I honestly didn’t think that I would be sitting here at my desk writing a positive review for Final Destination 5. After watching all of the precursors (if that formal word really fits the series), I was done with the franchise and anything else it was going to offer me. I had to see it though, I had watch the 5th entry to the Final Destination catalog so I could say that I’ve seen all the films and have closure to the series. I went in expecting the worst and prepared to be bored by senseless, mind numbing dialogue broken up by amazing kill scenes. What I did see in the theater though, was the best Final Destination film thus far, one that didn’t have a problem with being a little more fun.
Let’s talk about the main attraction to this film, the kills. Every death scene is exactly what you expect from a Final Destination film, plus some. Yes, the kills are very “CGI” but they’re not noticeable like FD4 and not as SyFy (cheap). There’re a few practical effects here and there but being a 3D film, there’s a good amount of computer generated business. I for one, love practical kills but I wasn’t put off by what the film offered. The opening “premonition” scene is great, much like all the others but still not as memorable as the freeway opening from FD2.The suspense in the deaths are more so than any film before it. I was rubbing my fingers together as objects would fall or when visual cues would lead you to believe how the death may happen. What I mean to say, is that there is some great tension in this movie that was severely lacking in the other installments. The kills are humorous in their own way, they provided more laughs than scares when it actually happened but in a good way. You can’t scare me with regular household items moving around anymore, just build up some tension and have a bloody-orgasm that is extreme in every way. That’s what I want, and that’s what you get.
Dialogue and character development (or even the characters themselves) have always been the worst part of the Final Destination series. I never cared for any of them and with too many pointless conversations about who dies next, I never got to know them (hence never caring). While the drama for FD5 is not amazing, there is some great chemistry between characters and we get to know them a little better. The spotlight goes on Nicholas D’Agosto and Emma Bell (who I always love) for their performances as a “on the rocks” couple. The love story part is not great and sometimes laughable but whenever they’re doing anything else, they seem pretty convincing. The worst performance is given by a Tom Cruise lookalike by the name of Miles Fisher who plays the antagonist of the film. He overacts his way through the whole movie (much like Tom Cruise would) and you don’t know if he is joking about his acting or just trying to be serious. At certain points, he just takes you out of the experience and reminds you of all the nameless actors in the previous films. The thing that’s important is that the dialogue and characters do not get bogged down with conversations about things the audience already knows. There is also enough comedy and wit between the individuals that it provides a good, solid laugh every so often in order to prevent the movie from going stale.
Final Destination 5, unlike its predecessors, does not focus AS MUCH on the science of death. The characters are not always talking about dying and how to beat death. In fact, Tony Todd’s character pretty much tells them what to do, making any pointless conversation vanish at that point. What he presents (this is in the trailer) is that in order to keep their life, they must take someone else’s. This element is the best yet in the series and having this option for the characters leads to a great ending full of tension. The scenarios become more complex than previous films and the focus on the dynamic between characters from the new element, pays off. An option of killing other people to get their life is just what the franchise needed from running itself into a corner again.
I’ve been referencing the last films plenty in this review and that’s because in order to really enjoy it, you’re going to have to watch all the previous films to get the little jokes here and there. If someone were to watch this without any knowledge of the previous films, then they may lose the appreciation that I had for it. If it were a stand alone movie experience I probably would have liked the deaths but just wouldn’t care for the overall outcome or find any point in it. Then again, why would you see the 5th entry to a series you never have seen before? So I hope that I am writing to people who know or seen a good amount of the material in the Final Destination mythos. Tony Todd is back too (I mentioned him earlier) and like always (except for 4) he just pops in every once and awhile, without being a main fixation. I haven’t even talk about the ending! And I won’t. For reasons that you will understand once you see it.
Final Destination 5 is the best film in the entire series and a fun one at that. I highly recommend seeing the other films (ugh) in order to enjoy the absurdity of this one. If I could sum up my complaints, I would say that some of the drama seems contrived and laughable at times. The only other negative is that, well, it’s a Final Destination film. It’s shallow, over the top, and perfect for the summer movie catalog of brainless films. But it’s brainless in a good way. I can’t rate this film as a film because it wouldn’t be doing it justice, this film is meant for be watched by fans of the franchise and it’s exactly the film you have been waiting for. 7 out of 10!