Final Destination Review
By James Brundage
"I'm never going to die!" yells one character at a memorial for 39 fellow French-class students who died in a plane crash that, by all rights, he should have died on too. As incredibly laughable as this line is, it provides the big flaw in the basic premise behind Final Destination... making a horror movie about people cheating death does not have much potential. Since you can't kill Death, destroy Death, or send Death screaming back to its home planet, you have a no-win scenario in front of you. No matter what is said or done, everyone ends up getting it.
This is not to give you a spoiler and to say that everyone gets it in the movie. This is simply to point out the fact that no matter which way they go, they're screwed. Death is a no-win scenario. If you're going to make a movie about escaping death, make it a la Fearless, where we focus on the human element. But since it's a horror film the ball is in the court of Director James Wong to provide us with something that will keep us interested for an hour and forty minutes of inevitability.
The film actually does a halfway-decent job of this, but only by going so far pass the realm of the believable to enter into the land of the ludicrous. How so? Well, virtually everyone who bites it in the movie does so by the means of a Rube Goldberg contraption.
Rube Goldberg, for those not familiar with his work, was drew comic which often depicted a scientist trying to find the most complicated way to do the most simple job. A classic example of this is the machine in which a cord is snapped, a mallet unlocks a cage, an anteater crawls out from the cage and licks the ants on stamps, thus preparing said stamps to be mailed. Final Destination features several of Rube Goldberg's guillotines... forms of death that end up being so drawn out that, about five minutes into the elaborate trap, you utter a groan and yell at the movie to get on with it.
The result is a movie that is only good for the target audience: the young college student who is looking for an excuse to have his girlfriend become utterly frightened and leap into his arms. Do not think in this film... you'll find plot holes. Do not pay attention to the dialogue in this film... you'll hate it. Do not expect this film to be up to par with half of the episodes of "The X-Files" that Wong has worked on... you'll be severely disappointed.
Final Destination is good for a horror film. This means that the acting is terrible, the script was probably written by monkeys, and somehow you find yourself enjoying the film anyway. So sit back, relax, and watch it... but only if you like cheese.
Bad hair day.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 17th March 2000
Box Office Worldwide: $53.3M
Distributed by: New Line Cinema
Production compaines: New Line Cinema, Zide-Perry Productions
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 33%
Fresh: 31 Rotten: 62
Cast & Crew
Starring: Devon Sawa as Alex Chance Browning, Ali Larter as Clear Rivers, Kerr Smith as Carter Horton, Tony Todd as William Bludworth, Seann William Scott as Billy Hitchcock, Kristen Cloke as Valerie Lewton, Chad Donella as Tod Waggner, Amanda Detmer as Terry Chaney, Brendan Fehr as George Waggner, Daniel Roebuck as Agent Weine, Roger Guenveur Smith as Agent Schreck, Lisa Marie Caruk as Christa Marsh