The first Final Destination was a breath of fresh air in the horror genre. What could have simply been another “ominous figure stalks teens” movie (and originally it was intended to be) turned out to be something original and thoroughly entertaining. The second movie expanded on the story and gave us some of the most gruesome deaths to hit the big screen, possibly ever. The third movie was entertaining, but did little to change the formula. Now we have the fourth (although you wouldn’t know that offhand thanks to its terrible, terrible title) and this time it does absolutely nothing to change the formula, and isn’t that entertaining either.
I think before we get into the bulk of the review it’s important to address the title a little further. When this movie was originally announced, it was called “Final Destination: Death Trip 3D”. It’s no doubt a very cheesy title, but man is it a good one. Who wouldn’t want to see that? Then a few months ago it was revealed the title had been changed to “The Final Destination”. Why would they do that?! Was it because “Fast and Furious” dropped the word “the” and was a hit so they figured they would add the word and have the same results? Actually that strategy seems to have worked. I guess it’s to hint that it’s the last entry in the series but you and I both know that’s not the case. I won’t even get into the whole “Rest in Pieces” tagline.
Anyway, on to the movie…it’s not great. I can’t help but wonder if they were halfway through production, realized the movie they were making was not very good, and decided to put it in the third dimension.
The plot is minimal at best. It starts with the usual scene where the main character has a premonition about a disaster that’s about to happen and manages to save a small group of people before it occurs. We then spend the rest of the movie watching these survivors getting killed in various gory ways. There is some dialogue in between the deaths but not much, and this one does absolutely nothing to expand on the universe. It simply plays out exactly as you would expect it to.
Some might say that’s ok since the deaths are what the series has become known for, which is almost too bad because originally the story was actually quite good. However this movie doesn’t even have that to fall back on because the deaths are not that impressive. The other movies would try and build some suspense where you didn’t know what was going to happen and had to keep guessing how this person was going down. The Final Destination barely tries. All of the deaths kind of just happen with no real build-up and you can’t help but feel disappointed each time. This one does provide the highest number of deaths of any movie in the series, but only one or two stand out as being memorable.
The dialogue between scenes certainly doesn’t help anything. The performances in each movie have gotten progressively worse with each one and it has reached a peak with this one. It’s mind-boggling how these people got acting jobs. Each one of them is stiff, one-dimensional and terrible. Even Bubba from Forrest Gump shows up and just seems completely lost. This at least helps with the deaths because you start to not care how they die, just so long as they do.
By this point I want to see how Death feels about all of this. Doesn’t he get pissed off every time someone has one of these visions? Shouldn’t he at least have a team of people looking into why this continues to happen? Unless it’s his idea of fun, giving people a false sense of hope and then just systematically taking each one of them down in as gory a way as possible. However judging by the deaths in this movie, he seems to be getting bored. He just isn’t trying anymore.
There is however one reason to see this movie – the 3D. It is actually quite well done. It does use up a lot of the best effects during the opening sequence, but it is overall impressive. It does feature some of those cheesy “I’m sticking a pole at the camera for an extended period of time” shots, but a lot of it fits naturally in the situation. If you were to watch this movie in the second dimension however, there really wouldn’t be a point.
If you need to see this, see it in theatres because it will lose a lot on DVD/Blu-ray. I personally was excited for the movie and while I was somewhat entertained, I can’t help but be disappointed. Lousy acting, mediocre deaths and a terrible ending make me almost hope this is indeed the final destination.