The last installment of this horror franchise was entitled The Final Destination, and was supposed to be the end of the series. 186 million dollars later a sequel was greenlit, and normally I would be against this flip-flopping. Still, the last one really sucked, and if the producers decide it’s enough, Final Destination 5 will be a high note for the series to go out on.
The narrowly avoided, death-defying disaster in this film is a suspension bridge collapse, probably my biggest childhood paranoia.
After our obligatory cast of twenty-somethings and David Koechner survive this due to a convenient premonition, death starts collecting the lives it missed out on in a series of gruesome and increasingly unlikely kills. You know, the general Final Destination formula.
Well, not exactly. I definitely have to give a nod to the attempt to mix things up a bit. A new wrinkle to the formula is that you can kill someone and take their remaining years, which makes for some interesting situations, particularly involving my favorite actor in the film, low-rent, bushy-browed Tom Cruise impersonator, Miles Fisher.
He’s kinda got a thing goin on with that
The real draw, obviously, are the elaborate death sentences, and I’m happy to report this film has some of the best of the series. They’re even less direct than usual, full of tension-building red herrings, and then deliver Rube Goldberg-style payoffs that got my theater screaming, and definitely justified the extra 3D expense.
What puts this film on par with the best of the series (definitely the second one) is the ending. It goes where you almost certainly won’t expect it to, and, coupled with the callback heavy, Bond-like intro credits, bring the franchise to a satisfying conclusion.
Unlike some people, who just don’t know when to quit…
Unsurprisingly, acting has never been a strong suit for the series, but goddam. You get what you pay for, and from the results the studio hooked a dollar bill on a fishing pole and dragged it past a community theater.
Final Destination V also seems convinced they need a plot for some reason. You’ll need a beer to get through woodenly delivered conversations about relationships and back to the good stuff.
Most of the deaths are stunningly improbable, but they’re not even trying here. “Lasik has a laser, right? Isn’t that a weapon in Star Wars or something? Good enough. Now, moving on to acupuncture…”
If you’re utterly against seeing two-dimensional stereotypes die in gory, sickening ways, kudos. You’re a better person than most of us. If you’re the opposite, this movie has got you covered.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time you think someone will die, and they don’t
Take a Drink: and then they do
Drink a Shot: every time Tom Cruise wigs out
Stick around during the credits for a montage of deaths from the whole series.