Combustible Celluloid
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With: Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, Nick Zano, Haley Webb, Mykelti Williamson, Krista Allen, Andrew Fiscella, Justin Welborn, Stephanie Honore, Lara Grice, Jackson Walker
Written by: Eric Bress, based on characters created by Jeffrey Reddick
Directed by: David R. Ellis
MPAA Rating: R for strong violent/gruesome accidents, language and a scene of sexuality
Running Time: 82
Date: 08/26/2009

The Final Destination (2009)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Chain Subtraction

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

At some point the producers of this successful horror franchise decided to go with the title The Final Destination (emphasis on "The") rather than Final Destination 4, which suggests some kind of reboot, or a new twist on the old idea. Sadly, it's not. It's pretty much just Final Destination 4 with nothing more to say on the subject. Fortunately, as directed by David R. Ellis (who also helmed Final Destination 2 and Snakes on a Plane), the film has a brisk lightness, a kind of playful, sinister glee. It movies quickly and well, and you may find yourself giggling at all the preposterous, intricate deathtraps. The major drawback is that death itself seems rather inconsequential here; as the body count builds, the survivors are not affected in the slightest. A day or so after her boyfriend dies, a pretty girl finds herself smiling and giggling, shopping for sunglasses at the mall.

Bobby Campo stars as Nick, the rather vacant-looking hero with the premonition. This time the big opener takes place at a racetrack, and Nick saves his girlfriend Lori (Shantel VanSanten), his friend Hunt (Nick Zano), Lori's friend Janet (Haley Webb) and several strangers. As is the routine, they all begin to die in other horrifying ways after the fact, unless the heroes can "break the chain." Ellis shoots the movie in 3D, though this doesn't really help or hinder the proceedings any. The climax takes place in a shopping mall Cineplex with the characters watching, of course, a 3D movie, however, as fun and light as it may be The Final Destination isn't smart enough to find a way to turn this situation into irony or commentary.

DVD Details: New Line's 2010 DVD comes with a 3D version on one side and a 2D version on the other side. Two pairs of cardboard 3D glasses are included. As usual, the 3D quality is only so-so (not nearly the same as in the theater). The popping-out effects really only work with certain compositions and the colors become sort of a mushy gray. Bonus features include 7 minutes of deleted scenes (only available in 2D) and a digital copy.

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