Title: Final Destination 5
Director: Steven Quale
Writer: Eric Heisserer, based on the characters by Jeffrey Reddick
Starring: Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, Arlen Escarpeta, David Koechner, Tony Todd
MPAA Rating: R, strong violent/gruesome accidents, and some language
Runtime: 92 min
Major Awards: -
IMDb Rating: 6.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 59%
That’s right, the Final Destination franchise has managed to, unlike most of its protagonists, escape from death yet again. And that’s just as well, all five films have turned a profit and, you know what, I will actually go ahead and say that this fifth entry into the franchise may just be the best one yet. That’s obviously not saying much considering all four previous films have all been pretty bad and Final Destination 5 is still a film I won’t really recommend, but it is the most bearable of them all, I think, which is a wonder considering that it’s not like any of the films have added a single new element to the formula, but this one achieves some amusing kills in some fun 3D, so yeah, if you liked the rest of the franchise then you’ll surely get a kick out of this one.
And that’s pretty much the best thing I think I can possibly say about Final Destination 5, that it manages to make fun use of 3D. I mean, you know I’m a huge detractor of 3D and I mostly think it takes away from all of the movies that choose to use it because it gives the storytelling absolutely nothing relevant or useful and it makes the whole picture look darker, not to mention how uncomfortable the glasses are, but this is a film that actually uses it to its advantage, because its whole storytelling revolves around all of these nifty kills, and the 3D actually adds to it and makes some of the deaths much funner for the audience to witness. That said though, that’s pretty much the only good things here, because the acting is still really crappy and the writing is just lousy.
But I do like the brand that Final Destination has made for itself, people know exactly what to expect when they go into it, it’s a franchise that has spoilers embedded into its very title and uses it to its advantage because people know that every single character except one will die, and they will go to the theater because they know that, and because they know that this is a film series that has made a name for itself not for its story, but because they like seeing these cool deaths. And that’s really the intrigue about these films, you know how it’ll go, you know they’ll all die, but you don’t know how they will die, and seeing how the filmmakers devise new ways to slaughter the characters is what it’s all about.
The movie begins with a 3D sequence that’s actually kind of neat, as a lot of things are thrust in our face so that we get a feel as for what’s in store for us. And that’s cool, you have to be able to judge these movies as what they are, they don’t aim for greatness, they just want to see how many people they can kill off, how many new ways to off someone they can invent, how many body parts can be sliced up before the end credits start rolling, this is a film that you can tell is now not really playing that much for scares, but more so for laughs at how ridiculous it is, the guys in charge of editing it must have a ball as they sit and decide what shots to use.
And you know how I say that the performances here were lousy? Well, they are, but I somehow got to think that maybe they’re supposed to be. I mean, the actors here are given literally nothing substantial at all to work with, they’re probably all just kids who have studied their craft but can’t get any good work and so do this in the hopes that maybe a casting agent will notice them and give them a better gig in the future, but for how little they are given to work with, the performances here are effective, they’re really bad, but the screams and groans add to the whatever appeal these films may hold. And that’s good, this franchise has embraced how campy it is, it gets inventive about its kill not to elicit gasps of horror but rather groans of disgust or laughter.
Again, I’m not recommending Final Destination 5. I saw it in 3D and it’s not as though it was a wasted evening, at all, but I could have done something more worthy of my time for sure. The thing is, if you got a kick out of any of the past four films, I urge you to go check this one out because it’s better, and the 3D is so remarkably well-used, thanks in part to director Steven Quale, a guy who may be making his feature-length directing debut with this one, but who’s been trained under the wing of James Cameron for the past decades in various projects, most recently as a second unit director on Avatar, so yeah, this guy was bound to get the 3D stuff spot-on. I have given you no clues as to the plot, not because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but because the title of the film itself spoils it right out of the gate. This is a Final Destination film, people will die in crazy ways (and in 3D), you’ll either dig that or you won’t, there’s not much more to it.