To be certain, I’d already seen the trailer for The Final Destination, which is unquestionably asinine:
It looked–and still looks–ridiculous. And stupid. So, you know, everything that makes the Final Destination series so enjoyable. It’s the same plot and practically the same dialogue; only the actors and accidents change. But now it’s in 3D, so it’s new to you! I guess, Hollywood? Whatever. Sold.
Still, having now seen The Final Destination, I have to admit that it’s incomparably more ridicudumb than I could’ve ever imagined. I should have probably expected this when the central accident involved race cars.
There’s very little that’s spectacularly inventive about the kills save for the fact that they really play up the 3D gimmick. It’s always some part of some person that’s flying towards the screen, and such redundancy will probably be even more evident if you watch it in 2D on DVD. Still, the 3D experience is what you’re paying for (unless you’re me, in which case you saw it for free thanks to your cable company’s rewards program), so the filmmakers of The Final Destination deserve a “well played” for delivering it in spades.
On the other hand, though, the movie is painfully lazy in the script department. The barebones story is now so gaunt and transparent that you want the movie to just eat something (preferably starches)! Added to that, while the Final Destination franchise has never been about subtlety or depth, there are characters in this movie with credits like Cowboy and Racist. The Cowboy gets his name because of his hat, and the Racist really hates black people, and both of these characters actually have relevant roles in the story! I’m pretty sure this sort of character development doesn’t even constitute half a dimension.
Fortunately, when it comes to Racist at least, Death seems to have a sense of humor. And a membership with the NAACP (SPOILER ALERTZ!):
That’s right: Racist is dragged down the road by his own truck while burning alive. Thanks for the classy/intelligent discourse on race relations, screenwriters! I’m glad you went where even Crash dared not tread.
There’s also the climax of this film, which is pretty much the point when you realize that this franchise is so out of ideas that it’s begun to eat itself like an Ourobos:
Yes, there’s an actual part in this movie where people are watching a 3D movie with an explosion that looks like it’s coming at them, but then an actual explosion rips through the screen, and this makes people get impaled by debris (!) and shot by a nail gun (?). UGH. This scene is the Skynet of self-aware movie moments, but it doesn’t actually work as either clever commentary on the film series or the 3D-movie experience; it merely highlights how resorting to gimmicky 3D (let alone self-parodic gimmicky 3D) is just another way of acknowledge you’ve completely exhausted your franchise, and it’s time to quit. Preferably before production on your 3D installment has begun.
Nevertheless, I did enjoy myself enough to not actively hate it (probably because I didn’t pay $15 for admission), but The Final Destination indeed needs to be the last of this tired, tired series. They’re fun, but there are DVDs to remind us of the better times.
Of course, the movie was number one at the box office its opening weekend, so there’s little doubt in my mind that New Line’s already contemplating a fifth installment. Here’s hoping it’s not in Smell-O-Vision.