Movie Review: The Final Destination (2009)
The major difference in the fourth installment in the Final Destination series, The Final Destination is that it’s also available in 3D. Whilst the 3D is good, I’ve seen it done better. It follows exactly the same formula as the others, and it’s an entertaining way to spend an hour and a half, but assuming this is the last one (which would be a foolish assumption) they certainly didn’t save the best ’til last.
This time we follow nice guy Nick as he enjoys a day out with his friends at the race track. A very cleverly orchestrated chain of events leads to a horrendous accident which causes the already crumbling stadium to collapse, killing Nick and all his friends in gruesome and imaginative ways. Luckily, this isn’t real, just a vision Nick is having. Of course, on seeing this vision, Nick begins to panic, urging his friends to leave with him, warning them that they are in mortal danger. Eventually Nick and his friends escape the clutches of Death, along with a few others who tagged along.
As one might expect, their unseen nemesis Death is more than a little miffed to have his plan altered and he spends the rest of the film thinking of new, inventive, and bloody ways to kill them. Nick in the meantime, is still having visions hinting at what is to come, and he runs around like a headless chicken trying to outsmart Death.
It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, this time however, we see the various objects of impalement and slaughter flying towards us in 3D. Unfortunately, they don’t jump as far from the screen as some of the other 3D I’ve seen so while it is fun, it isn’t terrifying.
As The Final Destination opens with the racetrack scene there’s no real opportunity to build the characters, luckily none of the films are heavily reliant on characters, or acting; they depend more on the suspense created by their imminent deaths. We are not concerned about whether people will die, but rather how they will die. The usual dead-ends and false alarms surround most of the deaths, but in the end it’s almost always down to a random chain of events rather than a one off incident. Something will fall on something, which in turn will flick a switch, which will cause something else to happen, and inevitably Death claims another victim.
There are some tense moments but generally the characters don’t seem horrified enough to be on Death’s list, and that’s because some of them don’t ever know they’re on it! Those who do know, only find out they’re next in line as they are actually dying. Because of this, the characters aren’t scared enough, and neither are we. There is some humor here, and in fact at one point I was sitting there in the cinema laughing so hard I was in danger of snorting and embarrassing myself! Looking back, it perhaps wasn’t as funny in real life as it was in my head . . .
While this chapter in the series is called The Final Destination, my gut says that since it did as well as it did at the box office there’ll be plenty more coming from where this came from. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing though — the Final Destination films are good, inventive and something a little different and it would be shame to see them become jaded. I can’t help thinking that with the fourth one it’s already started to happen. I think it’s time Death got his cloak, and left.