'Final Destination 5 3D' (dir: Steven Quale, 2011) Cert: 15
So we all thought this franchise would end after it's last installment; the aptly named 'The Final Destination' in 2009 but we thought wrong. Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema have given 'Avatar's second director and 3D whiz Steven Quale the job of directing the fifth feature in the series which unsurprisingly follows the exact same pattern as it's predecessors. It's the second time we get to see beautiful people killed in episodic fashion in the third dimension, but is that really enough to sustain audiences yet again?
Sam Lawton (Nicholas D'Agosto) is heading off with his work force for a team building retreat. As their bus reaches a large suspension bridge, he has a premonition of the group's grizzly fate. Sam panics and forces his friends off the bus to safety. After the horrific accident, 8 members remain alive and have 'cheated death'. The group soon learn that fate is not meant to be changed as 'Death' begins to pick them off one by one in a brutal and chaotic manner.
Before entering a 'Final Destination' feature, everybody knows what to expect: silly deaths, cheesy acting and a bit of fun. These pictures are not Oscar contenders, nor are they sophisticated or intellectual in any way; they are merely Friday night popcorn flicks, and by all intensive purposes, that's fine.
|Still from 'Final Destination 5' (dir: Steven Quale, 2011)|
'The Final-er Destination' sticks to it's tried-and-tested formula throughout leaving narrative and character completely secondary - at points it tries to work in a uninteresting plot point about cheating death again by killing another to take 'your place' which does not really work and fails to give the film the story boost it so badly needed. It also suffers once again by it's miserable casting choices - I remember when I watched the first in the franchise and being so impressed by it's performances as well as it's originality; those thoughts seem so long ago. Some of the actors in this film are beyond terrible, particularly Miles Fisher who is not only supremely untalented and immensly irritating, he is also incredible distracting because he is a dead ringer for Tom Cruise. He even played Mr. Cruise in 'Superhero Movie' (2008); oh the irony. He also looks slightly like Christian Bale too which makes it all the more strange. The only young performer in this film who is not too bad is Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (remember the bit with the eyeball in the trailer? That's her).
But apart from being bad in those departments, 'Final Destination 5' is certainly entertaining. It's gory mayhem is pretty much relentless and it glows on the screen like a Circus of Horrors. It also features some of the best 3D since it's return to the theatres and really makes the disgustingly high admission fee worth it - countless body parts, sharp things and gloop is thrown out of the screen making it an absolute riot. Even the titles insist on sticking flaming blades, kettles and other dangerous objects out of the screen and hypothetically at the viewers.
The deaths are the sole reason people visit these films and the fifth picture delivers the gruesome goods - the opening bridge sequence (which is fantastic and beautifully constructed by strong CGI) features numerous innocent civilians falling manically to their certain demise; even somebody falling off the bridge into the water below isn't enough so they have to smash their face off on a cement slab before reaching the sea - pity.
Even though there is a lot of bad here, this is the strongest 'Final Destination' film since the second and it will bring a demented smile to your face as you watch bucket loads of Z-Listers smash, crash and burn in 3D. I would certainly go and watch it again.
Tip for the future though - never give Miles Fisher another role again, it's just too painful to endure.
You will laugh at the acting, howl at the gore and forget about the story. Still, it's better than the last 5 'Saw' movies.
By Chris Haydon