Aside from inventing absurdly elaborate and gory new ways of doing in the victims of its unseen supernatural menace, "Final Destination 2" is just another 100 minutes of proof that the people who make horror movies couldn't care less about acting ability, dialogue or common sense.
A sequel to a modest hit from 2000 about Death mercilessly stalking a handful of high schoolers who escaped a plane crash that was supposed to kill them, the flick burns what feels like 10 boring introductory minutes by following several unidentified, unrelated drivers as they unknowingly barreling toward a fiery pileup on a freeway somewhere.
The carnage is played out in its entirety before it's revealed that the whole thing was a premonition. Kimberly (A.J. Cook), the picture's generic brunette cutie-pie heroine, envisions the bloodbath, then deliberately blocks an on-ramp in a panic, thus saving the lives of the half dozen people that director David R. Ellis had just featured in her vision being splattered, decapitated and burned alive.
With all the saved drivers in police custody for no legitimate reason after the accident -- which killed a bunch of other people instead, thanks to Kimberly -- the group comes to realize this day is the anniversary of the first movie's crash. Soon they begin to fear the same fate suffered by that disaster's survivors -- a series of subsequent "accidental" and fantastical deaths.
After a couple of them meet gruesome ends, this cross-section of sorry clichés bands together. The skeptical soul brother, the druggie, the low-life, the foxy power yuppie (who whines, "Oh, this cannot be happening! My career it at a peak, I just met the perfect guy...") all seek out the lone asylum-dwelling survivor from "Final Destination" (Ali Larter) for advice, and try to cheat their apparent fate, armed only with some cryptic crapola notion that "only new life can defeat death."
Repetitive scenes follow in which much screen time is burned setting the stage for horrible catastrophes that the characters then avoid by the skin of their teeth -- only to fall victim to another accident the movie only hinted at in the background of the same scene.
If screenwriters J. Mackye Gruber and Eric Bress had put half the effort into fixing the embarrassingly hackneyed dialogue as they put into Rube Goldberg killings, or if director Ellis had cared to do something about the terrible acting, "Final Destination 2" might have risen above the dregs of its bottom-scraping genre.
But they all willfully fail, in every way, to build a good horror movie around their perfectly viable and chilling concept of Death trying to prevent a domino effect of unintended saved lives. Instead they squander the movie's potential, abandoning it to tiredest of formulaic claptrap -- right down to the idiotically obligatory, sequel-baiting it's-not-over-yet finale.
How the movie-going public hasn't become bored senseless with such tediously low-standard, so-called scary movies is beyond me.
Run time: 90 mins
In Theaters: Friday 31st January 2003
Box Office USA: $46.5M
Box Office Worldwide: $46.9M
Distributed by: New Line Cinema
Production compaines: New Line Cinema, Zide-Perry Productions
Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 48%
Fresh: 52 Rotten: 57
IMDB: 6.2 / 10
Director: David R Ellis
Starring: Ali Larter as Clear Rivers, A.J. Cook as Kimberly Corman, Michael Landes as Officer Thomas Burke, Tony Todd as William Bludworth, Keegan Connor Tracy as Kat, Terrence 'T.C.' Carson as Eugene Dix, Lynda Boyd as Nora Carpenter, James Kirk as Tim Carpenter, David Paetkau as Evan Lewis, Justina Machado as Isabella Hudson, Sarah Carter as Shaina, Alejandro Rae as Dano (as Alex Rae), Shaun Sipos as Frankie, Andrew Airlie as Mr. Corman, Noel Fisher as Brian Gibbons
As with his Formula One documentary Senna, filmmaker Asaf Kapadia cleverly uses archival footage to...
This declining franchise really needed a jolt to the head, but the producers disappointingly opt...
Resisting the temptation to capitalise on the camp value of these characters, Channing Tatum and...
Wacky enough to make us smile but never laugh out loud, this screwball comedy harks...
A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman...
First-time feature filmmaker John Maclean takes a strikingly original approach to the Western, creating a...
Despite this being a film about Sherlock Holmes, the fact that it's not much of...
Both shameless and shamelessly entertaining, this relentlessly boyish movie carries on exactly as the TV...