Final Destination: Leave Your Brain at the Door, Lest ye be Impaled

Today I saw The Final Destination.  I told myself that it was because I’d been dying to see one of the new live-action 3D flicks that were out, but I cannot deny, it is truly because I am a sucker for bad films.  Yes, all those films that everyone just loves to hate, I plain love.

So, if you’re thinking of seeing this movie, remember to check your brain at the door (round about the same time as they give you the 3D glasses).  Things like plot, character development, or dialogue have been eschewed in favour of gory stunts that can only be rivalled by the Saw franchise for graphicness and number of sequels.

If you haven’t seen any of the previous 3 movies, the premise basically goes: hot, young teens are at some public event, when one has a premonition that something terrible is about to happen and everyone is going to die.  Panicking, they flee the scene, just in time to save their lives, and the lives of few lucky idiots that for some reason believed the guy freaking out like the apocalypse is almost here.

But death, being death, isn’t going to take this shit from some upstart kids.  Having messed with his grand design to murder us all, death goes on a joyous spree of plotting the demise of the survivors in a manner that can only be described as gloriously ludicrous.  And, you know, after being death since the beginning time, I’d be utterly bored with people dying in conventional manners too.

* * *

In the newest installment, we see our four plucky heroes at a race track, when one has a premonition that there is going to be a car crash.  As a plot device, these premonitions are what I can only call “glorious”.  For one, the writers can reuse entire scenes; and quite frankly, it seems like they struggled enough with what they did write, so lets call this a plus, okay?  For two, it means that any character that gets killed in a premonition gets an instant “reset” so we can see them get killed all over again.

Granted, there are some issues with the writing and the delivery.  In the beginning of the movie one of the characters claims that even if the cars crash, they’ll be fine because there’s a fence for spectator safety.  What?  That fence?  The chain-link one?  Sure.  You keep on believing that hun.  However, the point of this movie is to see people being crushed to death by flying car engines, not witty or clever conversation, so it’s probably best to just listen enough to catch the meaning, and otherwise forget people are talking.

The 3d is still not perfect.  You’ll be walking away from even the best of them (Disney-Pixar’s UP) with a headache, and in live-action it does seem a little contrived in places.  It seems that the ability to create 3d effects is not limited per se, but rather that it might be a little to complex to create “true depth”.  In most of the scenes, there appear to be three clear layers, of which the nearest is stunning to look at, but the other layers give the whole deal the over-all effect of a magic-eye picture.

You might recall that one of my praises of recent 3D movies is that they have treated the 3d with respect and a subtle, deft touch.  The Final Destination has taken the opposite approach.  This is a glorious adventure in the realm of making everything leap out of the screen at you, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the less-than-great Shrek 3D adventure shunted the joyous Marvin the Martin 3d movie from the special cinema at Movie World.

In the first few minutes of this movie, I winced no less than three times before I got control over my “oh my God it’s coming right at me!” reflex.

* * *

All in all, this movie is a an awesome way to spend a few hours, so long as you’re not horribly picky about thinks like whether or not the dialogue is laughable, and are content to let it string together a series of utterly improbably, but highly entertaining* death sequences.

* Assuming your definition of “highly entertaining” means watching someone be impaled on an eye-jabbingly 3d spike.

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~ by ghostwolfe on October 15, 2009.

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