After a great first two films, an okay third, and the
abomination known as the fourth film, the makers of this surprisingly resilient 11 year
old franchise go back to their deep dark roots of the series. After having an over the top premonition
about he and his friends dying bloody deaths while en route to a business
retreat, Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto) warns his friends and a few lucky, err unlucky,
head off the bus before they’re all subject to the collapse of a bridge. What follows is a series of cleaver and
unexpected graphic deaths that show there’s more life, err death, in this
Everything that was wrong with the craptacular fourth made right with this one. The characters were more developed. The deaths weren’t as reached for as they were
before; the ending- what an ending that
if you anyone spoils for you deserves to have their spleen ripped out; and last
but not least, the return of creepy
mortician, Tony Todd. I have no choice
but to compare this film to the previous which left a really disgusting taste
in my mouth. The characters here were
more likeable than the douchebags from the last entry. You really get invested in them. Even the supposed assholes played with just
the right dose of humor by PJ Byrne and David Koechner made you want more
screen time with them. Seriously, I
could’ve watched an entire spinoff built around Byrne’s character. The main group of friends are obviously
adults playing adults. They’re not
adults playing high schoolers (ahem pt.3) nor adults playing college kids who
may or may not be legally able to drink (ahem pt. 4). These people had real problems and real hopes
and you see how and why they’re all
friends (ahem pt. 4).
The deaths in this entry had more “oomph” to them. I won’t give anything away but the first
official death made me do the obligatory “dayum!” in the theater. Death is back, and he (or she) is
pissed. Pissed off how he (or she) was
made to look like an asshole in the previous entry… okay previous two
entries. The tone of the film also
respected it’s self and the audience. It
knew when to be serious like the first film and when not to take itself too
seriously like the second. There was
also a nice twist added as to how to prevent your own death that added a
heightened sense of suspense in the last third of the film. Tom Cruise, I mean Christian Bale, sorry
Miles Fisher did a great job in balancing someone who’s suffering from guilt,
anger, and resentment throughout the course of the film. The women in the film also were an
improvement over the CW wannabe actresses from the fourth entry. They looked and sounded like, well normal
women. Arlen Escapa also did a credible
job as a young manager looking for respect in the workplace who may or may not
have- well I won’t give it away.
Courtney B. Vance adds a touch of class to this film as the skeptical
cop. Tony Todd brings his usual Candyman
voice and brings the series back to its menacing roots.
Notice how I mentioned most of the cast except for the lead
actor, Nicholas D’Gosto? It’s not that
he’s a bad actor (I mean he survived FIRED UP two years ago), it’s just that
this movie wasn’t designed for him to be the lead. Had this been the previous film which
required actors devoid of any emotional range but the ability to squint their
eyes he would’ve been perfect. Here he
went through the range as Lead Guy.
Another thing that got stuck in my craw (or claw- I’m not sure how the
saying the goes) is that ever since the
second film it seems that nobody has an emotional reaction to their near death
experience. In the first film, after the
“survivors” witnessed the plane with their classmates on, they were visibly
affected for the rest of the film. They
clearly suffered a traumatic experience.
In the sequels we get a bunch of non-affected dickholes who care about as much as their near death
experience as they do as I do about Kim Kardashian’s “marriage”.
As with any Pt. 5 (and clearly pt. 4) there’s a sense of been
there, done that which glosses over the film. Something new should’ve been
brought to the film. How does Bludworth
(Tony Todd) know death’s plan? Is there
a history of this happening all over the world?
I don’t know but it would be nice for some new questions to be asked. Was it a fun ride? Absolutely Will I own this on blue-ray? Without a
doubt Does there need to be a Final
Destination 6? Eh
Final Destination 5 was a great flick to support with its
theatrical run. Yes it is number 5 in a
franchise and yes there is a sense of been there, done that before but at least
it’s not another fucking remake (Fright Night? Seriously?) or reboot (Spiderman
– didn’t this same fucking movie come out 9 years ago?) Did it have it’s problems? Sure, even the first one wasn’t an Oscar
caliber movie. However it was a film
that knew when to take it’s self seriously and when to bring in the humor. The meat of the films are the death scenes
which are more over the top and creatively awesome that anything since the
second film. This is a great flick to sit back with a few
beers and scream the obligatory “dayum!”
*** out of 4
Nothing too saucy that reminds you of blood. For this one, I’d stick with chicken strips,
crisp potato chips and a glass of whiskey with a splash of cola-shaken, no need
for the ice to water down your drink.
Agreed,this was the best one since the first one!
I think the reason why there was no emotional resonance in the films aside from the first one, even in the second one, there wasnt any real sorrow or emotional semblance aside from a feeling of adventure from them trying to figure out the plan, was because the first one was based on high school kids, in high school. They had a way to show the sorrow, the mourning. Not the aftermath of a horrific crash that killed several people except for the main cast who respond by non chalantly heading off to the dentist like yesterday never happened. Though, in my opinion at least, the second one had THE BEST deaths of any of them.