(New Line) Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, Nick Zano, Haley Webb, Mykelti Williamson, Krista Allen, Andrew Fiscella, Justin Welborn, Stephanie Honore, Lara Grice. Directed by David R. Ellis
The Final Destination film series has made bank on a simple premise which has been repeated over and over again for the first three films of the series. The fourth one, which features no number in the title which might confuse moviegoers or DVD renters with the first film of the series which had the same title minus the “The”, is no different in that sense.
Teenager – in this case Nick O’Bannon (Campo) – gets a premonition of a horrific disaster, this time at a NASCAR race. He urges his companions to leave immediately, causing some consternation and ill feelings. However, all concerned are quickly relieved when the disaster happens exactly as foretold. The survivors are then picked off one by one in a series of increasingly graphic and elaborate “accidents” which have some kind of supernatural assistance. Surviving teens race against time to change the order of the death sequence and stop the carnage.
The whole trick to the movie working is how well the death scenes work and under the stewardship of director Ellis (who previously helmed the second film in the series, as well as Snakes on a Plane) they do most satisfactorily, ranging from a death by air conditioning unit to a death by pool filter (trust me, it works). It’s kind of ghoulish to be seeing a movie to watch a parade of people being turned into hamburger by a variety of means, but at least the filmmakers understand the point; one of the characters is pointedly criticized for going to a racetrack so that he might see a car crash. It’s really the same principle here.
The acting here is fair to middling, and sometimes not even that. The whole point of the movie is to filet whoever is next in line and so I’m fairly sure the producers weren’t worrying about acting chops so much. “I did Hamlet for my local Shakespearean company.” “That’s nice kid, now let’s hear you scream.”
In all honesty I can’t really differentiate between this and other films in the series all that much. Quite frankly, they all kind of blend together and had I not seen this one recently, I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to tell you which execution takes place in which film. I suppose at the end of the day it doesn’t matter.
So basically, the whole thing is this; if you like the series, you won’t walk away disappointed with the latest one. You might even get your thrill on because this is the first one to be in 3D, so the body parts and sharp pointy objects come flying at you more realistically I suppose. However, be warned if the previous three movies of the series haven’t floated your boat much, neither will this.
WHY RENT THIS: This is more of the same; if you liked the first three films, you’ll like this one.
WHY RENT SOMETHING ELSE: This is more of the same; if you hated the first three films, you’ll hate this one too.
FAMILY VALUES: While there is some sexuality, there is a lot more violence of the sort that has become synonymous with this series. In other words, don’t invite the small fries to sit through this one if you don’t want years of therapy to follow!
TRIVIAL PURSUIT: This is the first film in the series not to feature Tony Todd in a supporting role.
NOTABLE DVD EXTRAS: None listed.
BOX OFFICE PERFORMANCE: $186M on a $40M production budget; the movie was a big hit.
FINAL RATING: 5/10
TOMORROW: Punisher: War Zone