22, August 2011
Final Destination 5
by Dan Collacott
Director: Steven Quale Run time: 92 mins
It is hard to believe that the FD franchise has already reached it's fifth film in the series, joining the unwelcome ranks of the likes of Saw and Police Academy! I mean just how many ways can a person die? Ok ok that's a rhetorical question and one that no-one should ever attempt to answer! No-one except Steven Quale, the 3rd director in the Final Destination series helming this outing.
Before I arrived for the screening I was actually wondering if the original film concept was really good enough to warrant so many variations of the same tired old theme? My answer is 'hells yes!' From the explosively destructive 3D visual fest of the opening credits (which alone earned rapturous applause) to the plethora of deviously crafted death and decapitations that simply drown in pitch black humour, Final Destination is still an adrenalin fuelled horror experience yet to be bettered by any other franchise.
So the premise this time round...... c'mon you really don't know how it works by now? Ok ok right - Sam Lawton (Nicholas D'Agosto most notable for Heroes) Molly Harper (Emma Bell, Frozen), Peter Friedkin (Miles Fisher, Tom Cruise look-a-like) Nathan (Arlen Escarpeta, We are Marshall) are on coach heading to some kind of work outing with their fellow colleagues. As they drive slowly across a large suspension bridge Sam has a vision in which they all end up on a blue world full of talking blue dwarves with white hats (oh wait sorry that's Avatar) nope they all die horribly in his vision. He therefore drags as many of his bewlidered friends/colleages possible off the coach just as the terrible vision begins to mannifest itself around them! Having survived they all find out that death doesn't like to be cheated! Thank fully local coroner/Candy Man William Bludworth (Tony Todd) is around to tell them how it is!
I found myself frequently laughing out loud and simultaneously recoiling at the horrors I had just witnessed, most responses were involuntary and all were like the response of a naughty school child caught doing something they shouldn't. FDA isn't like any other film franchise out there and is more an experience than a conventional plot/character set-up. Don't get me wrong the acting and characterisations are pretty tight here, but the back story and depth to the film is pretty light-weight as I guess it really isn't needed.
My only criticism of Final Destination 5 is that it introduced an interesting macguffin about a quarter of the way through but didn't really pursue it far enough, in fact it was this twist on the movies main theme that made me want to watch the film from the trailer (bare in mind there has to be some kind of new idea in the mix when you're on you're fifth movie in series!). So I was a little disappointed that the film makers/writers didn't push for a more original and story driven route rather than just the loud symphony of ingenious demise played out here.
Regardless of this I still felt this was the best film in the franchise so far (even better than the first) and the 3D used to superb effect! The good thing is unlike Saw you don't need to have seen the other movies in the franchise to make sense of this one! Oh and this film is not for the faint hearted or those that don't like in your face gore so take your grandma to see Mr Poppa's Penguins instead!