I thoroughly enjoy the Final Destination series. I embrace them with all my heart for what they truly are – mindless entertainment that doesn’t take itself too seriously while doling out some of the most imaginative deaths seen on the big screen. Final Destination 5 (FD5) does not detract from this formula and I honestly would not have it any other way. The movie starts off with a bunch of paper company employees on their way to a weekend retreat when death shows up and pees all over their party. Every Final Destination movie begins with a bang featuring an insane set piece that sees everyone die in horrific ways and in FD5, death comes via a horrific bridge sequence. Without spoiling too much for you, I’d say the opening sequence in this movie delivers the goods falling a little behind the mind blowing epicness that was Final Destination 2’s highway scene. From there on, all the survivors who made it out start dying in even more horrible ways. Karma’s a real bitch right?
This isn't going to end well
Now I don’t go to watch these kind of movies for plot development so I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the pivotal characters. Maybe that also had something to do with the fact that they were all generic Final Destination fodder who played their clichéd roles decently enough. You have the protagonist who saves everyone’s life, his lady love, the jerk, his friend who’s also kind of a jerk and of course the token African American dude who surprisingly is not the first to die. There’s no point in trying to identify with these characters because they start dropping like flies before you can even memorize their names. Creating characters you could connect with would make their deaths harder but that’s the beauty of the FD series. It’s essentially a guy flick where the kills are so over-the-top, they actually appear comical. Kind of like an exaggerated and bloody episode of Tom and Jerry.
New to this movie is the whole concept of fooling death where some of the characters feel death will skip them if they offer death a worthy sacrifice. Does it work out for them? Well you’ll have to see the movie to find out but it was nice for the series to move out (even for a teeny tiny bit) from its comfort zone. The kills, like always are the stars of the show here and every kill is a careful orchestration of bizarre incidents that at times makes you wonder if you’re safe anywhere. The tension built up during these scenes is palpable and director Steven Quale (who also happened to work on James Cameron’s Avatar) knows exactly how to play the audience by pummeling them with highs, lows and “No way” moments. The movie’s ending is something I did not see coming and is guaranteed to enthrall fans of the series. I wish I could share more but I’m afraid of spoiling it for you so let’s just leave it as the best ending to a Final Destination movie ever.
Why do they even try
This being 2011, 3D had to be an integral part of this movie but unfortunately the theatre I caught the movie in didn’t have it in 3D. Now I don’t know if that’s a good thing since most 3D movies I’ve seen end up sucking but considering the way most people die in this movie, maybe 3D could have been awesome. But even without 3D I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and if you’re in the mood for some mindless, over-the-top entertainment, Final Destination 5 is your best bet. Yes the acting’s average and it doesn’t really change the formula laid out by previous iterations but that’s what makes it so great. You go into a Final Destination movie knowing exactly what you want and in that respect, Final Destination 5 does not disappoint.