Gleefully gruesome with surprising wit and style
, 26 Aug 2011
Like Saw, Final Destination is a series that started with an interesting premise and ended up relying on gruesome death scenes to keep audiences coming back sequel after sequel. However, unlike Saw, Final Destination makes a surprising last minute comeback with a film that just might be the best of the series.
Of course, this is all very relative- while it is technically correct to say that is a far better movie than Final Destination 4, it's also technically correct to say that being punched in the face is far better than being glassed in the face and then also rolled in a pit of razor blades and set on fire. The premise remains exactly the same- an attractive twenty-something experiences a premonition of a horrible accident on a plane/a rollercoaster/at a race track/in a petting zoo, and while they're running around in circles gibbering about how they're all going to die, they are escorted from the plane/rollercoaster/race track/petting zoo along with their attractive twenty-something friends and some cannon fodder (say, a Ditzy Blonde, a Stupid Jock, a Forever Doomed Black Guy, some kind of comic relief and a couple of oldies), thereby avoiding the accident. Feeling cheated, Death then comes for the survivors one by one.
Okay, so there's a reason why people come back for the gruesome death scenes. Death has a real sense of humour in the Final Destination films. 'Alright, sunshine, you think you're clever, do you? You think you're gonna cheat Death? Well, let me show you what we think of smartasses around these here parts'. Cue hilariously prolonged and gleefully gruesome death scenes that are especially well executed in the fifth installment. 3D is well utilised without being jarring, and there are some truly horrible uses of acupuncture needles and laser eye surgery that deliver the right mixture of shrieks and giggles.
All in all, it's a surprisingly good effort with a macabre sense of humour. Final Destination 5 never takes itself too seriously and manages to keep the same tired formula surprisingly punchy even as we know exactly what will happen. The ending delivers a neat little twist that finishes up the series very nicely- now let's hope this is the Finalest Final Destination of them all, and the series will be allowed to go out in style (and showers of 3D blood and rupturing eyeballs).
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