In this post I am not really to go into all that much detail about the five films here. For one reason it would make the post just too long and I do not really want to do five individual posts on the films. Another reason is that films are actually pretty well known and I am assuming that, unlike many of the films I choose to write about here, a lot of people out there have seen them all or seen some of them. In fact I had long put off seeing the films simply because they seemed too popular, or at least too well known. I just assumed I would not like them. I also thought, for some reason, that they were based on some sort of RPG. I don’t know why I thought that but typically I do not like movies based on computer games. I am just going to keep the post short and sort of sweet and then move on. I am not really in a mood to analyze the films that deeply as I am still fighting a bad cold and should I choose I can always return to the films later, though that is not likely to happen.
I was rather surprised with the Final Destination films. I watched them all back to back (except for FD 5 which I will check out tonight) and felt the first three films were fairly clever and entertaining. The fourth film was total crap really. I have read that the fifth film is pretty good and that the CGI effects are not as cheesy as they were in the fourth film. Oh, sometimes I use the term “cheezy” and also the term “cheesy”. Cheezy, to me, is good bad. Campy and fun. Cheesy is simply bad bad and no fun. Not that that is all that important, but I just want to clear that up in case one person out there ever noticed that.
The theme of the films is the same in each one. A group of people (usually made up of mostly high school students it seems) avoid being killed off in some sort catastrophic event when one of the group has a premonition and panics. People are killed off in truck loads in airplane crashes, roller coaster wrecks, traffic pile ups and stock car accidents. In the fifth film I understand a bridge collapses. The accidents all look pretty good and the deaths are violent and usually mix up CGI and practical effects with good results. I was not unhappy with the use of CGI in the first three films but they got pretty shoddy in the fourth. By the way, the fourth film wound up being the most financially successful of the franchise, perhaps due to the fact that it was shot in 3D. But 3D effects look pretty dumb for the most part without the 3D glasses (and even with them) and the image of things like a pair of floating scissors pointing at you is obviously just a cheap gimmick. But again, it is has made the most money of the five films so far. The worst does the best in this post Milli Vanilli world we live in.
What happens next is that Death, the entity whom we never see except as a passing shadow or wind, has to correct the balance of things as the people who were marked for death cheated him. Death manipulates elements in the survivor’s life in order to kill them off, in the order that were to have died in originally. Of there are some wild stretches here and one needs to turn on their suspension of disbelief to let the film move along smoothly, but the way it is done for the most part works out fine for the most part. The camera zooms in and out on common day objects and events that may or may not be part of the web events that will culminate in the eventual death of the marked survivor. Sometimes a survivor makes it and it seems the chain of events have been broken, but it is not the case really and Death return to collect his due eventually. There is a fatalistic tone to the film and it seems a drag you can beat the final outcome. By the fourth film I had resigned myself to the fact that one gets out alive. Even if they do in one film they will be killed off by the end of the next one. In the first three films anyway the deaths are graphic and well done. Lots of people getting squashed, impaled, eviscerated, and who knows what. By the fourth film the deaths had become mere gimmicks and a means to show off the 3D effects. I will finish the last film later tonight and have a sense it will be okay, at least from what I have read online.
The acting overall is not bad. The deaths are often violent and gory. The scenes where death begins to set things into motion are well done. The stories move along but of course there are problems. In the third film, for example, I just did not really like any of the teenagers except for the jock guy. At one point I was actually rooting for Death to have a rude, finger flipping girl killed off as she was being dragged by a horse and was really disappointed when she was saved by the jock at the last moment. When you are wanting the main characters to be killed off in a horrendous that is not a good thing. Sometimes things are just too over done really. You wonder why they can’t all be killed off by a heart attack or a brain aneurysm. Why does it always have something with a gas oven or a nail gun. But then that would be no fun now would it.