The Final Destination is the fourth and hopefully the last movie of the franchise. A franchise that started out in 2000 with a pretty good first installment. But as with most franchises the Final Destination movies declined in quality with each installment, hitting rock bottom with this movie.
One of the key-factors for this is that this movie has the highest death toll of all the Final Destination movies. It also has the shortest running time with the end credits starting at around the 76 minute mark. Because of this the plot and character development were thrown straight out of the window, where it might have caused a fatal accident to someone who just so happened to be walking there. It happens. Especially in these movies.
The plot, if you can even call it that at this point, is basically the same as the other three movies: teenager has a premonition of a terrible accident, saves everybody by freaking out only to find out that Death will kill them off them the same order they would have died in the premonition. With only an hour left after the opening accident The Final Destination is about deaths and deaths only.
If you want an example of how underdeveloped these characters are, just take a look at their character names on the credits. Most of the haven’t even been given a name. This movie actually has character’s identified as Mechanic, Racist, Cowboy, Milf’s Husband, Kid #1 and #2. How is the audience supposed to care for people the writer’s don’t even bother naming?
While some of the deaths are still creative, most of them are becoming more far fetched than ever. Due to the lack of character development they’re not even really involving. You’re just waiting for them to be over. The build-ups to the accidents are often too long and tend to rely on fake scares too much. The accidents themselves are pretty boring also; a pebble launched by lawnmower, sucked to the bottom of a swimming pool, dragged behind a car. But the most annoying fatal accident is the one featuring an ambulance that suddenly comes out of nowhere. Sound familiar? It shamelessly copies the first movie without even trying to intend it like an homage or something.
The biggest problem with these accidents is that they don’t seem to be grounded in reality at all. I think its up to the Myth Busters to determine whether a lawnmower is capable of launching a small stone with its blades at such a force that it’s able to kill someone. But I know for sure it’s not possible to suck out someone’s intestines with a pool drain. I found myself actually face palming during some of these accidents.
Once again they use the previous movies as the foundation to explain to these characters what is going on. The first movie featured a whole subplot of Devon Sawa being accused of the accidents which sometimes looked like murders. The second movie required the return of Ali Larter to explain to the characters what was going on. Tony Todd made an appearance as an undertaker giving Death an actual face.
Well you can scrap all those elaborate things to give a bit of substance to the plot. The Final Destination has the main character, who I was so invested in that I don’t even remember his name, google his current situation. This leads to him printing out some webpages with the stories of the first 3 movies. This movie’s explanation exists because the previous movies exist. There is never an attempt to at least try to bring in a new angle, idea or concept. The closest thing coming to a fresh idea was the inclusion of a second premonition. But that just feels like lazy marketing.
What also really disappointed me were the special effects. The movie was shot in 3D so in some cases shots feel forced. There are a lot of scenes in which elements are coming straight at the camera, like a champaign cork. The CG-work in this movie is really bad and looks like it was made in 1996 for a B-movie. Every death scene looks horrible and I mean that in a negative way. Wether it was somebody being pushed through a metal fence or an animation of a snake in a premonition. Even the usual opening accident looks terrible. The money they used for the 3D was probably taken out of the budget for the special effects. The more visceral they try to make the accidents, the more fake they seem to look.
By now the accidents is what these movies revolve around. When they’re poorly executed the entire movie is poorly executed. Unfortunately The Final Destination fails big time making it the worst and most shallow installment of the series. Let’s just hope that this series really has reached its final destination.