The Final Destination (2009)

September 2, 2009 - 6:44pm | steelba
  Tags: 3d, Andy Fiscella, blood, Bobby Campo, David R. Ellis, death, final destination, gore, grim reaper, Haley Webb, Justin Welborn, Krista Allen, Mykelti Williamson, Nick Zano, Richard T. Jones, Shantel VanSanten

Your rating: None Average: 5.6 (28 votes)
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Rating #: 
David R. Ellis
Shantel VanSanten, Bobby Campo, Haley Webb, Nick Zano, Krista Allen, Andy Fiscella, Justin Welborn, Mykelti Williamson, Richard T. Jones

By now I think just about every genre fan is familiar with, or at least should be familiar with the Final Destination series. The first and arguably the best in the series was a breath of fresh air in the late Scream/I Know What You Did Last Summer era. Granted it doesn't take much to surpass those films but it was still nice to get something different. Apparently I wasn't the only fan as the movie generated two sequels, well three now, and both were enjoyable. I will admit I like the 2nd the most in the series for the creative and jaw dropping death sequences.  They really out did themselves in that one and unfortunately the 3rd film was a bit of a letdown in comparison. That being said, when word that the fourth installment was to have the same director as FD2, I was pleased. Being the fourth film in the franchise I knew better than to expect a whole lot, but I headed out to the theater in hopes of seeing and enjoyable flick anyways, and that's exactly what I got.
As everyone knows the Final destination series is formulaic and always starts with some sort of horrible accident, resulting in the deaths of the small group of people, whom are usually all friends. The same holds true this time around, a group of friends, a trip to the race track, and a nice healthy dose of death! To be completely honest I knew I wouldn't be getting anything as spectacular as the freeway scene in the 2nd, but had high hopes they'd one up the lackluster roller coaster incident from the 3rd. Luckily they did just that, and made good use of the 3D to boot. The audience gets treated too some pretty sweet deaths involving flying debris to the body, people being impaled by various means, and some underwhelming crushing scenes. I am sure there is a way to make 5,000lbs of concrete falling on someone pretty gory, but no, not here. Making matters worse, the same kind of death scene is unwisely reused later in the film. Beyond that, the opening calamity delivers the goods and had the all the people around me cheering.

Like in the previous films there is one person (Nick O'bannon) who see's the events unfold before they actually occur. Naturally Nick flips out and starts prophesying about the immanent doom on its way to claim all of them. His friends and girlfriend are skeptical as usual, but they all end up leaving the race anyways, and the horrendous accident ensues right on cue. From here on out the story is pretty thin and everyone immediately catches on to the fact death is hunting them, thanks to a Google search. I wasn't too thrilled with that weak setup, but since we've all been down that road many times before it's excusable.. After the startling Google discovery, Nick and his girlfriend Lori are on a mission to alert the others and attempt self rescue. As expected one or two of the survivors are believers and try to help the couple and themselves, but others refuse to believe the Grim Reaper is out to get them. Their mistake is our gain though!!

Like I said the plot really isn’t developed a whole hell of a lot, instead we get a small group of fairly likable characters and a fast pace. The movie does a good job supplying brutalized bodies for the bonfire of death. Sporting some well timed and somewhat comical deaths, like a stone through the eye, and the token racist getting a dose of his own medicine, where they made pretty good use of a tow truck and fire. A few of the deaths were pretty bland and downright cheap, showing zero flair and less gore. The car-wash scene is also a mixed bag in my mind, being both cool and a waste simultaneously. Most of the kills come at you fast and furious, delivering in your face gross outs and gore, thanks to the wicked 3D effects. The 3D itself stole the show and was very effective. They used it pretty frequently and it really benefited the film, especially in the film’s best scene involving an Escalator at the mall.

From a technical side the films was solid, a bit restrained, but there was still enough flair to make it work. The music was completely passable as was much of the acting, it was no worse than the stuff in FD3 though. The real star of this film is the 3D, and it deserves as much credit as I can give it. Things come at you from different angles, often with sharp objects and blood-soaked bodies staring you right in the face. Everything in the realm of 3D chaos was F'n sweet and is definitely worth the price of admission. I have to admit that if this film wasn't in 3D it would have been a little underwhelming, and I would score it lower since the story and characterization basically got pitched. However if you're just looking for a good time at the movies this week I’d definitely seek out the 3D awesomeness that is 'The Final Destination'.

Final Destination 4 isn't the best in the series but it sure is a lot of fun. Gone is much of the mystery and build up of its predecessors, but brand new 3D technology and a high body count serve as ample replacements. If you find joy in a brisk pace, campy humor, and people being ground out by an unseen menace, I think you'll be pleased, I was.

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