Friday, August 28, 2009

Review: The Final Destination

The Final Destination (2009)
Genre: Horror
Format: Theatrical Release
Director: David R. Ellis

Death works in such mysterious ways... Even when it comes to the progression of the Final Destination films. While the first movie was no slouch, Final Destination 2 was what made me really crazy about the whole theory of Death coming back to claim the lives of those who were lucky enough to distance themselves from massacres of catastrophic level in such gruesome ways that these individuals wished that they should have just died to begin with. The return of the director who was responsible for that sequel (alongside one of its writers) would logically ensure another successful entry for the series but instead, The Final Destination could mark the franchise's actual death. They should have named this Final Destination 4 to make things less ironic.

This time around, a young group of friends are enjoying themselves at a NASCAR racing circuit when a large accident occur on the track and later onto the spectators. A number of people who would have died were able to escape death because a premonition from a guy from the group. Later on, they are picked off one by one by the ever-invisible (as well as lazy and much bored) Death because when it's your time to go, there is nothing you can really do to stop it. Let's begin with the Director's claim that the NASCAR accident was meant to be more spectacular than the highway accident in the first movie - yeah right. The scene was so haphazard, it lacked any real impact. This first death scene becomes a clear indication of what to come for the rest of the movie: all of the deaths, save for one, are incredibly boring and they lack that sheer brutality and precision found in all previous Final Destination entries. There is hardly any exciting build up that leads to the less-shocking and less-surprising deaths. Instead, all the set pieces feel rushed, with weak punchlines that for the most part do not have any intelligent connection to what preceded them, unlike all the deaths from the previous movies. Also, you don't see a lot of the deaths, which is truly unforgivable and that ending - it is the worst ending in movie history. Period. There are some weird missed opportunities too like the sudden unwillingness to show the deaths of kids - this is after the gory death of a kid in the second movie - and this even betrays the logic that these movies are supposed to adhere to in the context of the storyline.

This is my second Real-D movie and again, the technology is excellent but unlike My Bloody Valentine 3D, this movie uses a lot of special effects and the 3D illusion actually cheapens a majority of these so I would highly suggest watching the 35mm print. After seeing this, I have decided to steer clear from Real-D when it comes to live action films because things just don't look consistently natural. The 3D definitely didn't spoil the movie but it didn't bring anything special to the occasion either. Still, it was the only exciting and relatively creative thing about the movie... And that ending... That terrible ending... I want my money back.

RATING: 1 out of 5

Here's how I rank the Final Destination movies from top to bottom:

Final Destination 2
Final Destination 3
Final Destination
The Final Destination

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