Final Destination 5 Review
The original ending to the very first Final Destination film was a thing of beauty, seeing heroine Clear survive her pursuit by death by giving birth. Life trumps death, thus the cycle is broken. Unfortunately, this was far too intelligent for the inbred yuppie retards who made up the film’s test audience and so the ending was changed to the current one. Seen in that light, fifty random know-nothings are directly responsible for the four appalling sequels that have followed.
And now, the plot summary: teens survive horrific death by seeing it before it happens. Teens then die equally horrifically one by one in the order they died in the vision. No matter what the survivors may believe, nobody wins – not even the audience.
Five films into this atrocious franchise and any memories of when the series was clever, well written or asked you to follow engaging, believable characters has long since been tarnished. Now each and every Final Destination film follows the same basic framework and the end result is this latest turd.
To start with, the characters are hideously unlovable bastards to such an extent that you’ll actually cheer when they bit the big one. There’s Bland Hero Guy, His Girlfriend, Token Black Guy, The Nerd, Guy Who Seems Nice But Will Inevitably Turn Into A Colossal Dick After His Girlfriend Dies, Middle Aged Teacher (quite what the hell respectable comedy actor David Koechner is doing in this is a mystery) and let’s not forget Girl Who Requires A Complex Medical Procedure Halfway Through. The only purpose any of the characters serve is spout dialogue and argue (i.e. – ‘You’re telling me that we’re going to die no matter what? Well, sir, I for one refuse to believe you even for a second!’)
This brings the review neatly to what has always been the franchise’s biggest problem – it just doesn’t know whether or not to be a comedy or a straight horror, so it tries to do both and fails. The end result is that all the death scenes involve a long and hugely complex build-up with several red herrings thrown in, before the actually death itself is over in a matter of seconds. Are you supposed to laugh? Are you supposed to be scared? You’re more likely to be trying to figure out how the character is going to die, which means the build-up feels tedious and the death comes across as oddly mistimed.
As for the cheap 3D gimmick, if you want blood and guts tossed into your face, you can get the same effect by asking any local butcher to chuck some innards at you. The CGI is so awful you won’t want it in your face and – the opening bridge collapse aside – there’s no actual purpose to seeing depth on screen.
Are there any good points about Final Destination 5? Yes, there are. The disaster on the bridge is surprisingly good, offering a huge variety of ways to die in such a small space, while the film’s final twist is both cunning and hilarious. It’s just a shame that the hour in between the two events is so godawful.
The fourth film might have promised to be the last in the franchise, but as this instalment proves, audiences just can’t get enough of teens being carved up in industrial accidents. Even though the filmmakers have tried to change the rules at the last minute, this feels more clichéd than ever before. We’ll just have to remember that, originally, life trumped death and the cycle was broken.