The Final Destination (2009)
★★ / ★★★★
Arguably the weakest of the first four movies, “The Final Destination” was about four friends (Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, Nick Zano, Haley Webb) who escaped death during a horrific accident at the racetrack. Just like the first three movies, one of them began to see the future and after they escaped their grizzly demise (for the time being), they desperately tried to break the chain in which spelled out the order they were supposed to die. After the first three films when the characters’ strategy of “breaking the chain” did not work, one would think that the writers would come up with a better way of cheating death. After all, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going keep getting what you’re getting. Other than watching the creative ways in which the characters die, I found everything else about this film to be completely recycled. The acting certainly didn’t help elevate the movie because everyone was either underacting or overacting. They looked good but that was about it. Since the actors didn’t embody their characters, I had a hard time believing that they were really in trouble. However, I did like the fact that it made fun of itself during the last twenty to thirty minutes. The final showdown which involved the characters being in a theatre watching a 3D movie with those big (sometimes annoying) glasses was pretty amusing. If I had seen this movie in the cinema, I think people would have laughed because it was so silly. I think that this installment would have been better if it had balanced its silliness with real horror such as in “Final Destination” and “Final Destination 2” (which I think is better than the first). After all, there’s irony in the details in which one dies and ironies have a certain cheekiness to them. If there is going to be a fifth installment (which there most likely will be), I hope that the writers would change the gimmick–specifically the tired “breaking the chain” scheme. We all know that it doesn’t work so they should try something else. What’s the point of us watching a movie if in the end the characters are doomed? There’s just no fun in it. At best, it leaves us scratching our heads. “The Final Destination,” directed by David R. Ellis, is not a terrible movie because it does have redeeming qualities scattered throughout. With its running time of about eighty minutes, at least it didn’t feel like a two-hour movie and it didn’t take itself seriously.