Even though the first film was called Final Destination and the last film was called The Final Destination, neither of those destinations were reached with any convincing degree of finality. Final Destination 5 might be more of the same – more gore and LOLs than a deadly ROFLcopter crash – but it’s proof that sometimes if you flog a horse to within an inch of its life, it’ll get up and start running again.
It should be just as easy to write these reviews as it apparently is to write the movies themselves: copy, paste, change the names, submit. But surprisingly, Final Destination 5 does itself proud.
Take the opening bridge collapse. The set-up is exactly the same – the character intros, the warning signs, the panicked “Get off the bus/train/road/rollercoaster!” – but the execution (pun intended) is way better than, say, the lame race car crash of the last movie. The films bigger budget means the deaths seem a little more imaginative than previous outings . Why just fall off a bridge when you can be impaled on the way down?
Naturally, slower, character-based scenes between the kill-shots seem to last a bloody eternity, but the second the lights dim or the candles flicker, it’s on. Each one unfolds like a Rube Goldberg machine, unseen cogs plotting and ticking and whirring and conspiring to do as much harm as possible. It’s testament to the 2000 original film that there’s still so much mileage left in the ‘death is coming for you’ concept 11 years later.
5nal Destination (Thank god they didn’t call it that, as planed) has some deadly doozies, too – the gym scene is a nail-biter and the laser eye surgery meltdown is just as pleasant to watch as you might expect. Hooray for 20/20 vision! The cherry on the cake-of-death is the twist ending – a far more considered and clever denouement than the franchise deserves. Nonsensical? Yes. Cool? Definitely.
The fact that the writers have tried to chest-compress some life into a franchise that could feasibly march on as a zombie for years is heartening, and they really do a good job. Gold Stars all round.