Spooktober Franchise Review – The Final Destination (2009)

‘Final Destination 3’, all is forgiven. The repeated and yet somehow worse plot, the stock characters that have no depth or complexity whatsoever and are only there to be killed and the bad dialogue. All is forgiven because I would rather watch ‘Final Destination 3’ 200 times over if it meant I would never have to endure ‘The Final Destination’ or as I am now going to refer to it, ‘FD4’ which is what it is.

I don’t know why they didn’t just call it ‘Final Destination 4’. The title ‘The Final Destination’ implies that this would be final film in the series but the plot doesn’t give the merest hint that this is the case. As far as the film and indeed the audience is concerned, it’s just another ‘Final Destination’. Maybe the plan was to have this as ‘Final Destination 4’ and then half way through, the studio realized that the script was shit, the effects were shit and the cast was shit and so decided to rename it ‘The Final Destination’ because it would forever be seen as ‘The Final Betrayal’. That should have been the title. That’s pretty good. And accurate.

So, here’s the plot.

I think it’s hilarious that the chosen disaster this time around is a crash at a race track. Whilst our main protagonist, Nick O’Bannon (Bobby Campo), has a premonition that a horrific crash at the McKinley speedway will occur and kill himself, his friends and a load of strangers whilst we the audience get a sign that this whole film is a fucking car crash.

Let me just say that if the characters of ‘Final Destination 3’ were ‘stock characters’ then the characters of ‘FD4’ are the worst kind of stock characters because it’s painfully obvious that these actors are only there because they’re pretty. That’s it. These are not the best performances all around and whilst the girls, Nick’s girlfriend, Lori (Shantel VanSanten) and Janet (Haley Webb) are particularly bad, the one character whom is the most stereotypical and the one I despise the most is Hunt (Nick Zano). For the rest of the review, I’m not going to refer to him as Hunt (although his name rhymes with my favourite nickname for him) I’m just going to call him Chad because he’s one striped polo shirt and a sideways baseball cap away from officially being labelled ‘Chad’ even if that isn’t his name.

So, Nick, Chad, Lori and Janet are watching a race and what is clearly apparent is that this film is as token as token gets. There’s no build up like in previous films, it just starts at the track and nature takes its course as if the audience knows the formula and it’s sticking to it.

One other character that is questionable is the Nazi. Why is there a Nazi in this film? He is one of the survivors and has a grudge against the African American security guard, George (Mykelti Williamson) for holding him back from going back into the stadium to save his probably equally Nazi wife. The reason why I’m questioning the inclusion of a Nazi is that these characters are meant to be likeable or at the very least, redeemable. Remember Carter? Remember how he was prick and then by the end of the first film, he was an alright dude before being splatted by a sign? It’s very hard to like a Nazi especially when he starts chucking the N-word around and getting out the cross to stick in George’s front yard for the sole purpose of setting on fire. All you’re saying by putting a Nazi in is, ‘this person isn’t going to be around for very long’.

With the sheer amount of ‘twattery’ that’s on display, it strongly suggests that ‘FD4’ has taken the ‘Friday the 13th’ approach to writing characters in that they are so reprehensible that the audience are actually cheering when they die like the pretty girls getting microwaved in the tanning beds in the last movie.

The Nazi isn’t around for very long. After his wife and mechanic, Andy’s (Andrew Fiscella) girlfriend, Nadia (Stephanie Honore) who dies straight after the crash by getting decapitated from an errant tire that’s flung from an explosion, the Nazi is the next to go.

But that’s not the death that gets the group to think that Death is after them. That’s after the next death, which is mother, Samantha. She sends her two boys who were in the stadium with her along with her husband, but it appears that she was the only one that died in the premonition.

This one is complete bullshit and not really conceivable or believable as an accidental death. This one was a ‘one in a million’ type death and gives the most elaborate red herring.

