Movies: Final Destination 5

12 Aug

I have to start this review with a confession: I’ve never seen a Final Destination movie. I’ve actually never cared to see a Final Destination movie. But if I’m gonna be serious about this movie reviewer thing, there will be some sacrifices involved. Final Destination 5 may be the first of those.

Apparently, the way it works (in the first 4 movies and this one) is this: A group of extremely attractive young people, along with one or two schlubs and/or adults, is saved from certain death when a premonition alerts one of them to impending disaster, but having been cheated, death comes after them. Some of them die horrible deaths of varying creativity before the survivors figure out what’s going on and find a way to cheat death once again (or not). FD5 follows this formula precisely. Maybe even a bit gleefully.

Sam Lawton (Nicholas D’Agosto) is on his way to a corporate retreat with friends Peter (Miles Fisher), Olivia (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood), Ellen (Candice Hooper), and Isaac (P.J. Byrne) when he has a vision of a bridge collapse which eventually claims the life of all of the friends save Molly (Emma Bell), the girlfriend who has broken up with Sam only that morning. The disaster is portrayed with gusto, with numerous gorey deaths and a fair number of fake-outs, where a character appears to have been saved, only to have an even more gruesome fate befall them. Sam awakes from the premonition with just enough time to shepherd his friends and a couple of others to safety. Each of the survivors, however, is soon picked off one by one, in set pieces involving an Oriental massage, a gymnastics practice, and a number of other traditionally dangerous activities.

The actors are adequate, given what they have to work with, with Fisher in particular calling to mind a younger, taller Tom Cruise, and D’Agosto filling the everyman role that most of these types of films tend to center around.

The real star of the movie, though, is the special effects team, which starts off with the harrowing bridge scene, which had me saying to myself “Well, if I could make it through that, I’ll be fine for the rest of the movie”, only to be almost proven wrong time after time, as they built one eye-popping death on top of another. Some of the 3D effects were very good, especially the opening credit sequence, in which a number of objects set against a black background come crashing through glass windows, sending shards repeatedly out from the screen.

All in all, I’ll score it at 5 stars, recommending that if you’re going to see it, you go ahead and do so at the theater, to take advantage of the 3D, especially in the opening credits and the bridge sequence. I’m guessing that other reviewers who are more in tune with this type of movie will be going higher.

5 Cheeseburgers

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