Alright, before I get to the review, a bit of an explanation so no one is confused. This is a review for THE FINAL DESTINATION, not to be confused with the first film in the series, FINAL DESTINATION. THE FINAL DESTINATION is the fourth film in the series, and seeing how there’s a fifth, woefully mis-titled. So what happened to the first three films Shad? Do you not like them? Are you just skipping past them? The answer is yes, and no. Yes we aren’t covering the first three films in the series. No it isn’t because I don’t like them, in fact the first three are the best of the series. The reason we’re going straight to reviewing the fourth and fifth film in the series is because I only own the fourth and fifth film on blu-ray. I do have the first three films in my DVD collection, but since they’re only on DVD, they aren’t being reviewed for this series.
Okay, great, got that out of the way. Now onto the review of THE FINAL DESTINATION. First though, I’d like to point out again how incorrect the title is. I can see what they were going for, the final film in the series should be called THE FINAL DESTINATION, and maybe that was the original idea. However, for whatever reason (greed, most likely) the producers realized that these films still make enough of a profit to re-visit the franchise. So they did FINAL DESTINATION 5 either the next year, or the year after that. Bet they’re feeling pretty stupid calling it THE FINAL DESTINATION when it wasn’t the final destination.
THE FINAL DESTINATION is the weakest film in the franchise, hands down, even worse than FINAL DESTINATION 2. It seems that some idiots watched the first three films and all they got out of it was the mousetrap ideas and thought that was all you needed to make a FINAL DESTINATION film. They completely neglect story, a basic plot, and character development. THE FINAL DESTINATION has us scrambling from one elaborate death to the next without any substance between death scenes. The first three took their time, understanding story is more important than a death scene. I mean, the death scenes were still very important, but without a story to tie everything together…who cares?
The film starts just like all the others, someone with a group of friends and a few lead strangers has a vision of the future where they all die. Then the guy wakes up and watches as his prophetic vision becomes self-fulfilling. He, his friends, and a few strangers leave the area and cheat death, only to have death come back for them with each person getting an elaborate mousetrap death.
It’s the exact same plot as the rest of the series, but whereas we get some character development in the first one, and the third film, on DVD, came with a high level of interactivity, THE FINAL DESTINATION says “screw that”. I can almost see the pitch to the film studio. Some guy saying that the reason the films are so popular is the elaborate death scenes, so why don’t they make a fourth (and final?) one where it’s nothing but death scene after death scene. Streamline the whole process. In a way, they are right. I imagine most people watch it for the death sequences, so with the fourth film they decided to focus on their strength, the mousetrap deaths, over everything else. Oh, and it was the first film in the series to be in 3D, so they had working against them, too. So when all was said and done, I imagine they thought they had a pretty good product on their hands. But again, it’s missing a human element, and that is a real big negative.
The only problem with this plan of attack, other than already stated, is the death scenes weren’t all that wacky and elaborate. They were either mundane (hit by a bus, much?) to the just plain silly (getting stuck on the pool drain and it pulling out your insides). Really the best thing in this film is the just desserts served to the ignorant, white trash, white supremacist. Out of the whole film, that was the only spot that felt good.
There is a touch of meta going on too near the end of the movie when they’re in a crowded theater watching a 3D movie, and then a lot of things explode. I can see how that would be a bit uncomfortable to sit through…ya know…if I had depth perception and 3D worked for me. Lame. #everyonesucks. Nevertheless, this little addition is welcome, it raises the stakes, and involves the audience on a level of fear.
Again, however, it’s the string of deaths that the main characters move to one after another that really bring this film down. It can be best described as a scavenger hunt of death. Go to point A, try to stop death, regardless of outcome go to point B, try to stop death, and so on and so on. There’s nothing of any interest between death scenes except driving to the next death scene.
Let’s hope they changed their tune for part five, I don’t remember a whole lot about it, except the kick-ass ending. We’ll see…next time.