We’re a little late to the party, but Final Destination 5 is in theaters now and there’s still time to catch it before it’s gone. (This film was formerly known as 5nal Destination. Which looks like Anal Destination. Awkward.)
In “Final Destination 5,” Death is just as omnipresent as ever, and is unleashed after one man’s premonition saves a group of coworkers from a terrifying suspension bridge collapse. But this group of unsuspecting souls was never supposed to survive, and, in a terrifying race against time, the ill-fated group frantically tries to discover a way to escape Death’s sinister agenda.
Jenny Dreadful: Final Destination films follow a simple formula. A group of twenty-somethings is killed horribly in an over-the-top disaster… but wait… we rewind to the lead waking from a dream. Soon realizing it was a premonition of events to come, they’re able to save themselves and the rest of the group at the last minute. They weren’t meant to survive the accident, however, and Death comes for them one by one in a series of gory and goofy Rube Goldberg-style scenarios. Please forgive me if I give the series too much credit, but the movies tend to be a lighthearted and safe way for viewers to face everyday fears (airplane and car crashes, roller-coaster accidents and now bridge collapses) in addition to providing amusement for gorehounds. This fourth sequel is no different, but it surprised us. Following a series of films rapidly declining in quality, Final Destination 5 is genuinely entertaining.
You’ll wince. You’ll laugh. Shards of glass and everything that can crush, stab or burn exploding toward you in 3D, suspense and surprise during the complex death sequences and a good sense of humor result in a fun ride.
StayFrosty: The spirit of William Castle is alive and well in the Final Destination series. Between the Grand Guignol demises and the 3D gore flying at your face, this movie sure isn’t high art, but it is a good time. Way improved from the previous entry in the series, this movie brings back the fun, adds a few twists on the formula (extra points for a very cool ending), and then throws it all in your face. Unlike most films, the 3D actually adds to this movie – these are the movies 3D was made for. My one major complaint – not enough Tony Todd! Yes, I am pleased that Tony Todd’s character – a coroner who knows a bit too much about death’s design – has made a return to the series (he hasn’t been seen since the second film). However, all the interviews I can recall mentioned his part being greatly expanded in FD5. This is a lie! If I am told there will be a lot of Tony Todd, there better be a lot of Tony Todd! Other than that, this is a good entry in the series, and if you like this sort of thing, you should have a good time.
Crowbait: An interesting twist is added to the formula with the inclusion of an escape clause, whereby a survivor may prolong their own life if they can provide a victim to take their place. This becomes the focus of the third act, turning it into a brief dog-eat-dog thriller story and justifying Courtney B. Vance as an agent investigating the coincidence of the survivors. Overall, my thought echoes those of my compatriots. Brian Tyler’s music is full of epic bombast but that’s well in keeping with the series OTT tension building sequences. The inclusion of the AC/DC song “If You Want Blood (You Got It)” is the perfect nod to the audience and a great way to sum up not just this film but the series as a whole.
Does it pass the Bechdel Test?
Yes. There is the requisite number of females in the ensemble cast including the innocent, the badgirl and the love interest final girl. They’re all co-workers so they get to complain about the daily grind before the conversation turns to the typical questions of “Why’s everyone dying?” and “Who will be next?”
Would We Recommend?
Crowbait: If you’ve enjoyed any of the other Final Destination movies, you’ll have a fun time with this one. The violence is more “good humored” than films like Saw but the splatter is still plentiful.
Jenny Dreadful: The push to 3D annoys me to no end, but I have to admit it. See this in 3D if you’re going to see it at all. It works best as a gimmicky spectacle. 2D just wouldn’t be the same.