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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.39%
Worth A Look27.56%
Just Average27.56%
Pretty Crappy: 18.11%
Sucks: 13.39%

12 reviews, 55 user ratings

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Final Destination 3
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by David Cornelius

"It's official: this is a horror series that actually won't disappoint."
4 stars

I like the “Final Destination” movies. I mean I really, really like them. I may, in fact, love them. They’re scary and funny and very self-aware without being obnoxiously so. They are, simply, a very good time at the movies.

It’s not fashionable to say such things, of course. The film’s detractors - of which there are many - say these movies are far to illogical to be any good. The mere premise of the franchise is enough to send many critics howling with laughter. But the lunacy of it all is the entire point; if you give in to the ridiculous set-up, you can be easily won over by the film’s grizzly, gallows humor charm.

The premise, for those of you yet to experience the first two “Destination” films, is this: Some unfortunate teenager has a vision of his/her impending (and horribly violent/messy) doom. Said teen manages to use this vision to escape certain death, keeping a few other friends and passers-by alive as well. BUT: if you escape death, then death will catch up with you. Not in a simple, quick manner, mind you. No, death here is played by Rube Goldberg, and The Rube Reaper will slowly set into motion the worst chain of events possible, thus killing you in the most gruesome of manners. Death, you need to understand, is highly inefficient, but it does has one hell of a sense of humor.

Which brings us to “Final Destination 3.” Here, we have a group of kids escaping certain doom on a rollercoaster ride that goes remarkably wrong. The vision is had by mopey lead character Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who also took a series of pictures the night of the escaped kill ride. These pictures are now clues to how the survivors will meet their end later in the film. For example, the jock who was photographed next to two swords and one of those “High Striker” swing-the-hammer-ring-the-bell games; something in this checklist will wind up causing quite a mess. These “clues” are pretty useless, of course; they merely exist to give the characters some dialogue material in between set pieces.

And the set pieces are what make these movies work. All use the same pattern: a slow build up to create an uneasy tension while the audience ponders just what in the scene will be the ultimate cause of death, followed by an intense release of violence, usually so sudden and so ghoulish that the main reaction is always to involuntarily yell out “oh--!” followed by the expletive of your choosing.

Co-writers and producers James Wong (who also directed) and Glen Morgan both also worked on the first film, and their return here is quite welcome. “Destination 2” wasn’t quite as sharp as the original - it was an effective retread, yes, but a retread nonetheless - and by putting the series back in the hands of the two guys who made it sail the first time around is a wise move indeed. Their wicked sense of humor is in full force, as is their impeccable knack for creating genuine tension. The lead up to the opening roller coaster sequence is perhaps the best moment in the entire series to date, with the filmmakers knowing that the audience knows what’s sure to happen very soon, leaving Wong and Morgan to drag out the inevitable as long as possible, piling on the discomfort while Winstead slowly builds to a full-on panic.

(Like the first movie, they even manage to make the little things as creepy as the big ones. Watch how once again the use of wind where no wind is possible - blowing out a candle, causing chimes to ring - can send a shiver up one’s spine. The filmmakers are terrific at balancing the big moments with the small, both in scares and humor, leaving us with a well-rounded work.)

The smartest thing the filmmakers have done here is refuse to work overtime to connect the story to the earlier films. “Destination 2” strained too much at times to connect itself with its predecessor, weakening the fun in the process. “Destination 3,” however, gives us a few throwaway lines about internet research and urban legends and a mention of the deaths of the first movie, then casually goes about its business. While the title no longer makes any sense (it’s a flying term, not a roller coaster term), it doesn’t even matter. The leftover name is just another joke from the filmmakers, a healthy reminder not to take anything too seriously.

And that’s exactly why these movies work so well. It revels in its ridiculousness, and it invites us to join in. When a woman at the screening I attended yelled out “Yeah, right!” during one scene, I can imagine Wong and Morgan replying dryly, “Exactly.” The fact that this same woman was later screaming and laughing with the rest of the crowd later on shows just how well the duo did their job.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13933&reviewer=392
originally posted: 02/09/06 23:50:03
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User Comments