So, Samantha heads to a salon close to closing time to get her hair done and a pedicure for ‘girls’ night’ that evening. They reluctantly let her in and get to work but in true ‘Final Destination’ style, there’s a chain of events happening around them. It starts with the dodgy salon chair that keeps slipping right when the stylist has a pair of scissors next to Samantha’s throat. That’s unnerving but then the ceiling fan starts becoming loose for some reason and that’s another hazard, then a can of hairspray ends up next to a set of hair straighteners and starts to burn and so OK, is that the thing that kills her? Then a broom knocks something that lands on a bottle of product that ends up all over the floor and so OK, is that the thing that kills her? None of those things kill her.

The ceiling fan falls next to her and misses her just as the chair fails again but she’s fine. Her two boys then come in and slip on the floor and spill their drinks. As she’s walking out the front door, a guy riding a motorized lawnmower across the road (who was briefly established at the start of the segment) accidentally sucks up a piece of metal and it flings out straight into Samantha’s eye… IN 3D!

That brings me neatly onto the state of the effects. The visual effects and CGI in this film are garbage. It’s the quality of a media student going for a B-TECH in visual effects. When I pay money to watch a $40 Million motion picture, I don’t want to look at CGI on the level of Windows ’95 screen savers. What the fuck happened here guys? Was it the 3D? I know this is 2009 and maybe it was before James Cameron showed everyone how 3D is done but decent 3D has been around for a while.

I don’t understand the appeal of 3D anyway. I don’t think it adds anything to a film. All it will ever be is a gimmick. I already avoid wearing my glasses at all costs, I don’t want to have to wear a pair of stupid glasses to watch a film that I could easily be enjoying in boring old 2D. Not this movie though. I didn’t enjoy this movie at all.

Anyway, after Samantha’s death, Nick is convinced that Death is after them and there is the obligatory and completely token ‘I did some research and read about the kid who had a premonition about a plane blowing up and then everyone else who had premonitions about disasters’ scene. They also have the fucking stupid addition of ‘everyone dies in the order they died in the premonition unless someone intervenes’ which is something that I’m not sure would be reported on but they have to put it in and they can’t have the character’s discover that naturally because the audience is already aware of it and the character’s must be up to speed because they are not supposed to know that we’ve seen all this shit before.

However, there’s a snag. Nick can’t remember who dies next, so they go to the wreckage of the stadium that only George is guarding. Nick remembers the order. Nadia dies first, then the racist and his wife, then Samantha, then Andy, then Chad and Janet, then George, then Lori and finally Nick. I hope I remembered that right.

So Andy is next and he dies right in front of them by getting grated through a chain-link fence with really unconvincing CGI.

So now Chad and Janet are next, but they died at exactly the same time so of course their ‘accidents’ have to happen at exactly the same time. Nick has a premonition that both Chad and Janet’s deaths will involve water when he looks at a sign that says ‘Clear Rivers’ which may have been a nice nod to better days if it had just stayed in the background but that would mean that this film would have learned some subtlety so nope, Nick stares at the sign like an idiot as he has his overly long premonition. Nick goes in search of Chad to stop his death whilst George and Lori try to find Janet.

Janet’s thing is so stupid.

When she gets in her car, a bird poops on her windscreen and she makes it worse by trying to get it off with her windscreen wipers so because she’s a lazy fucking cow who can’t be bothered driving home and using a wet rag to wipe off the poop, she instead decides to go to a car wash which is so unnecessary. I understand if your whole car is dirty but it’s a bit of bird shit on one isolated part of your car.

Well, because her sunroof isn’t working totally conveniently, the rails that the car is sat on fail and water starts filling her car. After making the most halfhearted attempt to break the windscreen, she ends up sticking her head through the sunroof for air and her head gets stuck and I have never laughed so hard whilst watching a car moving through a car wash with a screaming woman’s head sticking out the top. It’s like something out of ‘Scary Movie’.

Chad on the other hand has one of the most satisfying demises. He’s at a pool and shagging this girl and not ‘satisfying’ her but he’s a dude-bro and he got his so whatever. He’s at some kind of leisure center with a pool and a kid sprays him with a water gun so Chad takes the gun from the kid and chucks it over a fence which knocks a lever that starts draining the pool.

