Come to think of it, even a more experimenting Hollywood has this fixture of hero winning the final battle. It seldom ends on an ‘even’ note.
The one movie that I really wished to end so – Michael Mann’s Heat – ended with a never before handshake between the two, but still not bold enough to ‘break even’ when it easily could have (De Nero is killed in the shoot out). In fact, the script really stretches the imagination to get to a ‘normal’ ending.
Mann’s latest movie Collateral is also built on similar lines, this time there was no super cop though, making it a little lighter than Heat.
The only (I think) movie that broke this ‘Hollywood Studio Plot’ pattern was Swordfish. Travolta makes that (in)famous statement at the beginning of the movie about why people make movies in which the villain invariably dies. He plays a villain similar to the one he did in Broken Arrow, and wins the game in the end. But the lack of super cop/hero (though it had Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman) and with the production classified too slick even for MTV standards, the movie was no where close to a classic in the Heat lines, and went sort of unnoticed.
But broke the proto-type anyways. Better than watching the same saga over and over again.