12/19/13 Monday Morning Hideous, horribly painful deaths will never go out of style! 5 stars
7/28/12 cr a guilty pleasure of the series. still a fun movie. 3 stars
3/09/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess Goofy fun 3 stars
1/10/09 Daniel Omer It has mediocre acting and gore, but the ending plain sucks. 2 stars
12/20/08 dominic thebestmovieeverandidontlie 5 stars
9/27/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome story! 5 stars
7/10/07 Total Crap Waste of my precious time. People who don't know wtf they're watching will like it. 1 stars
5/29/07 wouldntulyke2no its the best out of the 3 films but did have some plot holes 5 stars
5/11/07 Matt The best film in the t(h)rilogy. The 'choose thier fate' option on the DVD is ace. 5 stars
4/01/07 fools♫gold I guess it's good when you put it on mute. Doesn't even compare to the first two. 1/5 or 2/ 2 stars
2/11/07 AJ Muller Just a good fucking time, man. If you dug the first 2 well, here's more inventive deaths. 4 stars
2/04/07 x/x.W i l t e d.Rose.x/x The Best Final Destination. One Of My Fave Movies. Its Awesome Go See It__xx 5 stars
12/29/06 Sumixam all 3 are good, this is right up there 5 stars
12/17/06 Jeremy Movie sucked because it threw the second one out the window. 3 stars
11/01/06 Patsyc I loved the first one. The second one was good. This one was good but not quite as scary. 4 stars
10/29/06 Roger Wilks The deaths are ridiculous and sickening. The plot is senseless. SUCKS!!! 1 stars
10/24/06 Drew G Some pretty good deaths, but overall disappointing 2 stars
10/23/06 Sara It sucked because the ending was grap. 1 stars
10/06/06 Michael Coovert This plot has been played out; nothing compared to the first or second. 3 stars
10/01/06 Beau the most goriest one especially wen girls burn alive in tanning. great horror 4 stars
9/22/06 David Pollastrini good gore. 4 stars
9/18/06 Luckdeezy Pretty good...worth watching for sure 4 stars
9/13/06 Mara Frost not as good as the first 2, but still fun and original 4 stars
9/13/06 veronique ya need to like it 3 stars
9/12/06 Jorge Coronilla It wasn't that bad. 4 stars
9/12/06 Edward Connell Unforseen events make this movie interesting 5 stars
9/04/06 Indrid Cold The formula is wearing a little thin, but still more fun than most mainstream horror. 3 stars
8/25/06 Littlepurch Great gory deaths and although the middle sags, the fantastic start and end make up for it. 4 stars
8/12/06 Danny Respectable. Not as good as FD, but better than FD2. 4 stars
8/06/06 Tim The guy with the camera got off the ride the second time and he started the accident? 2 stars
8/04/06 Dan The DVD has a neat "choose their fate" option 4 stars
8/04/06 Stanley Thai Not as good as the first two. It's a decent movie wih decent kills and decent acting. 3 stars
8/01/06 Mark Louis Baumgart Decent and fun sequel. Unfortunately the ending violates the first rule of the series. 3 stars
7/28/06 action movie fan rehash of the first two--decent stpyr--overly gory though 4 stars
7/27/06 Alberto AGUIRRE My favorite film espesially the roller coaster scene. 5 stars
7/26/06 Lisa Death scenes worth a look and thena rewind!!! 3 stars
6/04/06 mary really scary 5 stars
4/27/06 BAH BAH 1 stars
4/10/06 alice Very amusing ! 4 stars
3/28/06 mick fantastic film would recommend 5 stars
3/16/06 Mason Token negro gets head crushed, what's not to like? 3 stars
3/13/06 James Bond Terrific 5 stars
3/08/06 Valerie It was alright, BUT i still think that the 1st and the 2nd ones were better 4 stars
2/28/06 Littlepurch Morgan & Wong clearly didn't want to be outdone by FD2, and make an hilarious comback here! 5 stars
2/26/06 Steven Lewis Go see it for the deaths! 4 stars
2/21/06 li' buddy really graphic good movie but same stuff as before i want mething new 4 stars
2/21/06 Jaime Moore A Great Flick much bearly better than the first two put togeather. 5 stars
2/19/06 Nic As good if not better than first 2 films... 4 stars
2/18/06 chris f totally awesome movie i loved it from start to finish 5 stars
2/13/06 Ole Man Bourbon The lead actress sucks something horrid. Typical movie for the franchise. 3 stars
2/13/06 jeff liked the scond one better but still good. 5 stars
2/11/06 Perry Mason I hate creative killing movies. This was just boring as hell. 2 stars
2/11/06 JC that movie was TOO Trill!..NEVER go Tanning again! 5 stars
2/10/06 rich Not bad for a new horror movie 4 stars
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  10-Feb-2006 (R)
  DVD: 25-Jul-2006



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