Movie Marathon: ‘Final Destination’ Pt. 3


Right…the franchise is established and they’ve worked out what works best. Plus the original director is back. Things are looking up.

Part 1 

Part 2

Film: Final Destination 3

Released: 2006

Director: James Wong

Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ryan Merriman, Kris Lemche, Alexz Johnson, Sam Easton, Jesse Moss, Gina Holden, Texas Battle

Plot: A skittish high school senior is persuaded to ride a rollercoaster at the fair, but experiences a violent vision of the ride derailing. In the scuffle that follows she and a number of classmates get off the ride. In the following weeks the survivors begin dying in horrific accidents as Death catches up with them.

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Review: First things first, there’s a huge problem with this movie and nobody ever mentions it. It’s straight up broken. When Wendy has a vision of the accident there’s a dropped camcorder that finally breaks the leaking hydraulics and causes the accident. The guy who dropped the camcorder gets off the roller coaster, taking his camcorder with him, yet the accident happens as predicted. In the previous films the accidents still happened because they weren’t affected by the survivors leaving because they didn’t change anything. In this case the accident happens even after the cause is removed. Maybe the hydraulics get broken by something else, but why are we filling in the plot holes?

Then we have the characters. The cast are like the Archie gang being edgier and stupider than they are in Riverdale. They’re all annoying, they’re all horrible people and they’re all entirely defined but one trait. We have two bimbos, a pair of goths, a jock, a sleazeball and the leads. Mary Elizabeth Winstead does manage to inject the weak writing with a bit of gravitas but that’s all that’s on offer here. Even then she spends the film saddled with Ryan Merriman who seems to be channeling Cletus the Slacked Jawed Yokel.

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Maybe he wasn’t alone in that.

We get through the concept being set up without Tony Todd and the previous cases are still well documented online (and they assume we’ve seen the previous ones), with the new spin that Wendy’s photos contain clues to Death’s plan. This is as good a gimmick as any, but I liked the idea that there was a ripple effect from previous films. There’s no reason they couldn’t have included this.

Of course the real reason we’re back is to see what Death, that wacky prankster, has in store for these shallow stereotypes. First the sleazeball gets his head minced by an engine fan without even allowing him a line of dialogue. Then there’s a highly contrived and not believable set up with tanning beds which only serves to get the bimbos topless and provide some ‘commentary’ on…bimbos? The jock gets his head flattened by gym equipment, a goth gets nailgunned, some character we’ve never seen before gets skewed and the other goth gets squished.

Throughout all this there’s an addition plot about one of the goth kids turning evil and trying to kill Wendy. This may have worked if the character hadn’t whinging throughout all his lines, was the least bit threatening and a terrible actor. In the end it only gets as far as a snarky confrontation before he gets killed by Death with no influence from the leads.

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Threatening.

Another real set back for the franchise is the incorporation of cheap CGI in the accident scenes. I don’t know if they’re relying more on CGI in this film or the budget was cut but it never looks convincing. Every body looks like a cheap render and none of it feels like it has any weight.

After a solid couple of horror films to start us off this is a really week continuation. Bring the other director back.

Rating: THREE out of TEN

Best/Most Insane Death: After the prolonged set-up and fake out save, it’s Erin getting several long nails shot through her head which makes the most impact. Especially grim is how long it takes her to die afterwards.

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THE FINAL DESTINATION MOVIES RANKED

  1. Final Destination 2
  2. Final Destination
  3. Final Destination 3
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