‘Death On The Border’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Did Maddy And Rhonda Save the Girls?

Windy Wilkin’s Death on the Border is a thought-provoking movie that forces you to contemplate one of the real dangers and problems of society: child trafficking. It’s common knowledge that scores of young girls and children are trafficked every year. These young girls are forced into prostitution or are sold to high-paying clients. Death on the Border isn’t entirely fictional but draws inspiration from real events. This makes Windy Wilkin’s film all the more haunting, realizing the ordeal all those women and girls had to go through. At the beginning of the film, Maddy (Shannon Elizabeth) is picked up by a child trafficker who is smuggling young girls over the border. The trafficker tried to force himself on Maddy, but she killed him with the gun she was hiding in her boots. Maddy freed the girls and asked one of them to drive until they were safe.


Spoilers Ahead

Who Are Maddy And Rhonda? How Did They Meet?

Maddy was married to John Watson (Frank Whaley), a detective working for the county. Maddy was pregnant, but John was never there to help her get through the pregnancy. Why? John was busy helping cartels traffic young women to the other side of the border. Unfortunately, Maddy lost the baby. Watson, instead of helping her get through the pain, abused her. Remember the cop who ran a license check on Maddy’s car? She was Rhonda (Kika Magalhães). Rhonda was in a relationship with John Boone (Eric Roberts), another detective who was in cahoots with the traffickers. He had been turning a blind eye to their shady dealings in exchange for a huge sum. Both Watson and Boone were corrupt and had been helping the cartel smuggle young girls for years.


Why Did Maddy And Rhonda Fake Their Death?

After learning about what Boone had been doing to the innocent girls, Rhonda decided to do something. Rhonda knew about the prevalent corruption in the police department, but she never suspected that Boone would be a part of it. After realizing she wasn’t making any progress as a cop, Rhona decided to quit her job. Since the cartels were hot on their trail, the duo decided to fake their deaths. However, they both knew they wouldn’t be able to fool the cartel and the department for long. Since then, Maddy and Rhonda have been working together to lay waste to Boone and Watson’s plans and save innocent girls from being trafficked. Boone eventually found out that the remains they found in the car didn’t belong to Maddy and Rhonda. However, Maddy and Rhonda were the least of his worries.

Since Boone and Watson failed to see the delivery through, they had to pay the price. The cartel also forced them to pay double the amount they lost, thanks to Maddy and Rhonda. Manny (the cartel’s henchman) warned Boone that if he failed the next delivery, he would be killed. He also threatened him to do whatever it took to find Maddy and Rhonda, who had been stopping their trucks.


Who is Adele? How did Boone find Maddy and Rhonda?

Unfortunately, one of the girls, Rhonda and Maddy rescued,  sent a letter to her brother. The duo had warned her multiple times not to do so because Boone and the cartel could track them through it. For safety reasons, Adele (Wendy Wilkins), one of Maddy’s associates, had to go into hiding. Maddy and Adele had known each other for many years, and the latter was responsible for taking care of the girls, their education, and helping them forget and get over their past. Many of the girls Adele cared for were minors and had been sold by their parents, who gave them to the cartel for money. These girls were beaten and raped daily and had lost hope in the world until Maddy and Rhonda saved them.

Boone was getting desperate, and that was the reason why he was trying to smuggle more girls through the border. Unfortunately for him, Maddy and Rhonda were still out there, throwing a wrench in his plans. Boone was also running out of false promises and excuses and realized that if he didn’t find Maddy and Rhonda, he would die a horrible death. Father Francis had been under Boone’s radar for a long time. Boone was convinced that he was working with Maddy and Rhonda and knew where the girls were. Father Francis was known for running a missionary with Adele. Boone decided to scratch that itch and paid a visit to Adele. He forced her to reveal the location of the girls by threatening to kill one of them. With no choice left, Adele complied but warned Maddy of the coming danger as soon as Boone left. Maddy and Rhonda began making preparations to shift the girl to another secure location. They plead with Father Francis (Danny Trejo) to leave with the girls, but he decides on the latter. Unfortunately, both Francis and Boone died in a gunfight.


Did Maddy And Rhonda Save The Girls?

Watson and his henchmen found Maddy and Rhonda. A gunfight ensued, and Watson and his goons were killed. Unfortunately, Rhonda was gravely wounded in the process. Manny (Iseluleko Ma’at El 0) arrived at the scene and revealed that he was in law enforcement. In reality, Manny had been working undercover with the cartel all along to gather everything on both Watson and Boone. Manny had to help the cartel smuggle the girls in order to reach the head of the cartel. The trio was successful in saving the girls from being abducted by the cartel. Maddy and one of the girls were shot and killed. Rhonda was taken to the hospital, and she survived. As the film drew to a close, we saw Manny paying a visit to Adele and the kids. He told them that, thanks to their efforts, the FBI was able to apprehend an entire branch of child traffickers. Manny also gave them Father Francis’ Rebozo, which he gave to him before dying. Manny also started a charitable fund so the girls could get the best education possible.

Like Boone and Watson, Rhonda and Maddy could’ve also turned a blind eye, but instead, they risked their lives to save those innocent girls who were trafficked over the border. Maddy and Father Francis even sacrificed their own lives to make sure no harm could come to those girls. Unfortunately, child trafficking is a real issue, and every year, thousands of girls are kidnapped and smuggled to fund the prostitution industry. These funds are then later distributed to politicians, cops, and everyone else who plays a part. In the film, both Watson and Boone were getting paid hundreds of thousands to make sure the trucks passed the border without any hiccups. Watson was driving an expensive sports car, which couldn’t have been possible on a cop’s salary. It’s possible that the movie might have a sequel, as the head of the cartel still hasn’t been caught. Toward the end of the film, we see Manny asking Rhonda to contact her as soon as she recovers. Maybe Rhonda will join the FBI and work alongside Manny to bring the mastermind of the ring to justice. It’s crystal clear that she will definitely not sit idle and do whatever it takes to avenge Maddy and Maria’s deaths.


Final Verdict

Death on the Border is supposed to be this emotional thriller that really gets you thinking about the real issues in society. But unfortunately the execution of this film is not up to par. It felt like Windy Wilkin’s wanted to do his own version of Sound of Freedom, but the end product turned out to be a cheap knockoff. Death on the Border is jam-packed with a decent cast, but the filmmakers didn’t know how to make the most of it. The gunfights are forced and poorly choreographed, and there are moments where you’re just scratching your head, thinking, “Why is this even happening?”

Speaking about the cast, Eric Roberts plays the role of John Boone, but instead of making his character stand out, the movie turned him into a run-of-the-mill dirty cop. The same goes for Frank Whaley, who plays Maddy’s ex-husband, John Watson. It’s disappointing that they had the ingredients for something great, but it just didn’t come together. The screenplay is also poorly executed, and the movie jumps around without much explanation. Half the time, you’re feeling lost, and the other half, you realize there isn’t much to get in the first place.


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Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh considers himself a superhero who is always at work trying to save the world from boredom. In his leisure time, he loves to watch more movies and play video games and tries to write about them to entertain his readers further. Rishabh likes to call himself a dedicated fan of Haruki Murakami, whose books are an escape from his real being.

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