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Overall Rating

Awesome: 2.44%
Worth A Look: 7.32%
Just Average39.02%
Pretty Crappy: 34.15%
Sucks: 17.07%

5 reviews, 11 user ratings

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Final Destination 5
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by Rob Gonsalves

"The second film is really the only one you need to see."
1 stars

Theoretically, you should be afraid to drive home from the theater after seeing one of the "Final Destination" movies, which squeeze their juice from random ghastly events smashing, piercing and otherwise being unkind to the human body. You go out to the parking lot, look at your car: thousands of parts, thousands of things that can go wrong, thousands of ways to die.

After Final Destination 5, I drove off obliviously, completely untroubled, thinking about whether I should stop off at the pharmacy on the way home. Maybe Iíve seen too many of these things, or maybe the series has simply fallen into the hands of filmmakers who canít wait to get to the gory deaths but neglect to build up to them.

This stuff can be done well, make no mistake. Regular readers, forgive the repetition: one rental of Final Destination 2, from 2003, will set you straight and show you how it should be done. The set pieces in that film, directed by former stunt coordinator David R. Ellis, packed wit and tension into mini-narratives of luckless mutilation and death. The opening highway disaster was ó Iíll say it ó a masterpiece of chaotic simultaneity, people helplessly ramping up to bombastic send-offs everywhere you looked, one after another. Sometimes a horror film can break out and put roots down in pure cinema art, and those who turn up their noses at the macabre miss out on a lot of electrifying moviemaking.

Every Final Destination sequel thereafter, including this one, has, perhaps understandably, failed to improve on perfection. This time out, the opening catastrophe narrowly averted by our lead characters is a collapsing bridge that sends dozens of occupied cars a long way down. One of them, wannabe chef Nicholas DíAgosto, has the premonition of disaster and manages to lead a few of his co-workers off their bus to safe ground. After that, as usual, Death has been cheated of a few lives and works to balance the books in the prescribed grisly fashion. As usual, too, we get lots of ominous close-ups of dangerous objects that end up not having much bearing on the deaths. A guy receiving acupuncture is not killed by the needles. A woman receiving laser eye surgery is not killed outright by the laser. After a few of these movies you get a sense of the fake-out rhythm.

Not that it should matter, but most of the characters, except for the budding chef and his on-again off-again girlfriend (whoís immune to Deathís payback anyway since she didnít die in her boyfriend's premonition), are twerps. But mostly not twerpy enough that their deaths set a big sweet plate of schadenfreude in front of us. The exception is a Tom Cruise clone who becomes convinced that in order to avoid Deathís clutches, he must take someone elseís life, a new and interesting wrinkle in this series that the movie doesnít bother to explore much. All it leads to is a tiresome climax in a dimly-lit after-hours restaurant kitchen, and in a 3D film like this one, dim lighting might as well be no lighting.

Howís the 3D? People get impaled a lot, the offending sharp instrument jutting bloodily forth into our faces; the movieís other trick is gore, guts or brain matter spattering the crowd. Generally it adds nothing, and none of the sequences build or even rise to a crescendo ó they just start, go on a bit, and stop abruptly. If anything, itís diminuendo. That includes the bridge disaster, which happens so fast we donít get that heavy Rube Goldberg feeling of Death really determined to get up for work. I have to say, too, the movie suffers in comparison with the real, chilling footage I saw this weekend of the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair, which as I write this is considered responsible for five deaths. Thatís what actual disaster looks like, flat and undramatic and final.

A "Final Destination" film shouldnít necessarily follow suit ó it should cackle at the inevitability of the doomed charactersí death march. But thereís no wicked fun left in this series. Iíve given it three chances now; there wonít be a fourth.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=20775&reviewer=416
originally posted: 08/14/11 15:42:03
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2011 Fantasia International Film Festival For more in the Fantasia International Film Festival 2011 series, click here.

User Comments

7/28/12 cr somewhat predictable but still very entertaining! 3 stars
10/25/11 ashley rexrode no good actors. not too bad during the death scenes though 3 stars
9/26/11 sake02mo The best part in every Final Destination is the first 15 min. 4 stars
9/20/11 Scotty Uh the roller coaster was awesome it was the racetrack that sucked 4 stars
9/10/11 Captain00Kirk Bad acting, ok deths. www.youtube.com/Captain00Kirk 3 stars
9/09/11 b0SamueL0b +z$8frZdyL%68pSU/:>w<:E3.lG-!XIB 5 stars
8/28/11 Life of Brian Utter trash 1 stars
8/15/11 karamashi This summer's Piranha 3-D. Gory, Funny, and just plain fun. 4 stars
8/12/11 DIET CUPCAKE It is too short, and it doesn't worth the money, I give a $5.00 price with free 3D glasses. 2 stars
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  12-Aug-2011 (R)
  DVD: 27-Dec-2011


  DVD: 27-Dec-2011

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