Final Destination 5: A Study In Redundancy

15 08 2011

Wasn’t the last Final Destination movie called The FINAL Destination? Yes, yes it was. Yet, money and box office “cha-chings” are the immortal waters of the Fountain of Youth to film franchises, so here we are, yet again, with a 5th episode. It’s like freakin’ Cher and her “farewell” tours…you know there’s gonna be another one. So, here’s the breakdown:

Boy has vision of terrible accident (this time a bridge collapse). People die horrible deaths (cables, oil, boats, etc. are involved). Boy saves a group of people (insert list of archetypal horror film blood-n-guts fodder). Said “lucky” group of people start dying off in increasingly gory and “creative” ways, all in the order with which they died in the vision. Remaining survivors try to figure out how to stop Death’s relentless march – after all, he doesn’t like to be cheated (or so we’re told).

The Monkey: Fans of the franchise will be excited to see a return to basics; clever, edge-of-your-seat kills, dark humor and a familiar plot structure. And let’s be honest – the kills are what people are wanting to see when they pay for a ticket anyway. The kills in Final Destination 5 are definitely more creative than previous installments. Just when you think you have it figured out, Death takes you down a twisted path to a blood-soaked end you could have never guessed. Cringe-worthy for sure. After every kill, audience reaction went as follows: “Ooohhhhh! Hahaha! *Clap* *Whistle*.” We’re the YouTube generation and watching train-wrecks and wipe-outs has created an audience ever receptive to this kind of entertainment.

The opening sequence was impressive, especially considering the relatively conservative $47 million budget. There was also a pretty clever twist ending that had me nodding in appreciation. But the best part of Final Destination 5 was the 3D. It was gloriously cheesy and everything you’d expect from a B-horror film. From impaling rebar to flying body parts, there was no shortage of blood and guts flying at your face. Exploitation of the medium? Absolutely. Satisfying? You bet.

The Weasel: I have to imagine the script for this movie was like a MadLib. “Fill in the blanks with different ways for people to die!” No one goes to these movies for the witty dialogue or the ingenious plot; however, a little time and creativity would have been appreciated. If you’ve seen any of the others, you’ve seen this one. Aside from the moderately surprising ending, there was nothing about Final Destination 5 that contributed much to the franchise. Mediocre acting, a subpar script and an awkward effort at dark comedy stained this blood-fest an irrevocable shade of “blah.”

Will fans like this movie? Considering it’s a marked improvement on the last two installments, yes, I’m sure they will. Even fans of over-the-top horror/gore films will find something to enjoy. But anyone looking for a clever take on a tried and (sometimes) true story structure should just rent the first film and pretend it’s the 5th one.

1.5 Death Stars out of 5

What do you think? Was Final Destination 5 a successful addition to the franchise? Did the end surprise you (no spoilers in the comments please!)? Anyone want to take bets that Final Destination 6 involves a cruise ship? Share your thoughts in the comments!




8 responses

16 08 2011
Katie Van Domelen

will you text me (or FB or tweet me or whatever me) the ending? No way I can watch it but I did watch the first one and maybe one other so I totally know what’s going on, but this “surprisish” ending part is making me curious…

22 08 2011

I’ll let you know, Katie! 🙂

16 08 2011

The producers have brought the franchise back to basics with more gruesome deaths and a twist that will have the audience wanting more from the series. However, as fun as the death scenes are, everything else feels tedious and cheesy. Good Review! Check out mine when you can!

22 08 2011

Thanks – and I totally agree! 🙂

16 08 2011

haha. glad you enjoyed the film for what it was. Looks like you enjoyed writing the review as well. I will be watching this one at some point in time in 3D for exactly what you said…”the kills are what people are wanting to see when they pay for a ticket anyway.”


22 08 2011

Hey, thanks for the comment! Long time no…read? 🙂 It’s good to get back in the review-writing saddle! 🙂

27 08 2011
Alex Tipaldo

Having five movies with the same plot line was far too pushing the envelope to enjoy. I like how the first movie mostly took place at night, which gave it a certain edge. The characters were likable and you actually worried for their safety. By the time the fourth one came out though… well, I really wanted them to die. Except the black guy. I fucking loved the black guy. In the fifth installment, they at least tried to give it a decent storyline, well-written SUPPORTING characters, and a great twist ending. However, since I’m not a fan of people enjoying death (I’ll exclude the first one though, the idea was creative at the time), me having depression and all, I have to say I did not enjoy the movie and the, “Oh look, a plothole…” sequences. I do have to say though, you did provide a good review. Keep it up!

28 08 2011

Thanks for the comments, Alex! Totally agree, the plot is pretty tired at this point! 🙂

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