I didn’t expect any major deviations from the formula, I didn’t expect any radical departures from the prior films. Thus I knew even before going in that “Final Destination 5″ had a maximum achievable grade of a B, even though it could still possibly fail if it wound up sucking.
Here’s what “Final Destination 5″ needed to do in order to max out its grade in my book.
- Provide a suitable cast of attractive, vapid characters to kill. I don’t want any GOOD characters, I’d hate to think of them as actual people. Hell, I barely want to think at all during this flick. Give me Cannon Fodder and make it pretty.
- Feed me a series of comically freakish kills. The gorier the better. The more complicated the better. Kind of like a Fangoria Magazine game of Mousetrap.
- Abuse the 3D element of the film. Don’t hold back. You can not shoot enough things straight at me and off the screen, or drop them off of high enough cliffs. Go to town.
Done, Done and Done.
As is completely rote by now in the “Final Destination” franchise, minutes before a tragic accident a member of a group of people experiences a vision foreshadowing an impending catastrophe. They convince a certain portion of the crowd to abandon their current course… get off the plane, leave the stands, or in this case, get off the bus, and the lucky few wind up surviving. Of course, death is not to be denied.
Or comedy, depending on your perspective. Because at this point it’s completely undeniable that the Producers know what the audience wants to see, and are doling it out in big heaping portions. This movie was practically “Final Destination” fan service. The kills in this movie were bloody and grisly and ten varieties of comically nasty. I made the “grossed out laugh” (Awwhahahaaughh…) like half a dozen times. There’s splattering blood and spattering blood and squirting blood and people getting impaled on like all kinds of varieties of things. People get crushed and burned and shot and stabbed. There’s even a gymnastics accident that’s farrrr too gruesome for Tosh.0.
It’s a pretty psychotic thing to take pleasure in, I know. But hey – what movie to you think we’re talking about here?
Yes, the makers of “Final Destination 5″ know why the people in attendance ponied up their cash and they are out to deliver. They could not have possibly found a more apt theme song than AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood”. Cause if you want blood? You GOT IT.
The kills are all various and typically over elaborate. At this point I was actually appreciative that the movie works in a couple of completely SUDDEN deaths. I thought that was a nice touch amidst of all the usual creeping, impending, dominoes are slowly falling, chain reaction death sequences.
There’s some lip service paid to a new plot wrinkle that if the “marked for death” survivors kill someone else in their stead, they’ll escape their fate, but it’s really not an integral part of the film. It barely even registers except in the last few minutes. Which is good actually, because I dont want to see these people ruminating about morality or karma or fate or any of that nonsense. I want creeping death.
The cast is so forgettable that a month from now THEY won’t even remember they were in this movie. But its a good thing. I went to see them get killed, not to get to know them. And the movie absolutely rewards you for putting on the glasses. Right from the opening credits they’re projecting things out over the crowd, and pretty much every other kill leaves something going through the back of someone’s skull or through the center of their chest so it can poke out at you from the screen.
It was gruesome, gory, gross out fun. It was what I thought it would be and pretty much achieved absolutely everything that could be expected of it considering its numerous limitations.
B. Fans of the series will NOT be disappointed. By this point, everyone else probably knows enough to stay away.