Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Final Destination 2nd Half Trilogy: The Good, The (Kinda) Bad, And The Ugly

Christmasween Volume III

Hey folks, welcome back to the third volume of our celebration of Christmas/Halloween. As with the first edition, I decided to combine several movies into one review, in this case because they were members of the same series of movies. Now, I've seen the first two Final Destination movies about 15 times, and I love them. It was a great beginning to another set of movies, and their inventive take on Death and how to defeat it was a nice fresh take. Of course, as movie series' are wont to do, the longer they go, the worse they get. Final Destination seemed to follow that formula to the letter. Its with this in mind that I decided to watch the last three Final Destination movies, and jot down some thoughts.

First up is Final Destination 3, in which a group of people avoid a horrible roller coaster accident, and then Death gets them anyway through various accidents and unlikely occurrences. As with all of the other movies in the series, some of the deaths are pretty creative, and the DVD edition of the movie that I got allowed you to pick whether the characters lived or died by changing some of the decisions that they made, which was actually quite entertaining. All of the characters were named in some way for horror directors, as were the characters in the first two movies, and there was foreshadowing in the opening credits that showed how the different characters were to die after the premonition saved their life. It wasn't as dull as it could've been, though of the first three movies, it was definitely the worst. There really weren't any changes made to the plot of the first two, and, like the Saw movies, it was just a way to remake a movie in the same concept with different inventive death scenes. In fact, it was an almost direct parallel to the first movie, as some of the soon-to-be-dead folks try to cheat death, seemingly skipping themselves along the way, later meeting their end in a different way, and then the survivors end up dying in the end anyway. The effects were pretty good, though, and all in all it was fairly entertaining. So its got that going for it, which is nice. The acting wasn't horrible, outside of the two blondes who fittingly meet their end in a tanning salon (unless you chose to have them not). It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. One of those so-so movies that so many horror movies tend to be.

The Final Destination was not, in fact, the Final Destination, but it is the 4th movie in the series, and the second one I'm reviewing. It was, in my opinion, by far the worst of the series. This one involves a group of people who die horribly at a racetrack, when cars come off the track and go crashing into the crowd. While real NASCAR races might be a tad more interesting if this happened every once in a while, this didn't sit well with the main characters, who noped the fuck out of there when they figured out what was going to happen. Much like the aforementioned Saw, the longer they go, the dumber and less involved with the original they become. This movie was no different, and it pretty much sucked. The best part of the whole movie was the opening credits, which recapped all of the deaths of the previous movies, which is like if the second Carlito's Way paid homage to the Godfather's death scenes before the movie starts. I'm certainly not in any way saying that any of the Final Destination movies are as good as The Godfather, only that The Final Destination was as bad as the second Carlito's Way. This one didn't even have Tony Todd, which is unfortunate, because apparently he's only in the good FD movies. Most of the characters aren't named in the movie, with one character simply called "The Racist". If the makers of the movie can't be bothered to provide any backstory and to just use them as cannon fodder, it's probably not worth your time. And it's in 3-D, which is basically the director saying "My movie isn't good, so I'm gonna make it look like things are coming out of the screen at you!" A movie almost always instantly loses respect from me when it goes this route, because it almost never works, and, once again, was a fad. I guess what I'm saying is, this movie sucks.

Finally, the (so far) actual Final Destination, FD5. This one was actually pretty good, I'd say at least the third best in the series. A group of people avoid death in a bridge collapse, which was actually pretty well done and quite intense. It's the second best beginning of the series for me, behind 2. The characters were pretty well played, likeable unless they weren't supposed to be, and all met their end in relatively interesting ways. Tony Todd was in this one (yay!) and added a new wrinkle: that if you kill someone, death would skip you. This was never confirmed, but it was at least trying  to add to the lore. And in a truly inventive twist, you find out at the end that the 4th entry was indeed the final FD, because this was actually a prequel to the first movie. I actually thought this was pulled off really well, as we see the events during the plane sequence of FD1 from a different point of view. The only part that bothered me was that one of the main characters, the "villian" so to speak, looked ridiculously like a young Tom Cruise. I thought he had to be a brother or something, but nope, totally different guy. Movie's worth watching for that if nothing else. FD5 had a lot of intense moments, some great death scenes, and several fake "endings" where you thought the movie was coming to a close and it didn't. It was one great big fakeout, and it was fantastic. I would highly recommend it to anyone that's a fan of the first two, Fake Tom Cruise notwithstanding.

Bottom Line: You should watch all three if you're a completionist and you've seen the other two, but the last one was actually pretty decent. Check it out, but don't blame me for the eye rolls in the 3rd and 4th installments.