Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Final Destination (3D)

Man, they're just not trying anymore.

At this point, no one is even pretending that the Final Destination series is anything but a morbidly wicked exercise in crazy-ass Rube Goldberg death scenes. The characters are interchangeable and inconsistent, the "plot" consists of a bunch of death scenes followed by the same panicky exposition bits. This one has the formula stripped down to the bones. I didn't give a shit about anyone in the flick and each death was more gruesome and perverse than the last.

Despite all this, I had a good time watching it.

Without the 3D, this movie would have felt like a direct-to-DVD flick. There's zero suspense and the gore is pretty over-the-top and hammy. Most of the story construction is pretty perfunctory and the film has a sense of the outrageous that you get from enthusiastic amateurs. Still, I got to watch it on a bit screen with car parts flying around and nifty x-ray montages of previous deaths over the opening credits. Also, they toned down the overt sadism of the second movie, which was a huge turn-off for me.

The Final Destination series is basically about the fear of accidental death. You're bumbling along, doing your thing, then some asshole drunk driver rear ends you. Maybe you make it, maybe you don't, but the question inevitably becomes "Was this fated to happen? Was I meant to meet my end here?" These are interesting questions, but exploring Deep Themes hasn't really been Final Destination's bag since the first couple films. I miss that element, and I miss Tony Todd's creepy role as the mortician with an uncomfortable familiarity with Death's design. Somewhere in that subtext is the material for a rich horror film, but I think they're gonna keep the formula as-is. That means you just treat the Final Destination flicks as morbid skits, which can be fun if you're in the right mood.

That's my thoughts. Go check it out while you can still see it in 3D. Here's Flick Filosopher's take on the flick, which takes the whole thing entirely too seriously.

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