Final Destination Review

by Dean Kish (dean DOT kish AT home DOT com)
March 23rd, 2000

Final Destination
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    Another teen horror flick in the wake of "Scream 3" written by the guys who put the creepy in the X-Files. Sounds like a wild ride or is it? The story centers around a group of teens who survive an airliner explosion through a bizarre incident. After the crash, one teen (Devon Sawa) becomes completely convinced that the Grim Reaper is after him and he is hunting the group in the way they should have died in the explosion.
    Producer, co-screenwriter, and director James Wong re-teams with his partner Glen Morgan for a stab at the silver screen. Morgan and Wong's greatest exploit has to have been the couple seasons of the X-Files where it became the staple for TV suspense and to this day the series is still trying to recapture. They have continue to dabble in TV with such series as the little seen but at times brilliant "Space: Above and Beyond" and NBC's recent hit "The Others". But with the debut of "Final Destination it's the team's first real venture onto the silver screen.
    Destination starts off with a great opening 20 minutes where we are shocked and dumbfounded by the opening plot. I haven't seen that thrilling of a plane disaster scene since 1993's "Alive". Wow, what a scene. And as the film moves along a lot of the scenes are shocking and keep you on your toes. But it's the latter half of the film that bugged me. The time I am talking about is just when ex-Hollywood sex symbol Ali Larter's hair starts to get blonder. Ever notice that in Hollywood films they always dumb down the leading lady until she is supposed to catch the hero's eye? It's at that point that Sawa's avoidance of the Grim Reaper get really hokey. That cabin scene is a perfect example. Every movie like this needs a supernatural ending and the finale here is gimmickry and unrealistic. If you love the humor-horror trilogy of "Scream" like so many million people then Destination has all that to offer but watch out for a couple goofy things along the way. I guess other "Scream" clone "I Know What You Did this Summer" and especially its sequel got this back lash too.
    The young people out there will love this, I am sure. (3 of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.

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