Death Is Coming
The Final Destination series had an excellent beginning, followed with two solidly disturbing movies, and flopped with the 4th. When I heard that a fifth movie would be hitting the theaters, I made plans not to go but of course made a mental note to see it once it went to DVD. Each film in the series is basically the same storyline from start to finish, but the gore and the cringe worthy scenes make it worth the watch. With my husband and pup dog for protection and moral support against the bodily abuse I was about to witness, I settled in with the hopes of getting at least a few good scares out of the film.
This time around, the premonition was a bridge collapse. While on a company retreat, Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto) sees the bridge collapse and everyone but his girlfriend Molly (Emma Bell) die. One poor girl is impaled on the mast of a passing boat, one sad nerdy boy is left in the bus after it is evacuated and crashes into the water, one female survives the fall into the water but is crushed by a falling car; it was a pretty solid opener. After Sam realizes that he’s seen the impending deaths of his friends and himself, he panics and demands the bus be evacuated. Molly joins him immediately, followed by two other friends, but their boss Dennis (David Koechner) doesn’t take it seriously until the bridge begins to crack. Not everyone on the bus was saved, but the core group is incredibly grateful to be alive and naturally, questions Sam on how he knew the disaster would happen.
The group receives warning from the local creepy coroner (Tony Todd) that they have cheated Death and won’t be let go so easily, unless they trade another life for their own; murdering another results in the killer absorbing the victim’s life span. As they try to come to terms with the death of many coworkers and friends and try to ignore the creepy coroner and the federal agent who for some reason thinks Sam is a terrorist, they begin to drop like flies. The first death is drawn out a bit; a gymnast who is oblivious to two near misses but ends up almost snapping her body in two when she falls from the uneven bars. The second comes on a massage table thanks to some acupuncture needles and a fire. The third, and the reason I will never ever be able to get Lasik now, comes when the laser for the Lasik surgery is accidentally turned up too high, burning the female and causing her to panic and fall out of the window.
Sam’s best friend Peter (Miles Fisher) eventually decides that he is ready to trade a life for his own and target’s Molly, since she was the only survivor in the premonition. Due to the fact that Nathan (Arlen Escarpeta) seems to have escaped death by unintentionally putting his coworker in harm’s way of a freak work accident, Peter believes this is the only way to save himself. After a struggle and the murder of the investigating agent, Sam kills Peter and they live happily ever after. Except this is a Final Destination movie, so Sam and Molly end up being on Flight 180 from the first film and end up dying, while Nathan is killed by a piece of the plane that has broken off during the explosion.
I feel silly complaining about the plot points of a movie like this, but I had a major issue with the federal agent trying to imply that Sam was some sort of terrorist who orchestrated the bridge collapse. When he is told that the bridge fell due to high winds and the construction, he seems almost disappointed with the knowledge. He lets Sam leave the interrogation room, but not without throwing a final jab at him about seeing him soon. He also contacts Dennis, the boss, to ask him to keep an eye on the entire group and report any suspicious behavior. It just doesn’t seem believable at all to me to think that this agent would be wasting his time with conspiracy theories because some kid freaked out on a bridge. It happens; people panic on planes and trains, thinking they’ll crash, they panic during storms and proclaim people will die, but it doesn’t mean that their panic equals involvement in the tragedy. I can forgive the agent’s questioning in the beginning, but I think it’s a bit much that the story kept this agent suspicious of this group of unlucky people.
On the positive side, I thought the ending was incredibly clever and added an element of surprise that has been lacking in this film series since the first. Throughout the film, I was assuming that this was happening after the first four and was waiting for a reference to the original crash and the premonition that temporarily saved a few lives. Bravo to the person or team who thought this up; we were shown a short clip from the first movie as the kids exited the plane and then got to see the explosion from a whole new angle. I also laughed out loud at Nathan’s death (sorry Nathan); he was in a bar at his coworker’s wake when he was told that the deceased had a brain aneurysm and was going to die at any minute anyway, meaning Nathan hadn’t bought himself much time by accidentally taking this guy’s life. Very nice touch having the debris from the plane crush him to pieces.
The credits of the film featured scenes from all five movies in all the glory that 3D can provide. I’m not a fan of 3D movies, at least not in the way they are currently being used. Why does Titanic have to be re-released in 3D? Most of the 3D movies out there are 3D just for the sake of being so and the effects come off as cheesy and forced. When you have a movie like Final Destination 5, I think 3D is more than appropriate and almost necessary. It’s fun to have 3D in horror flicks; guts and eyeballs shooting out of the screen, blood spatters and broken glass shooting at your face, and projectiles stabbing at the audience as they stab at the characters. Yes, 3D can be used for a lot more, but I believe it’s true home is within the horror genre.
Overall, I think this movie is worth seeing if you are in the mood for a few scares, some great special effects, and an insanely easy to follow storyline. Even if you haven’t seen the prior movies, this series is one that is easy to jump into at any point, as they basically tell the same story five times over with slightly tweaked details. It’s a fun film and as long as you aren’t expecting cinematic genius, I think it’s definitely a good watch.