And now, after a dismal viewing of The Final Destination, we now turn our attention to the fifth film, aptly titled Final Destination 5. If they wanted too they could end the series with part five as it does tie into the first three films (but especially the first film in the series). However, I’ve been hearing grumblings lately of a Final Destination 6. So let’s hope against hope that it doesn’t get the green light.
Final Destination 5 is so-so. Better than 2 and 4, but not as good as 1 or 3. It’s very entertaining, the mousetraps are all set with a sense of humor about it, Tony Todd reprises his role as the coroner (or Chief Medical Examiner…one of those two), spinning his yarns to frightened kids about how death always catches up with you. Which is really just an exposition vehicle, but come on, it’s Tony friggen’ Todd, how can you not forgive that?
Two main reasons this is better than The Final Destination. Reason 1: It is very much a part of the same universe that the first three films happened in. 1, 2, 3, and 5 are all tied together, whether it be loosely, bring back a character for more, or helping traverse a time line. The Final Destination, the fourth film in the series didn’t reference the other films in any way, shape, or form. The Final Destination is a lot like a guy stuck on a desert island, and where just a few miles away the other four films in the franchise are getting drunk and partying. Okay…that was a really weird way to put it, but whatever.
Reason 2: I talked about this in the review for The Final Destination (every time I use the actual title, I like to picture that the guy that greenlit the film gets a swift kick to the balls. In which case: The Final Destination. Can never say it enough), there is no cohesive story or plot in The Final Destination. It’s simply a series of mousetrap deaths from start to end, nothing in between those scenes of much consequences. But that is not the case with Final Destination 5, there is a story in their…meager as it may be, but at least they tried, something TFD writers were too lazy to do.
I’d love to talk about my favorite part of this movie, the ending. Unfortunately it’s a HUGE reveal and I don’t want to ruin the movie for you. So let’s just go onto the next point.
In the negative column is the scene where Tony Todd is telling the crew how to cheat death. Now remember that the first four films were always changing this just slightly, starting with “You can only cheat death if someone intervenes” and ending in The Final Destination where you have to cheat death yourself, over and over. Well in Final Destination 5 we throw the slow evolution of how to cheat death out the window and have a completely new spin. Basically Tony Todd tells them that if they kill someone, that person takes their place with death, and they get to enjoy the rest of the time that unfortunate soul had left. Wait…what!?!? This doesn’t even slightly reflect the other films. And just like that, Mr. Todd is gone. So now we have questionable ethics and morals that the film is tackling as well. I, for one, found this new method of cheating death and the conscious dilemma it causes for the characters, as pretty dumb.
Other than that, the deaths are clever, creative, and very tongue-in-cheek. So it was nice to see that they had that going for them. The humor is especially rewarding because as the film goes on, you’re suddenly unsure whether or not you’re acting inappropriately. Fear not, it’s funny the whole way through, so feel free to laugh, and laugh often.
The accident at the beginning of the movie is a suspension bridge breaking apart. Not only is that the biggest thing the filmmakers have done for the franchise, and it’s epic. The only problem I have with it is that the film often uses CGI blood, instead of fake blood. As more and more films go into this trend, there’s a visceral feeling to violent, horror, movies that will be gone if this is the case and it works. Practical FX are always the right choice. Not CGI blood so you can cut corners while you’re filming. First time I had noticed such an atrocious act was watching THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN and noticed that all the blood looked really fake and too bright. So, yes, I am not a fan of CGI blood.
Another nice touch of the filmmakers is the end credits, before the credits roll, they show—what I’m assuming—clips from the previous four films that shows each death from each film. Great job!
So now that we’ve sort of touched on the first three, and reviewed the last (?) two films in the series, which is best? And the winner is easily Final Destination 3. It’s clever, inventive, a good story, but what really stands out is on DVD it becomes an interactive film, allowing you to choose between A or B thing. It’s kind of like a Choose Your Own Adventures movie. I had so much fun rewatching that DVD over and over, seeing what the consequences of the choices I make are. It often changes the entire ending of the film, which is pretty damn cool. Wish more films would do that sort of thing. It’s a lot of fun and really helps that link between audience member and subject on screen.
This film has also set in stone that I will never get laser eye surgery…ever.