Final Destination Review

by "Rose 'Bams' Cooper" (bams AT 3blackchicks DOT com)
March 19th, 2000

'3 Black Chicks Review...'

Final Destination (2000)
Rated R; running time 93 minutes
Genre: Thriller* (see asteriked footnote below)
IMDB site:
Official site:
Written by: Glen Morgan (based on a story by Jeffrey Reddick) Directed by: James Wong
Starring: Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Chad E. Donella, Kerr Smith, Seann William Scott, Kristen Cloke, Amanda Detmer, Roger Guenveur Smith, Daniel Roebuck, Tony Todd

Review Copyright Rose Cooper, 2000
Review URL:

[asteriked footnote]-> *(By only the longest stretch of the imagination).

The Story (WARNING: **spoilers contained below**):
It's the Laughfest Of The Year!

Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) boards a plane bound for Paris with his high school classmates and French teachers, amongst them Tod (Chad E. Donella), his best friend; Carter (Kerr Smith), who doesn't like Alex; Terry (Amanda Detmer), Carter's girlfriend; Billy (Seann William Scott), the Comic Relief; Clear Rivers (Ali Larter), a girl who doesn't know him--yet; and teacher Valerie Lewton (Kristen Cloke). But Alex has a vision that the plane will explode, and after he freaks out about his vision, the seven of them leave the plane--minutes before it actually explodes, exactly as he pictured it would.

His act of saving their lives, of course, fails to endear him to anyone but Clear Rivers ["Clear Rivers", get it? Fun-nee!]. His premonition spooks most of the others out (except Carter, who is downright hostile to him). But that's the least of his worries: he also has to deal with FBI agents Weine (Daniel Roebuck) and Trey (Roger Guenveur Smith) [ooh, these play-on-words names just keep getting better and better!]--and with the spooky Mortician (Tony Todd) named Bludworth [stop it, you're splitting my sides!] who warns Alex that Death isn't finished with them. His message to Alex? "I'll see you soon."

The Upshot:
Hey look, I'm crying - from laughing so hard!

Surely, this flick was a stroke of comedic parodying genius. How else would one explain the many Signs And Guideposts foretelling the action ahead? From the ominous "this is the end" line writ in red during the opening credits, to the first scenes of the mother tearing Alex's "lucky tag" from his suitcase against his wishes, to the "Ghost"-like Murky Death Images spattered throughout, to...well, damn near everything else in between, the audience quickly (and repeatedly) learns that someone is about to Die, wooo!

And not just Die!, nosiree, that'd be too boring! Our heros and heroetts are offed in the spectacular fashion befitting such a satiric look at Really Bad Horror Flicks like...oh, say, "Candyman" [parts 1 through 12. So far. But I digress]. Death is one creative mutha here: mad as the dickens that Alex robbed it ("it", because Death isn't ever seen here; just its Instruments) of its rightful task, Death manifests itself via water, electricity, towels, fire, flying objects...heck, Death has itself one helluva party! And not to be outdone, the teens sure could pull a fast one on Death! Who knew that duct tape could be used as a Grim Reaper-stopper?

Yes, this had to be a riff on the horror genre. Had to be; the actors were too solemn, too serious about the dumbest of situations, the most idiotic of lines, for it to really have been a straight-up thriller. Surely, FBI Agents wouldn't really be so laughably inept? Surely, morticians wouldn't really Appear From Nowhere and start cutting up a corpse in front of trespassing teens? Surely, next-in-line victims wouldn't really all but have bullseye signs drawn on them and stand right on the "I got your death right here, punk!" mark drawn in the ground? Nah! Director James Wong and writer Glen Morgan are comic geniuses, I tell ya! Bravo! Take a bow! Right on this mark over here...

You'll laugh! You'll...laugh some more! And when it's over, you'll ask yourself, "what the hell was THAT?"

The "Black Factor" [ObDisclaimer: We Are Not A Monolith]:
Tony "Candyman" Todd's appearance as Bludworth the Mortician reminded me of Eric Todd-Dullum's guest star turns on TV's "Homicide: Life On The Street" in that campy acting/pianissimo voice way they both had. Though he has a fairly long credits listing on the Internet Movie Database, I've never seen Todd in anything else but "Candyman" (and I'm not sure I'd really want to). Still, it was kind of a kick to see him in a non-maniac role for once, goofy though it may have been.

Bammer's Bottom Line:
You know that phrase "so bad it's good"? It's got "Final Destination" written all over it. But I'm not complaining; I needed a good laugh right about now.

"Final Destination":
(rating: greenlight): Early pick for Comedy Of The Year!
(rating: yellowlight): What, it's really supposed to be a thriller, not a comedy? Whoops...

3 Black Chicks...Movie Reviews With Flava! /~\
Rose "Bams" Cooper /','\ 3BlackChicks Enterprises /','`'\ Copyright Rose Cooper, 2000 /',',','/`, EMAIL: [email protected] ICQ: 7760005 `~-._'c / `\ ( /====\

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