Movie Marathon: ‘Final Destination’ Pt. 5
This is a short marathon but featured some huge jumps, both up and down, in quality. Now we’re at a second finale after the first one disappointed. Let’s see if we can leave on a high note.
Movie: Final Destination 5
Director: Steven Quale
Cast: Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, Ellen Wroe, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, P.J. Byrne, David Koechner, Tony Todd
Plot: A workplace retreat winds up in the centre of a collapsing bridge with only Sam and a few others surviving when Sam experiences a vision of impending doom. Once again, Death stalks the survivors and kills them with elaborate accidents.
Review: It must be said, a collapsing bridge feels less of a spectacle than the previous accidents. It’s impressive nonetheless, and maintains the idea of the death being able to strike at otherwise inconsequential times.
Unlike the last two duds in the franchise this film features actors who are familiar from their other work and, for the most part, actually behave like human beings rather than dull stereotypes defined by a single trait. Some of the banter between them is fun, especially the running gag about the boss failing to notice that one character actually survived the disaster.
Although I complained about pointless misdirection during the death sequences in the previous film. It felt cheap. In this film there is similar misdirection, but it uses it to build suspense and ultimately it ties together rather than random events that are disconnected from the actual source of death. A key example is the gymnastic sequence, where we wait for the performer to land on the screw. Eventually this fallen screw does cause the death to play out but not the way we initially expected. Each of these death scenes is an exercise in suspense.
There’s a new element to the mythos this time around, brought to the table by Tony Todd’s return to the franchise. Now the characters can remove themselves from Death’s scheme by killing someone in their place. This extra morality aspect works much better than suicide being ineffective (seriously, that raises more questions than anything else), and it’s a good way to turn one of the survivors into an enemy (unlike randomly making the goth kid murderous). Seeing one of the characters slowly lose their mind and resort to desperate measures was well implemented.
Tony Todd’s return is also a fun inclusion. I like the way they imply through visual symbolism that he might be Death or in some way connected to him without ever confirming it one way or the other.
What really seals the deal on this being a great sequel is that finale. For those wanting to avoid spoilers, how did you read this far already? The reveal that their trip to Paris at the end is on Flight 180 from the original film, complete with a shot of the original characters getting off the plane before killing our new characters, is absolutely brilliant. The fact that it’s actually well established before the final scene is woven throughout the film with them talking about the trip to France and other clues. It all ties together in a wonderfully satisfying manner.
So yeah, good movie.
Rating: SEVEN out of TEN
Best/Most Insane Death: The gymnast sequence really stretches the tension to breaking point before landing on an almost simple gut punch.
THE FINAL DESTINATION FILMS RANKED
- Final Destination 5
- Final Destination 2
- Final Destination
- Final Destination 3
- The Final Destination