Final Destination, The (Blu-ray / DVD)
Reviewed by Nomad
Starring Bobby Campo, Nick Zano, Shantel VanSanten, Haley Webb
Directed by David R. Ellis
Distributed by Warner Home Video
The Final Destination movies have always been extremely formulaic. The lead characters have a vision of a horrible catastrophe in which their friends and dozens of people around them die in a maliciously violent way. When they snap out of it, panic takes over and they wind up narrowly avoiding their sticky end, along with random strangers that were sucked up into the swirl of paranoia. Soon after, it becomes clear that Death still wants his souls and will utilize state of the art mousetrap technology to get them. Every film unravels the same way although the first two installments had characters struggling to find out how to dodge death’s design.
In THE Final Destination everything is back to square one with new, good lookin’ folks running around trying to save the terminally ignorant from the bony hand of fate. It’s nearly a complete reset with new people and new super kills. What’s missing? Substance. Your core characters are barely paper doll copies of characters we often see in horror films, with the tertiary characters mostly unlikable save the security guard ... the only person with a past! All of this means I couldn't really care less who dies next, and without that tension a lot is lost. To make matters worse, the bulk of the kills fail in the tension category as well, and falling back to pure gore will leave you disappointed as awkward CGI and cut-aways leave you cold. Even the colossal escalator stunt at the film’s finale fails to grip an audience enough to care if that little girl is going to be shredded or not, and when the time comes ... cut-away city with no real shocking visual to make your date flinch.
If this is to be the FINAL Final Destination, I really expected some closure on the storyline that started it all. If death will have you by any means, then what is causing the visions thwarting that design?
Of course there are the other glaring questions for diehard horror fans ... was Tony Todd Death, and if not, why was he popping up in every entry in the series (except for this one) like Bruce Campbell in Spider-Man?! No matter ... it’s all over now so you’ll have to save your hypothesis for fan fiction forums. The Final Destination is just the slow little brother to the first installment. It’s not horrible, but it doesn’t strive for greatness ... at all. It’s the perfect movie to put on in the background of a party. No attention required.
Since this film was a 3D release, the studio most likely felt obligated to release the DVD/ Blu-ray in 3D as well. Make no mistake. The cutting edge blue/red technology does NOT work here. The film is a high contrast, headache inducing mess. I quickly switched over to 2D for fear the Silver Shamrock song would play at any moment, sending my grey matter oozing from my ears.
Oddly, the extras included in the Blu-ray release are more enjoyable than the film itself, but then again, I’ve always had a love for gory FX and how the masters go about making it happen. It’s like punk rock. Record it on a tape player with all the hisses and clicks, and it's awesome. Bring it into a high-tech studio and produce it super slick, and it sounds like Top 40 radio drivel. In The Final Destination the process is far more fun than the completed product. Your FD Blu-ray includes a behind-the-scenes look at every gory moment the film has to offer through interviews with the FX team, storyboards, and even footage of filming before the CGI was added with other elements. You’ll also get some mostly useless deleted scenes of the cast expounding on things you won’t care about and two alternate endings that are fairly anti-climactic.
Also included on the Blu-ray is a two-minute look into the NEW A Nightmare on Elm Street. This bit actually made me feel better about the remake. Being someone who had fun with the Chainsaw and Friday remakes, I do go in with some faith in the creators, but recreating Nightmare always seemed like sacrilege. Nevertheless, the brief look at a darker re-telling of the classic tale of nubile teens and charcoal’d pedophiles has me excited for what’s to come!
DVD owners? You're really out of luck here. The only thing you'll be sifting through in terms of supplemental material on your two-sided flipper disc are the film's deleted scenes. That's it. Period. End of story.
In closing, if my review of The Final Destination release were to be emblazoned on a poster, it would read ... “The Final Destination on Blu-ray ... not a total loss.” A ringing endorsement, eh?
2 out of 5
4 out of 5
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