Tuesday, April 11, 2017

#2,335. The Final Destination (2009)

Directed By: David R. Ellis

Starring: Nick Zano, Krista Allen, Andrew Fiscella

Tag line: "Just because you know it's happening, doesn't mean you'll see it coming"

Trivia: This is the only Final Destination movie with a sex scene

The fourth movie in the Final Destination series, 2009’s The Final Destination gives us more of the same, only this time the filmmakers felt that showing the deaths and dismemberments in 3-D would be a good idea. It wasn’t, and along with the obligatory shots of things flying towards the screen, The Final Destination features piss-poor CGI and kill scenes that are more ridiculous than they are creative.

A day at the races quickly turns into a nightmare when a violent crash sends vehicles and debris flying into the crowd. Fortunately, a handful of people are able to avoid the disaster when Nick (Bobby Campo), who was attending the race with girlfriend Lori (Shantel VanSanten) and their pals Hunt (Nick Zano) and Janet (Haley Webb), has a premonition of the carnage to come.

But in the days that follow, as the four friends and the others, including a security guard (Mykelti Williamson), a young mother of two (Krista Allen), and a heavy-drinking racist (Justin Welborn) contemplate what might have happened if Nick hadn’t seen the future, death starts catching up with them, and one by one the survivors meet a grisly end.

Nick, who’s continuing premonitions show him bits and pieces of each recurring death, teams up with Lori to try to break the cycle, hoping that, if they save one person from the grim reaper, the rest will be spared. Of course, knowing when and where death will come knocking, and who the next victim will be, isn’t going to be easy, but it’s the only chance they have to stay alive.

As with the three previous films in the series, The Final Destination wastes no time at all, and within the first 10 minutes or so we’re treated to all sorts of bloody violence (courtesy of everything from collapsing walls to engines that fly through the air). The problem is that every kill is rendered via CG, and because the budget didn’t allow for tens of millions of dollars to do it right, there’s not a single death that looks convincing.

Yet what ultimately sinks the film is its convoluted kill scenes. The first three movies had their share of ludicrous kills, but in The Final Destination director David R. Ellis and his team took just about every death sequence five steps too far, setting them up with needless shots (shaky ceiling fans, spilling gas cans, etc) and then making them so outrageously complex that a few actually made me laugh (the first “post-race” kill, which involves a tow truck, is bizarre enough, but compared to what follows it’s downright subtle!)

As silly as they could be at times, I enjoyed the series’ first three movies, but The Final Destination proved to be a major disappointment.

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