In the original Final Destination, a guy has a premonition about a terrible plane crash and averts this tragedy by convincing his friends to avoid the flight. The plane crashes but his friends are saved, temporarily. Eluding death is not in the cards; however, and one by one his friends are dispatched in the order that they were seated on the flight manifesto. In the second Final Destination, a woman has a premonition about a terrible highway car crash and averts this tragedy by convincing her friends to avoid the highway. The traffic accident still happens, but her friends are saved, temporarily. Eluding death is not in the cards, however, and one by one her friends are dispatched in the order that they were seated in their cars. In Final Destination 3 (you see where I’m going with this), a woman has a premonition about a terrible rollercoaster accident and averts this tragedy by convincing her friends to avoid the ride. The accident still happens, but her friends are saved, temporarily. Eluding death is not in the cards; however, and one by one her friends are dispatched in the order that they would have died on the rollercoaster. In all 3 films the protagonist, this time the homely, dysthymic Wendy, figure out that death will come to her friends in a specific order and it’s a race against time to beat death at its own game.
I admit that I enjoyed the first 2 installments of this film series. The first film was an original idea made even better with its unique, unexpected deaths. The second film could be a remake of the original, but it was still fun to watch how the characters were going to meet their maker. However with part 3 it is glaringly obvious that this series is becoming a bit long in the tooth. Adding insult to injury is a very unappealing cast. Within 5 minutes I turned to my friend and said, “I already can’t wait for them all to die”. Granted there were a few good death scenes, in particular a nasty tanning-booth death, but I wasn’t very taken with the film as a whole.
Part of the problem, as my friend pointed out, is that the film doesn’t adhere to the rules it establishes for itself. The idea in these Final Destination films is that characters will be killed off in a particular order. In this installment Wendy, who had been taking a lot of photographs prior to the accident, concludes that her friends are being killed in the order that they were seated on the rollercoaster. This ultimately doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because in the original vision of the accident, bodies were flung off the coaster at random. Consequently it would be impossible to know the order of death. The other perplexing aspect is that Wendy’s photographs, taken prior to the coaster accident, reveal the manner in which each character will die. For example, in one photo a “teen” is photographed next to a fan that is near his head. Later, in a freak accident his head goes into a large fan. What is the deal here? If characters are being killed off according to these photographs, what does the rollercoaster have to do with any of it? What would the pictures have revealed if they had all been killed on the coaster as originally intended? It’s this kind of lazy writing that ultimately detracts from the cool deaths. If you’ve seen the first Final Destination, you’ve seen all 3. Don’t waste your time on this one.