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Movie Review: Final Destination 5

Title: Final Destination 5

Director: Steven Quale

Producer: Craig Perry and Warren Zide

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Distributor: Warner Bros.

Series: Final Destination

Release Date: August 12, 2011

Format: 3D

Runtime: 95 Minutes

MPAA Rating: R

Starring: Emma Bell, Nicholas D’Agosto, Miles Fisher, Arlen Escarpeta, and P.J. Byrne

Synopsis (Product Description):

Death stalks a group of co-workers who avoid a grisly demise in a massive suspension bridge collapse after one of them experiences a terrifying premonition in the fifth installment of the popular Final Destination series.

The Review:

It’s another Final Destination movie. Along with the Saw franchise, this is one of Hollywood’s old standbys that’s ridden a pretty original idea into the ground–well not all the way into the ground. It still manages to be fun as long as you manage your expectations.

The Final Destination formula is the same. Right before a major disaster — think plane crash, roller coaster, huge traffic accident — the protagonist has a vivid premonition of things to come. Right after he or she sees their own death they snap back to a point right before the disaster and warn their friends to get off of, or out of whatever, or wherever the disaster is about to strike. The twist is that death doesn’t like to be cheated and through a series of gory Rube Goldberg like accidents, it will claim the lives of anyone who escaped the initial disaster. The protagonist and his circle of friends take a little while to catch on, but inevitably the series of improbable deaths of everyone who escaped the initial disaster clues the dwindling survivors in. At this point some contrivance is discovered by which the remaining survivors might be able to cheat death.

I’ve just described the plot of every Final Destination film, which is kind of why I’ll never recommend you watch any of the later films for the storytelling. The premise of the Final Destination films was fresh until the second sequel. Final Destination is now about one thing and one thing only. That is the insane, weird, and horrible ways in which the cast is killed off. It is a fundamentally shallow movie going experience. There is very little character development, and no proper villain, unless a concept like death can be a villain. This lack of a villain has always made the Final Destination films less about horror than about shock value. Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch and Ring had moments of real terror. Final Destination relies exclusively on shock value. It’s a subtle difference, but why, at least in this viewer’s opinion, it’s not going to rank up there with movies like the aforementioned Paranormal Activity or the more recent Insidious.

Now, while this review has not been glowing, I did in fact have a good time with Final Destination 5. A huge part of that was I saw the film in 3D and the film was shot in 3D. I have also seen all the other movies in the franchise and knew what to expect and what not to expect. In other words, I managed my expectations. Hopefully, this is in fact the final Final Destination, and if it is, the filmmakers have given the series a decent, and even clever ending. I recommend this one for fans of the series and if you do see it, I highly recommend you watch the 3D version.

FTC Advisory: We purchased our own tickets.

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