Film Review – Final Destination 5
As mentioned previously, I love the Final Destination movies because they follow the Joe Bob Briggs principle of sequels:
– Anyone can die at any time
– If you’re going to make a sequel, make the exact same damn movie
So I’m sure you’ll all be pleased to know that Final Destination is pretty much identical to the four movies that preceed it.
Nicholas D’Agosto, on a business retreat with a coach full of work colleagues gets that old familiar tingly “bad feeling” when the coach is on a suspension bridge. Cue the disaster set piece, which utilises 3D brilliantly and has a raft of unpleasant deaths that made the audience cheer. (Bloodthirst lot!). He manages to get seven of his fellow passengers off the coach before his vision becomes a reality, but at the funeral of the 17 deceased Tony Todd steps up to tell the survivors that “Death doesn’t like to be cheated.”
From there on in we get a number of cute set pieces, with a high squick and ick factor (the laser eye surgery is particularly hard to watch if you’re squeamish about eyes) that contain the usual misdirection and anticipation. The 3D effects never really reach the heights of the main disaster, but the deaths are so ridiculous that you can’t help but laugh and applaud the creativity.
The Final Destination franchise has always had the spirit of fun and horror!fluff that I associate with old horror movies of the 1980s and Five maintains that tone. Never really and truly scary, these are supernatural thrillers that are totally reliant on inanimate objects to cause chills and scares.
However, and this feels a bit churlish, it’s not totally satisfying. The trailer hints that “the rules have changed” and Tony Todd’s coroner suggests that there may be a way for the feckless teens to escape Death’s icy grasp. It’s a bit of a cheat – firstly the only rule in a Final Destination movie is that death will come and will be messy and possibly prolongued. Secondly… well I can’t really explain the secondly without being spoilery. Suffice to say that the Eric Heisserer’s script tries to be smarter than it actually is and it doesn’t quite work. The twist isn’t flagged in a blatent fashion but observant audiences will not be as surprised as the filmmaker’s might hope.
Performance wise there’s not much that stand out here but then strong characterisation has never really been a feature of the movies anyway. None of the performances are terrible (and none of the doomed characters overly likeable) and Courtney B Vance, Tony Todd and David Koechner show the kids how it’s done.
Ultimately, I suspect any plot niggles I have will be largely redundant. This is rollercoaster horror that wants the audience to have fun. The tagged on recap of deaths from earlier movies as the credits roll is silly and unnecessary but allows plenty of 3D blood splatter.
If you liked the previous movies, chances are you’ll love this. Joe Bob Briggs would be proud.
Final Destination 5 opens in the UK on August 26th.