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THE FINAL DESTINATION

THE FINAL DESTINATION-United States-2009

Bobby Campo as Nick

Shantel VanSanten as Lori

Mykelti Williamson as George

Directed by David R. Ellis

Written by Eric Bress

Based on characters created by Jeffrey Reddick

I can’t sleep in a moving car. If I close my eyes I start to imagine everything from 18 wheelers to locomotives bearing down on the vehicle and sending the driver and I mangled and dismembered to the pearly gates. It’s weird, I know; but it happens. It also serves as a good segue into the movie I’m reviewing today; The Final Destination. This is the fourth film in the series and while it is about the final destination, it is not the Final Destination as there has been one more in the series since then. For those of you keeping score the tally so far has been a big fucking plane crash, a big fucking multi-vehicle interstate pileup and in Final Destination 3 we had a big fucking rollercoaster accident. For The Final Destination the accident du jour is a bad fucking day at the stock car races. We’re talking tires decapitating, metal bisecting, rods impaling, dogs and cats living together mass hysteria. This is of course followed by the seven or so people who were supposed to die meeting horrible ends that are all gross and bloody.

Can you tell that I am running out of things to say about this series of movies? Don’t misunderstand me; the Final Destination movies are a guilty pleasure for me. I love watching these movies and seeing the accidents play out. But there is only so much you can say about the damn things. The Final Destination has to be my least favorite of the series. While the beginning accident was pretty cool, the rest of the deaths were just kind of ‘okay’. Face it; people who watch these movies watch them to see what horrible deaths the writers can come up with for the hapless victims. I say that the best so far have been ‘giant pane of glass becomes giant pain in the ass’ in Final Destination 2 and ‘twin tanning bed barbecue’ in Final Destination 3.

So, this brings to a close my reviews for the Final Destination series. That is until they decide to make a number 6 and I find myself racking my brain for something to say. The bad part is that I’m actually looking forward to it.

TRIVIA

The race track is called “McKinley Speedway” which was the name of the Town, High School and character Ian McKinley (Kris Lemche) in Final Destination 3.

The film’s opening titles recreates death scenes from all three of the previous Final Destination films.

When Nick is driving he pulls up to a sign that causes him to have a premonition, the sign is clearly marked Clear Rivers Water. Clear Rivers was a central character in both Final Destination and Final Destination 2.

The Final Destination series began when Flight 180 crashed in Final Destination. At the race track, the victims are seated in area 180 (as shown on a sign behind them) and the video camera footage briefly shows the number on the screen and a bus in the final scene is clearly marked on the roof as number 180.

The first film in the series where the music was not composed by Shirley Walker, as she passed away in 2006.

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FINAL DESTINATION 5

FINAL DESTINATION 5-United States-2011

Emma Bell as Molly Harper

Miles Fisher as Peter Friedkin

Arlen Escarpeta as Nathan

David Koechner as Dennis

Tony Todd as William Bludworth

Directed by Steven Quale

Screenplay by Eric Heisserer and Jeffrey Reddick 

Hmm, let’s see. First it was a plane crash, then an interstate smash-up, then a roller coaster derailment, then a disastrous day at the races. So, how many more ways can the producers and creators of the Final Destination franchise possibly find to kill a whole bunch of people? Oh, right! What was I thinking? A bridge collapse! That’ll show them!

So, now we come to Final Destination 5; and once again we have a disposable cast escaping one catastrophe merely to have their lives cut short in various grotesque and gruesome ways. I have to admit something, though; as tired as the franchise is becoming (the third film should have been the last), I find myself liking the series despite the fact that it’s worn out its welcome. In a way it reminds me of the Friday the 13th franchise in that although we grew tired of there being so many of them we kept coming back for the kills. Final Destination 5 has some pretty cool death scenes, but it still doesn’t top the ones in Final Destination 2. That one had a kid being crushed by a pane of a glass, a barb-wire slice and dice and an elevator decapitation. FD5 has death by parallel bars, acupuncture disaster and a Donnie Darkoesque death by airplane engine.

The cast, although expendable, does a decent job with what they’re given and they rise to the task of dying. Emma Bell would have to be the standout performer in this one as she is probably the one most recognizable to genre fans from her work in Frozen and The Walking Dead. David Koechner comes to the series from the comedic genre after appearances in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Paul and a stint on Saturday Night Live and The Office.

I’ll say the same thing about this film and the series in general that I said about Sucker Punch. If you watch FD5 expecting Oscar caliber performances and emotionally wrought drama then you’re humping the wrong leg. The series is meant to be mindless entertainment in which one film is completely interchangeable with the other. Enjoy it for what it is, folks. I sure as hell do.

TRIVIA

Producers have said that this installment will be darker (like the first film), as opposed to the almost comedic route that the 4th film took.
 
This is the third film in the series to feature a male lead having the premonitions.
 
The restaurant that Sam works in is called Le Cafe Miro 81. This cafe was seen at the end of Final Destination in Paris. When looked at from this angle, MirO81, and flipped, it’s another reference to “180″ – a number referenced throughout the franchise.
 
Many of the main characters are named after famous horror directors: Peter Friedkin is named after The Exorcist director William Friedkin; Candice Hooper is named after Tobe Hooper who directed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist;and Olivia Castle is named after William Castle who directed The Tingler and the original House on Haunted Hill.
 
½
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