THE FINAL DESTINATION (2009)
Starring Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, Nick Zano, Haley Webb, Mykelti Williamson, Krista Allen, Andrew Fiscella, Justin Welborn, Stephanie Honore, Lara Grice, Phil Austin, William Aguillard, Brendan Aguillard, Chris Fry, Tina Parker, Cecile Monteyne and Gabrielle Chapin.
Written by Eric Bress.
Directed by David R. Ellis.
Distributed by New Line Cinema. 82 minutes. Rated R.
This is the fourth film in the Final Destination horror series, showing that the filmmakers behind the movies have a never-ending fascination in creating complicated Rube-Goldberg-esque murder and mayhem scenarios – and also that they have absolutely no understanding of the meaning of the word “final.”
After all, you can only have a final destination once. Every time you have new film called Final Destination, the last ones in the series are no longer the end of the line. Technically, the first film should now be called A Few Destinations Ago.
However, here the “The” in the title (the other films were called simply Final Destination 1-3) is, I suppose, trying to impose a bit of finality to the whole enterprise. Really, this is THE Final Destination, folks, the filmmakers seem to be saying. At least until they decide to make the next sequel.
Well, for me, this is actually The First Destination – because somehow I had missed all of the previous entries in the series, though I had seen their coming attractions trailers and was able to glean from those the death-as-a-series-of-odd-coincidences gimmick which is this series’ stock-in-trade.
This film has a group of gorgeous young friends who are able to avoid being killed in a cataclysmic NASCAR accident and to save many people seated around them because one of the guys has an extraordinarily detailed premonition of the disaster.
However, fate looks unkindly to all of these people cheating death – even though they were forewarned, which seems like another form of fate – so the world goes about killing them off in a series of absurdly convoluted ways. The hero gets little visions of the upcoming killings and tries to figure out who is going to be killed and how to break the chain, but quickly learns you can’t fight fate.
It brings up all sorts of moral and ethical questions. For example, what is the greater philosophical point of allowing people to survive a disaster only to mow them down later? Why does fate need to use such convoluted, violent ways of killing people? Couldn’t it just fell them with a heart attack or something? Does a woman deserve to die simply for using tampons as earplugs on her two small children? What is a once-respected actor like Mykelti Williamson doing in this film when a mere fifteen years ago he was in the Oscar-winning likes of Forrest Gump?
Of course, The Final Destination really isn’t about the philosophical ramifications of the deaths. It is just about using silly little coincidences to snuff out as many people as violently as possible.
If that’s what you are looking for, then I suppose The Final Destination delivers the goods. Personally, though, I hope that the title is accurate and this film is really the final Final Destination.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2010 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: January 1, 2010.