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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.28%
Worth A Look28.13%
Just Average: 27.34%
Pretty Crappy: 17.97%
Sucks: 13.28%

12 reviews, 56 user ratings

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Final Destination 3
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by Mel Valentin

"Another horror franchise is born. Is that a good thing? You make the call."
3 stars

"Final Destination 3" reunites the writing, producing, and directing team, Glen Morgan and James Wong, behind the first film in what's already being called, perhaps prematurely, a franchise. "Final Destination" created a new sub-genre, the "death by proxy" sub-genre. Death is de-personified, an invisible force that works through the material world using the smallest, innocuous objects to set off a chain of events that lead, almost inevitably, to the spectacularly grisly, often blackly comic, death of a secondary character, complete with misdirection and delayed gratification (most of the pleasure in watching the "Final Destination" series can be chalked up to audience anticipation, as the filmmakers find clever ways to prolong the inevitable, permanent smackdown).

Final Destination created the formula or template for the series. First, throw together generically attractive high schoolers, usually a mix of social cliques. One of the characters, however, has a premonition or vision of an accident, moments before boarding a plane (in the first film), a horrific freeway pile-up (the second film). or, in the third film, a rollercoaster ride. In a panic, the central character manages to convince other friends or acquaintances to follow his or her lead. Relieved after escaping near certain death, the survivors try to move on with their lives. Some indeterminate, arbitrary amount of time later, Death comes calling, targeting the survivors in an order that gives the central character the maximum amount of time to figure things out and find a way out. There's one out or escape clause: if you cheat Death a second time, you get a free pass (wait, no one said this had to be plausible, right?).

With that kind of formula, only three elements have to change, the set-up (i.e., the accident that kick starts the plot), an all-new cast of relative unknowns, and, most importantly, elaborately conceived, elaborately executed death scenes. Not surprisingly, Final Destination 3 has all three elements, beginning with the best set piece in the film, the rollercoaster ride that sends a high-school graduating class to their deaths, with the exception of Wendy Christensen (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who gets a premonition of disaster just as she gets strapped into the rollercoaster, the "Devil's Flight." Panicking, she jumps off the rollercoaster, along with six others, including Kevin Fischer (Ryan Merriman), who becomes her ally (and offers up key information, thanks to a Google search online).

The rest of the disposable survivors/cast includes two bimbettes/airheads, Ashlynn (Crystal Lowe) and Ashley (Chelan Simmons), Frankie (Sam Easton), a lech with a video camera, an African-American athlete, Lewis (Texas Battle), two goth kids (who work together in a Home Depot-like store), Ian McKinley (Kris Lemche) and Erin (Alexz Johnson), Julie (Amanda Crew), Wendy's younger sister, and Julie's friend, Ling (Maggie Ma). Once the first payoff hits, the rollercoaster accident, Final Destination 3 then splits in two, with the central characters desperately searching for a way to forestall the inevitable or inform the other survivors and the individual set pieces (some occuring in front of the central characters).

Final Destination 3 contains three major set pieces, the opening rollercoaster accident, another one set inside a Home Depot-like store, and the finale, set at the townís Tri-centennial, complete with period costumes, weapons, and fireworks. There are several other minor set pieces, each one connected to the deaths of individual characters, but to say more would spoil half the fun, but hereís a hint, Death frowns on the vain and egocentric. So much can go wrong and it does, usually in full-on gory fashion. Wong and Morgan certainly donít hold back on the gore or violence, but at least itís stylized enough that only the weakest stomachs will turn.

Final Destination 3 has its faults, but, for once, they canít be pinned on the game, dedicated cast. As Wendy, Mary Elizabeth Winstead emotes convincingly when the script calls for it, particularly in the immediate post-accident scenes. Ryan Merriman as the second lead also acquits himself well. Less can and should be said for the remainder of the cast, but then again, they have little to do except wait patiently for their inevitable death scene. Hardcore horror fans, though, will immediately spot Kris Lemche's familiar face. Lemche's horror credentials include a turn as a sympathetic drug dealer in the underrated, underseen Ginger Snaps (if you haven't seen it, you should, post-haste).

As with the first two entries, "Final Destination 3" falls dramatically short on the plausibility meter (the less said about the nonsensical premise, the better), but that aside, it also falters late in the film, thanks to an increasing shortage of imagination and energy relative to the set pieces (the ďfinalĒ set piece at the fairground is particularly disappointing). Thereís also the obligatory nihilistic coda thatís become standard for the series. The coda also reminds viewers of the ridiculousness of the premise (insert incredulous laughter mixed with a tinge of disgust here), while adding a gratuitous set piece that would have been better saved as the opening for the next entry in the series.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13933&reviewer=402
originally posted: 02/10/06 02:06:01
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User Comments

6/19/20 dupadoit best in the series 4 stars
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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