Final Destination 5 (Blu-ray / DVD)
Directed by Steven Quale
Distributed by Warner Brothers
After the ridiculousness of the fourth Final Destination flick, The Final Destination, I, like many of you, was done with the franchise. Wanna talk about a coffin nail for a series? Look no further. The odds of a franchise rebound seemed nil. It's a good thing for us the folks behind Final Destination 5 had other plans.
The set-up for the flick is exactly what you've come to expect... Several people cheat death by adhering to the warnings of some poor soul who has just experienced one hell of a grisly premonition. Of course the reaper doesn't like to be cheated so one-by-one they're taken out in the most delightfully violent ways imaginable. In a nutshell that's it, but don't sell this one short. Final Destination 5 is so much more!
Simply put, what we have here is a spectacle. The opening disaster on a suspension bridge is HUGE, horrifying, and breathtaking in every way possible. This is easily the best opening since the incredible car crash of Part 2. Then there are the kills themselves. Each one goes above and beyond the call of ghastly. The lead-ups to a few of them are near impossible to watch. If I were teaching a class on how to build tension in a film, I'd easily use a few scenes from this flick as fine examples. Beyond all the amazing set pieces we also have probably one of the smartest sequel scripts of the last ten years from writer Eric Heisserer that's riddle with twists, turns, and plenty of things that you just won't see coming. This flick is a truly unexpected winner.
Final Destination 5 is available in three home video packages: a Blu-ray/DVD combo, stand-alone Blu-ray, and stand-alone DVD. The only thing missing? A 3D version of the film for those of you out there who can support the medium at home. That's a shame, too, because director Steven Quale (unlike David R. Ellis) truly understands how to utilize those extra dimensions to perfection without being distracting. Oh well. Maybe in the future.
If you're wondering which package to get, while the DVD looks as good as can be, the Blu-ray (as per usual) kicks major ass in the sight and sound department. Every gruesome detail is on display with razor sharp clarity. Skin tones and colors are spot on, the black levels are deep, and there are no distracting artifacts to sway your eyes from all this goodness on display. The DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track will keep your home theatre set-up thumping as the provided soundscape, especially during the opening, sucks you right in. Really, really good stuff.
The only place this otherwise stunning package comes up a bit short is in the supplemental department. First up there's your standard making-of featurette,Circle of Death, which you had better watch the film before viewing as it's jam-packed with spoilers. From there we have two looks at key sequences in the film that show footage from before and after the visual effects were added in. Finally we get two alternate death sequences - the massage and the eye laser - which were thankfully punched up for the final cut of the film.
Final Destination 5 defies every odd that was placed against it. It's way better than anyone could have imagined and stands right next to Final Destination 2 as the best in the franchise. Death truly moves in mysterious ways, and we'll never count the reaper out ... ever again.
4 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5
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