I have no problem with a film following a formula, and this particular Final Destination does at least try to throw something new into the mix, and if the film is well made with a hint of wit then I’ll play along, however Final Destination 5 falls into the trap of most of the sequels to the original by making this all about death scene after death scene; playing with the audience’s’ expectations is far enough, and par for the course, but every situation becomes about waiting for the gruesome to occur. We don’t care about the story or the characters, it may as well be a nasty YouTube playlist of cinema’s most outrageous death scenes.
The opening scene is impressive and well handled by Steven Quale and he brings a certain solidity to some of the later scenes but there’s nothing that anyone can inject into the film to make it worthwhile. The actors are playing caricatures bound for an early grave in as many pieces as possible, the writers have worked out how to concoct the most dangerous situations and draw out the gory anticipation to breaking point and so it plays on and on.
Bottom line is if you enjoy watching people die in outlandish ways then you’ll love this, and now that we’ve five films in there’s very little to differentiate this from the last four films, and plastering every death from the series in quick succession over the credits is a sure-fire way to underlining the fact that everything between the fatalities is pointless.
The accompanying documentary is the usual celebration of the splatterfest with an array of talking heads enjoying the even more outrageous deaths they put together for the film, and when they come to the twist, which effectively re-writes the whole series, there’s a lot of back-slapping and talk of how this was integral to the whole film. In truth it’s far less about the twist than they make out though it’s worth a watch to see the production team talk about the effects, the scene on the bridge for example, and this is the subject of the special feature that I did enjoy.
There is a breakdown of the film’s opening scene on the bridge which involves no voiceover, no explanation, no complicated discussion of the problems and pitfalls of shooting such a scene. Instead we have the entire scene cut together without any finished effects and green screens everywhere and in a small picture in a corner the completed scene plays along in synchronicity. This is a great way to watch the scene and take in the massive scale of the work which goes into the process. Not deal breaker stuff, but good to have if you’re a fan.