TERRIFYING TUESDAYS: FINAL DESTINATION 5

FINAL DESTINATION 5

Starring Nicholas D’Agosto, Miles Fisher and Emma Bell

Directed by Steven Quayle

Written by Eric Heisserer

New Line/Warner Home Entertainment

 

Let’s face it: you pretty much know what you are going to get with Final Destination 5. But the filmmakers have been clever enough (and respectful enough of the audience) to come up with another sequel which, while not strictly necessary, is a huge improvement over the last instalment, 2009’s execrable The Final Destination.

Again, we have a young man (Nicholas D’Agosto as Sam) who has a vision of him and his friends perishing in a spectacular and fatal opening set piece (this time, the collapse of a bridge). Sam manages to save himself and a few friends, but, as they perish one by one, they soon figure out that Death itself is stalking them.

Tony Todd returns as the knowing coroner

Most importantly to a large segment of the series’ fan base, the murder set pieces of FD5 are uniformly spectacular, including laser eye surgery run amuck, a gruesome gymnastics accident, and an awful workplace incident. Steven Quayle, graduating to the director’s chair after much second unit work, including on Avatar, has fun with the 3D, creating a mildly immersive environment in addition to sticking weapons and body parts in our faces.

But FD5 is the best of the franchise since the original film because of a spunky young cast (P.J. Byrne is especially hilarious as a nerdish pussyhound), Eric Heisserer’s passable dialogue, and Quayle’s willingness and ability to create actual suspense instead of simply shovelling gore into our laps. The ending provides a nice twist which I did not see coming.

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood gets an eyeful

Warner’s two-disc release includes a DVD with a digital copy, in addition to the separate Blu-ray disc. Extras are adequate if somewhat paltry, including a brief making-of doc (“Circle of Death”), alternate death scenes, and split-screen comparisons of two visual effects sequences.

Fortunately, Warner decided not to try to release the film in 3D, something they did to disastrous effect with The Final Destination, provoking massive headaches in the process.

Movie rating: 3.5/5

Blu-ray rating: 3/5

 

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