Saturday, August 27, 2011

Final Destination 5 (B-)

I honestly believe that this positive review of the latest horror flick, Final Destination 5, might destroy whatever minor fanbase I might have. One reason for this, is that Final Destination 5 is the fourth sequel to a consistently panned horror series. Another reason might be that the reviews for this film have mostly been negative, or that the film was the 3D was competed in post-production. Any of these reasons for why this should be an obviously negative review are valid points, but I throughly enjoyed Final Destination 5.

Final Destination 5 is the ideal "dumb" summer blockbuster: What it lacks in thought provoking ideas and originality it more than makes up in sheer entertainment value. I will go so far as to say that Final Destination 5 is the second most entertaining Hollywood blockbuster I've seen this summer behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. However, when you're comparing a film to Thor, The Hangover: Part II, Cowboys and Aliens, and The Smurfs, that isn't saying a whole lot.

The only other film in the Final Destination cannon I've seen other than Final Destination 5 is Final Destination 3, and that was the TV watered down version, so technically I've never seen a Final Destination film. Despite this, I knew the plot from all the commercials for every one of the films: A teen has a premonition that he/she along with all of their friends are going to die, so because he saves them from this fate, Death seeks revenge. Vast amounts of coincidence related violence ensues.

For those who miraculously avoided the vast amount of advertising for this film, the "premonition" found in this film is the massive collapse of a bridge. This is an incredible sequence directed close to flawlessly by director Steven Quale. Despite sounding like an unknown director, Steven Quale was the assistant director to James Cameron's sci-fi opus Avatar, and was the director of the documentary Aliens of the Deep, which was also produced by Cameron.

It's a good thing Quale is so good here, because the cast of the film is mostly terrible. The lead, played by Nicholas D'Agosto, can't deliver any type of emotion other than mildly upset, and Emma Bell, who plays the potential love interest, falls into the same actuarial trap. Even David Koechner, who has been great in several comedies, falls flat here as the comic relief boss.

Despite its several flaws, because of director Steven Quale's great direction, and the film's sense of entertainment, Final Destination 5 defeats all odds against it to become a fairly good film.

Grade: B-

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