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Final Destination

8 Ratings: 3.8
A movie

The first film of the Final Destination series.      Filmed in Vancouver B.C.

Director: James Wong
Genre: Horror
Release Date: March 17, 2000
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Final Destination

Well, I liked it...

  • Mar 28, 2011
*** out of ****

Isn't it kind of funny how a film such as "Final Destination", which for more than half of the time isn't even intended to be as inspired as it is, turns out to be funnier than most comedies tend to be? Yeah, I think it's pretty funny. I may be in the minority when I praise "Final Destination", but hell, I enjoyed the thing. I think what throws people off are the cheesy routs which the filmmakers often take the premise on, but through all the gory death scenes, there's an undeniably charming sense of humor. Yes friends, "Final Destination" is meant to be funny; or at least I think it is. Anyways, it's impossible to take the thing seriously, so why not have some good fun with it? So for about an hour and a half, I decided to switch the ol' thinker off. It felt good, and I enjoyed the moment for as long as it lasted. Sometimes, a little brainless fun can be good for you. But then again, is a film made with such craft really THAT brainless? Yes, perhaps it still can be; but here, brainless is complimentary rather than insulting. And it's been a while since I've used the term in this context. So thank god for that. I suppose that I am not the only real supporter of "Final Destination", but I do understand why some people think it is garbage. For one, some people don't find stuff like this funny. I do, because I know when a movie wants to be taken seriously and when it wants you to laugh; and I know that "Final Destination" aims to entertain. It's supposed to be dumb fun, and I believe it is a success in that sense. Other than that, some people just won't be entertained by the film. But it does what it does; and with the kind of wit and intelligence that some teen slasher flicks just can't deliver. The film is also made better due to the fact that the slasher is not a human or monster at all; it's just the presence of death. And apparently, death has a checklist or plan laid out for every one of us who cheats it. Hooray for writing!

"Final Destination" has the story and characters of a typical, generic "Dead Teenager Movie". Yes, I admit that; and in many ways, so does the film. But there is something smarter about "Final Destination", a sense of humor perhaps, that makes it better than most films within that unfortunate little horror sub-genre. The story deals with a group of kids; one in particular, who has visions of deaths in the near future. His name is Alex, and he first predicts death arriving in the form of a plane crash. He was about to head to Paris for a school trip, but upon having the premonition, had to exit the craft along with a few others. People don't believe his claims at first, but then as it turns out, the plane does crash. But this is just one incident, so this doesn't count as proof...of anything, right? No, this is not so. As it turns out, the crash was just the beginning. Alex theorizes that death has a plan laid out for all of us, particularly those who avoided the plane crash death, and if we mess with the system, then it tends to get particularly messy. If Alex can figure out the system, then he can see who is going to die first. Will it be his possible love interest? Will it be his best friend? Or will it be his enemy, who I'm sure ol' Alex would be glad to see dead at the hands of death itself. That's basically the plot right there, and it's a corny, cheesy, and predictable one. But how could this film not be all of those things? I mean, honestly; you can't take "Final Destination" seriously one way or another. But you can be entertained by it without feeling embarrassed. "Final Destination" is the best kind of guilty pleasure; the kind that does not make you feel shameful. You admire the film, and that is why you enjoy watching it. I liked "Final Destination" because it had characters, if not undeveloped ones, as well as a simple and hilariously cheesy plot. This is, for once, a film that knows how goddamn stupid it is. And I can definitely live with that, knowing how many horror films fail at this kind of thing. This film is funny, entertaining, and made with considerable skill. The only problem I have with it is that it was destined to spawn crappy sequels; all which I kind of ponder watching solely for their lameness. This film is funny, and I don't think that the sequels will be. At least, they won't be funny enough, and they will miss the point of the first film. But then again, so did most people.

The acting on display here is what it is; cheesy, forgettable, but ultimately forgivable. It actually works as far as this appropriately corny and silly-funny flick goes. The acting is not good per se, but by no means would I call it "bad". Devon Sawa, who seems at least somewhat talented, plays a hilariously generic hero who can see into the future in the worst of ways. Sawa's performance, along with everyone else's, is over-the-top and therefore fun, fun, fun. And in many ways, it IS fun, fun, fun. I actually admire Sawa's effort. He, and the rest of the cast, makes "Final Destination" a good movie that does what it wants to do as well as a little more. It's a fun movie, as long as you find hilarious, over-the-top deaths fun.

"Final Destination" is a film that reminds me of the phrase "one man's trash is another man's treasure" (or something like that). The film reminds me of those words because many people did not like "Final Destination". Ironically, they didn't like it for all the same reasons that I DID like it. I don't think it's a terribly original or great horror-comedy, but the film pokes more than enough humor and wit into its little premise. It's a guilty pleasure no doubt, but none the less a well-made one. For once, it's a slasher that isn't sleazy, and a cheesy horror movie that's actually good. I haven't had this much guilty, straight-up fun for a long, long time. I loved feeling the way I did when watching the film. I found the deaths in this film to be funny, and the clich├ęs of the story just made it even funnier. I laughed, and never once did I wish this film was better. "Final Destination" is about as good as movies of this sort get. Yes, it could have gone even MORE over-the-top, but I think that's what the crappy sequels are for. I'm sure that they will deliver (yes, my sarcasm is original). No matter how well or not-well the sequels turn out, I like "Final Destination" for making me laugh and delivering a good time. It is nicely filmed, and directed with considerable skill. Worth a watch, as long as blood can make you laugh. I'm a part of the "Evil Dead" crowd. I've seen gorier, and I've also seen many good ideas such as this go to waste on poor execution. "Final Destination" is that rare film that knows how dumb it is, and intends on being funny. It is just that, and that is precisely why it works.

Warts and all, I'm glad that I sat down and watched this flick. It will leave audiences divided, and some will not like it. Thus, I think you should approach it with some caution. But please see this movie knowing that it's supposed to be ridiculously enjoyable and funny in its cheesiness. If you do so, then you may enjoy it as much as I did. It's not spectacular, not even for the horror-comedy genre, but it's a nice treat and a fun watch none the less. Perhaps the problem was advertising, which made the horror out to be as horror should be; horrific. It's not. In fact, "Final Destination" works better as a comedy than it ever will a horror movie, and it's never scary. If it didn't want to be scary, then good for "Final Destination"; it passed the test. But if it did want to be scary, which is in ways doubtful, then it may as well have failed. But somehow I highly doubt that "Final Destination" was supposed to create fear and atmosphere, because if so, then it does not try hard. It's a film designed to be so-bad-it's-good, but perhaps this is not so, because "Final Destination" was not a bad film. But it was filmed and crafted like an intentional one, which gives it undeniable charm. I liked it; guiltily perhaps, but I still liked it none the less. It's clever, funny, and all-in-all, pretty damn good. And that right there is why I am recommending it for its inventive deaths and fun sequences of sheer hilarity. I say see it.

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March 29, 2011
I liked this one too. Makes the death entity sort of a slasher flick. Too bad the sequels weren't as good.
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8 Ratings: +3.8
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