerra still lurking around her. Heitor meets with Maria, telling her that they have found information about 10 NIMs getting transported and that they need to steal them. Maria is in no mood to help Heitor anymore, but Heitor tries to threaten her, saying he was the one who gave her the special leg. None of his cheap tactics work on her as she walks away, but soon Gus spikes Maria’s drink. Maria wakes up to see Heitor and his men kidnapping Gabi and beating Ricardo up. Heitor kisses Maria and tells her that she has no choice but to do the job. 

How does Maria sabotage Heitor’s plans?

Heitor and Co. make Maria jump from one building to another, covering 25 meters. Maria does make the impossible jump and successfully steals the briefcase of NIMs. Maria makes no effort to be discreet about the robbery as she walks around the building without her helmet on. Guerra soon gets hold of the CCTV footage and figures that Maria’s father and sister are missing, and she’s not doing it by choice. Just as Maria is about to reach the hideout, she sees a bike right beside her. Thinking it’s Heitor, she runs over the man, only to realize that it was her own blood, Gus. Gus tells her that Heitor made him do this, and when Maria tries to fight back, she gets knocked out by one of Heitor’s men. 


Back in the den, Heitor made arrangements to sell the NIMs, and he never cared about the regular athletes; he just wanted to make money. To their surprise, they find double the number of NIMs in the case than they expected, but Maria kicks the table down, scattering NIMs all over the floor. The man who wanted to buy the NIMs and make an army runs away with his men, and Maria starts to take each of Heitor’s men down. Just when she thinks the job is done, Heitor stabs Maria from behind. Gabi tries to fight back, but Heitor puts her in a sleeper hold, trying to suffocate her to death. Maria gets up and breaks Heitor’s back, but the police arrive before she can make a clean exit. Guerra and the cops chase Maria to the stadium she used to practice in, and she gets caught in the barbed wire trying to hop over it. Guerra tells Maria that he can help her, but Maria trips even further and falls from the roof. The bionic leg gets tangled into the barbed wire, and before the police could do anything, Maria cuts the wire, hoping that’d kill her. Gabi, the sister who always hated Maria, has a change of mind at this very moment. She steals a car and pulls Maria in before the police can get her. 

What happens to Maria and Gabi? 

Even six months after the incident, the police haven’t found the sisters. They’ve traveled far from their city to open a gym, honoring their mother’s name. Now Maria and Gabi teach and train kids and a few adults. Dario pays them a visit to give them a pair of bionic legs each, and he’s also fixed Gus in an inexplicably crazy way. Maria became the very thing she never thought she’d be, and we see the sisters meeting the man who wanted to buy the NIMs from Heitor. The sisters tell the man that he wouldn’t need a bionic army; he’d only need three bionic people. Gus comes out of the car, and he’s been made into a full-blown Brazilian Cyclops using bionic parts. He shows a little teaser of how strong he’s actually become, and the boy is now bulletproof. Even though none of them ended up the way they originally planned to, the siblings finally got each other’s back, which they never had before. If they were tight from the get-go, none of the unfortunate things would’ve happened to them. But it’s just great to see things working out in a different way for people, and for these three, they’d make a great group of criminals. 


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Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket is a literature student pursuing his master's degree while trying to comprehend Joyce and Pound. When his head is not shoved in books, he finds solace in cinema and his heart beats for poetry, football, and Adam Sandler in times.

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