First of all, there is no way that a plastic water gun will be heavy enough not knock a heavy lever that is like that for safety reasons into a downward position.

Second. Chad? what kind of piece of shit phone do you have that fizzles out just by having water sprayed on it. I could understand it being knocked into the pool but just by having a little bit of water sprayed on it. This was only 10 years ago, phone hardware hasn’t come forward that much.

Anyway, Chad drops his ‘lucky coin’ which I immediately stated will be involved with his death when it was first introduced. When Chad goes underwater, the suction sucks his butt over the drain and since the system thinks there’s a blockage, the suction gets more and more powerful until Chad is relieved of his organs which are then blasted all over the pool. Let me tell you, in all the ways that I had imagined Chad getting his comeuppance for being a terrible character, having his internal organs pulled out through his anus is definitely satisfying. RIP Chad. Dude-Bro heaven just got another douchebag.

As for Janet, George and Lori arrive in time to save her.

So, now Janet has been saved and so death has skipped her which means George is next. George is already depressed because he killed his wife and kid whilst driving drunk and so he decides to end his own life except every attempt fails and we all know what that means, he’s not the next to go because Final Destination introduced this bullshit rule in ‘FD2’ and hopes the audience don’t remember it because the character’s response to the fact that one of the survivors can’t die is ‘Oh, we must have defeated death, let’s celebrate’ and no one wants to be the one that says ‘One of us can’t die. Is it just me, or is that not normal?’

They find out after an unspecified amount of time when they find out that the cowboy from the start survived the accident and was pulled from the rubble of the stadium and in now in a body-cast at the hospital. Nick realizes that he is the next to die and that’s why George couldn’t die.

Nick and George get to the hospital but of course, the cowboy is crushed by one of those huge bathtubs that they have to life patients into because… are your ready? … A nurse left the tap on.

Nick and George get outside and soon as I saw that poor layering where is it glaringly obvious that the two are stood in front of a green screen, I immediately said to myself, ‘George will get splattered…’, a thought that I couldn’t get through because George instantly gets splattered by an ambulance.

Nick has another premonition of a movie theatre that Janet and Lori are attending because the movie is in 3D (that piece of dialogue was actually in the film and it was so embarrassing) going up in flames in a rather spectacular and ‘protagonist killing’ fashion.

I won’t bother going through the premonition because it’s really long and I want to stop talking about this garbage film. The recap is sand catching fire and then blowing up some combustible barrels that are right behind the screen that Lori and Janet are sat in.

Nick arrives at the fire which is already underway and finally takes the advice that I was screaming at the screen and pulls the fire alarm but of course it’s no working for some reason. Nick ends up nailed to a wall by his arm but manages to activate the sprinklers and avoid another disaster.

Two weeks later, Nick meets up with Lori and Janet but starts seeing signs again. He realizes that the events of the whole film has been a ploy by death to get all three of them in the same place at the same time so a rig of scaffolding across the road can collapse and cause a truck to swerve into the coffee shop, killing all three.

Let me just say, that reasoning was completely stupid. I’m sure Death has better things to do than create an elaborate set of events just to have three people die in a coffee shop. There were a million ways Death could have taken out all three of them throughout the film but didn’t. How many times have all three been in the same room at the same time? Loads, right? It was dumb at the end of ‘FD3’ and time hasn’t sweetened it.

That’s basically what this film is. It’s rehashed ideas from the previous three films and done even worse but SOMEHOW, THIS FILM MADE $186.2 FUCKING MILLION AT THE FUCKING BOX OFFICE. But the critic and audience scores are atrocious so…

I think I know what happened. They got the writing, directing and producing crew back from ‘FD2’. That did a bad job with that film and they did a worse job with this.

One more week until Halloween and one more Final Destination film to go. I’ve seen ‘FD5’ once when it came out (I think) and I don’t remember being disappointed. We’ll see if I’m so well disposed towards it when I watch it again.

Patient 187

Devinelogic555 Gaming

Video Redux

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