Director: David R Ellis (2009)
Starring: Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, Nick Zano
Find it online: IMDB
Hoping that like Rambo and Rocky before it (and a Mission: Impossible after it), losing its numerator might make it sound definitive or slightly original, The Final Destination winds up being almost a complete rehash of the three movies which had preceeded it. It isn't terrible, but it's nothing special either.
Although it has picked up a little since the disappointing third movie. The big opening set piece this time is a car crash (yes, another one) at a race track. You know the drill. Kid has a premonition of something horrible happening and escapes said horrible thing, dragging a ragtag group of fellow survivors with him. Afterwards, Death starts picking them off one by one. Although he can't just give the kids a sudden heart attack, stroke or case of adult death syndrome. No, he has to shuffle them off the mortal coil in really ambitious, spiteful ways, as though their surviving is a personal insult. Well, no-one likes to be reminded of their mistakes. This time though, he does it in 3D. "Death saved the best till 3D?" Who knew he gave a fuck. Apparently Death has all the artistic integrity of a Hollywood hack.
Or anyway, he did it on 3D in cinemas last year. I watched it on TV, in boring old 2D. And Death is no James Cameron (although, judging by his wrath, he comes close in the ego stakes). The CGI looks cartoonish and really, really fake. And the constant flinging things at the screen really grates after a while. I'm sure it looked cool in 3D cinema, but otherwise it looks silly. As we speak, home cinema is the biggest argument against 3D movies. Or at least gimmicky 3D movies like this one. It really detracts from the experience upon replay. Even more so than the My Bloody Valentine 2D release.
That said, the individual deaths and scenes of carnage are back to the cartoonish gory glory of FD2, thanks to the return of that movie's director, David Ellis. He and his crew do a great job of dragging out the individual death bits. There's nothing to rival the gruesomeness of no.2's ladder-in-the-eye moment, or no.3's sunbed deaths, but a swimming pool kill does bring to mind a short story in Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted (if you've read it, you'll know. That shit will be etched on your mind evermore). And as the movie thunders towards its explosive climax, it manages to take in a lovely escalator moment and a fun bit of cinema splatter.
The forthcoming 5nail Destination (yes, they really are apparently calling it Snail Destination for the time being) proves that this is far from a 'definitive' movie, nor even probably a Penultimate Destination. After all, Death's gotta lotta tricks up his sleeve. He can drag this one for as long as we keep paying for it.