Final Destination Review

by "Steve Rhodes" (Steve DOT Rhodes AT InternetReviews DOT com)
March 18th, 2000

A film review by Steve Rhodes
Copyright 2000 Steve Rhodes
RATING (0 TO ****): * 1/2

"Live it up, Alex, you've got your whole life ahead of you," his father prophetically advises. Since James Wong's FINAL DESTINATION is a teen horror movie, one immediately sees the humorous irony in this advice, which occurs in the first few minutes of the story.

Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) and the rest of his French class are off to France for the summer. Using the horror genre's favorite weather, noisy lightning, the movie sets the stage for what will be a disastrous plane flight.

Filled with premonitions of catastrophe, Alex gets on board the aircraft, only to see every mechanical part as a possible source of failure. After a daydream during passenger loading, he yells, "This plane will explode on takeoff!"

Needless to say, this isn't something you want to go screaming on a jumbo jet. The crew does not take kindly to such outbursts and neither do his fellow students. The upshot of all of this is that the plane leaves without Alex and 6 other would-be travelers to the land of Brie and croissants.

Of course, the plane crashes in a massive fireball. If you've ever been afraid to fly, this isn't the movie for you. Actually, if you are currently okay with flying several miles up in the air in a long metal tube, you still may want to avoid the film since its images may not go away. The rest of the story is a traditional teen horror flick with severed heads and flying knives, but the plane crash is something else entirely. The director makes it seem entirely plausible and shockingly realistic.

One problem that some viewers may have is that the details of the tragedy sound remarkably similar to real-life plane crashes. But, the problem that most viewers will have with FINAL DESTINATION is that they have seen it all before. If you feel in the need for a generic teen horror film, there is no reason to choose this one over any of the others.

The body of the story has Alex trying to cheat death by outsmarting him. Death, you see, doesn't like having had 7 of his intended victims escape, so he's back on the prowl to collect them.

The movie is at its best when it goes more for humor than shock. "I will not let this plane crash be the most important thing in my life!" the blonde bimbo survivor tells the others. She doesn't need to worry. It won't be.

FINAL DESTINATION runs 1:33. It is rated R for violence, terror and language and would be acceptable for older teenagers.

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