Sure, it's called The Final Destination, but will it actually be a the final one? We can only hope; however, if it displays any amount of box office success I feel reasonably sure that we will get a fifth entry. That entry should hit sometime in 2012, if the every three-year pattern that the first four have followed. In any case, I went into this movie actually excited. I was looking forward to the kills and to see if they could recapture the feel of the first two entries. I sat there smiling every time someone got killed, thinking I was having a good time, but then it was over in a very short amount of time and I was left there alone in the dark. Was that it? Is that all that they could come up with? Sure, it was better than the third one, but let's be honest, that is not a hard thing to do.
The fourth film opens in the same fashion as the previous three. We get a big set up that features a number of characters getting killed in gruesome fashion before the big reveal that it was just a vision, that everyone was still alive. This is followed by our hero telling everyone they have to go while narrating the events leading to the disaster. His friends protest, but go, the disaster happens, those who are supposed to die don't, and death is on the prowl.
The series is becoming a slave to the concept. Rather than try to push the boundaries, it is content to focus all of its energies on the kills, and even they are not all that special. The setup is followed to slavish levels. Initial disaster, this time at a race track, hero has some flashes of what is to come and the gang races around trying to break the chain, or at the very least delay it.
The story is predictable as ever, it contains none of the energetic spark of the original, nor the cleverness of the first sequel to still feel fresh while also being tied to the original. The gimmick this time around is the use of the 3D process that has been making the rounds over the past few years. So, instead of developing an interesting story, they wrote it made Mad Lib style and focused on the effects of the deaths.
The Final Destination does feature the most deaths in any film of the series, but it really didn't feel like it. If nothing else, the kills this time out are more cartoony in appearance. Yes, all of the kills feature a good amount of blood and guts, but they do not have any weight to them. I felt as if I was watching an effect, which I was, when I should have been involved with what is going and believing in the kill within the context of the movie. Does that make sense? When the kills happened, I should be shocked, I should feel something for the character as I should have been drawn into the tale and invested in what happens to these characters. That is not the case here.
This movie just feels awfully lazy. It feels like the writers, Eric Bress and Jeffrey Reddick, figured we already know the rules and did not feel like explaining them again. At the same time they decided there was no use in trying to add anything new, allowing the bulk of the film to rest on the 3D crutch. Likewise, director David R. Ellis (who also helmed the second of the series) did not bring much to the table. Gone is the energy of his prior entry in the series, replaced with a straightforward outing more intent on keeping the momentum moving forward and letting the 3D gimmick do its work.
Bottomline. This is the most gimmicky of the 3D films so far, and while it is sort of entertaining in the moment, it is not all that memorable. Hopefully this will turn out to be the last of the series and I can be left to just watch the first two.