The Final Destination had its normal and 3D release in August and its DVD/Blu-ray release is set to Jan 5, 2010. I wrote this review based on the normal version and not the 3D version.
This is the fourth installment of this franchise, starring Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, Nick Zano and Haley Webb, none of them with any substantial roles in their rap sheet, prior to this movie.
Two names that we do know are the director David R. Ellis and the writer Eric Bress that created the second Final Destination movie.
This movie contains a bucket load of references to the previous movies. This starts right away, in the opening titles, were cool X-ray versions of the deaths from the previous movies are shown. I thought that this was a fresh approach and made me believe that Ellis and Bress would continue on that path and introduce something new to the franchise.
I was wrong.
The plot doesn’t deviate from the standard template of Final Destination; a teen gets a premonition of a terrible accident, saving its friends and others. Nevertheless, death doesn’t like to be cheated, so it starts to go after the survivors, one by one, to complete its original plan.
In The Final Destination, Nick receives a premonition, as he visits the McKinley Speedway racetrack. Thanks to his vision, he manages to save his girlfriend, friends, and a few others, from dying.
However, shortly afterwards, the survivors starts to die, due to some remarkable and almost unbelievable ways, which makes Nick and his girlfriend suspicious.
They start to do some research and stumble upon similar stories, about people who have survived accidents, only to die, shortly after, in the same order, which they should have died in the first place.
Nick and his girlfriend also think that they have found a way to stop death. If they just could prevent one death, on the list, this would cause the whole chain to break, saving the others on the list.
Therefore, Nick goes back to the racetrack, trying to remember in which order people dies, in his premonition. From here Nick sets out on a venture, trying to save his friends, before death catches up with them. However, even though Nick gets a lot of premonitions and signs, to help him in his quest, it eventually boils down to a cat and mouse game, with death itself.
It’s clear that the director David R. Ellis, has done this before and he follows the recognizable template of the franchise, very consistent. From the starting accident, through the overwhelming chain reactions that builds up prior to the deaths, all the way to the twisted ending.
However, it seems that he forgot that Final Destination is more than just lining up a couple of spectacular deaths. Even though the movie contains more deaths, than any other movie in the series, Ellis presents them without finesse, realism or depth.
It’s like Ellis and Brass packed a few deaths together, focusing on what would look good in 3D, rather than linking them to the story, and spice it up with some morbid humor. In my opinion, that makes the movie insipid, bordering to boring.
Since Ellis and Brass fails to deliver any depth to the plot, the actors doesn’t have much to work with, thus their performance come out clumsily and flat, which is the final nail in the coffin for this movie.
Even though The Final Destination contains everything, we could expect, it fails to introduce something new to the concept – we have seen it before, painted with much more gruesome colors and skilfulness, which makes this installment feel like a weird rerun.
On the good side, despite its obvious flaws, The Final Destination does provide a crumb of dark and enjoyable entertainment, and if you’re a fan of the franchise, chances are that you’ll find it, not that particular bad, but on the other hand, not that great either.
I think it’s sad that Ellis and Brass didn’t took the opportunity of making The Final Destination into a spectacular finale, instead of trying to milk it for all it’s worth, leaving a mediocre movie behind, resting in pieces…
Ironically, I think they could have done both, which would have made everybody walk away happy, with a cruel smile on their faces, instead of an awkward feeling of being cheated.
My rating of “The Final Destination”: