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Final Destination 2 (2003)

Horror movie directed by David R. Ellis and Michelle Palmer

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Oh, mediocre sequels....

  • Aug 6, 2011
** out of ****

Oh, this is getting tiresome already. "Final Destination 2" is a mediocre, stylish, violent sequel to yet another stylish, violent, but all-around surprisingly good original. "Final Destination" had its idea and its cruel sense of humor to back it up when it got, perhaps intentionally, absurd; but the sequel has even less. It seems to have abandoned the concept of using the premise for comedy, and instead most of the laughter comes from the filmmakers and people behind it. It's obvious that we're supposed to laugh when everybody dies a grisly death, but I'm just not seeing it.

I admire ambition in an idea; and the idea at the center of the "Final Destination" franchise is an intriguing one. Each entry is a slasher film; with the killer being the untouchable, un-seeable superstition of the Grim Reaper (AKA Death) himself. The characters are always trying to cheat death so that they can continue to exist as annoying, obnoxious shit-stains on the globe, but they aren't always so lucky. "Final Destination 2" is no different from what I expect out of any of the other sequels that I have yet to see, and maybe that's why I feel that it lacks the consistency and wit to succeed. Oh, but it will continue to do so anyways.

A year after the plane-crash that a young man predicted in a premonition, resulting in the death of any dumbass who refused to believe his claims; Death has set its sights on a new set of morons. Of course, the one who for-tells every disaster and event is not as dumb as her cult-ish followers, but it helps to lack distraction when you are watching a film as dumb as this one.

Instead of a leading man, this time, we have a leading lady. Her name is Kim (A.J. Cook), and her first premonition involves a HUGE pile-up, killing a lot of people including her friends. When it turns out that this was destined to happen, a police officer steps in and saves Kim from dying along with her best mates; which is good, because now that means that the film has somewhere to go.

But she's not the only survivor. Plenty of others evaded their demise. However, when you cheat death; that just makes the bastard even more intrigued when it comes to getting you killed. The survivors are killed off in spectacularly inventive ways; involving elevator-decapitations, wire-fence deaths, and more. You'll never guess what's inside (the film)!

Yes, I just called the film's death scenes inventive, because they are. However, creating a death scene is not the same as creating a movie. I don't want to call "Final Destination 2" a bad movie. It is well-filmed, but I will stop myself from going any further and calling it well-made. David R. Ellis has done nothing but disappoint me with his preposterous choices in his entire career; the first film I saw of his was the lame, supposedly intentionally campy but none-the-less failure "Snakes on a Plane", which isn't as cool or funny as it wants to be. I suppose the same goes for this flick. It makes good use of special effects and gore, but that can't amount to a good movie; especially when it's pretty much all you've got. None of the characters in the movie are remotely worth caring enough, the tone is far too serious for a premise this hilariously awesome, and I kind of miss the first film's sense of humor. I almost want to watch that one again, and it might not be too bad of an idea. I actually liked it, contrary to this piece of mediocre, unnecessary near-crap.

I don't despise this movie as much as I should, but it pisses me off. I advise you to skip it, as it does nothing to breathe new life into the series as it goes on. James Wong was a good filmmaker and he made "Final Destination" work, but by giving some no-talent screw-up with access to all the blood and FX money can buy, he's let someone screw with a good premise that he came up with. This is not David R. Ellis's story. It's not James Wong's story either. In a world where most sequels are just so goddamn unnecessary, this is the King. And it's bad, bad, bad; or at least it shall be for most people.

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More Final Destination 2 (2003) reviews
review by . November 23, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
"Final Destination 2" picks up one year after the original flick ended. By now, all but one of the original survivors of Flight 180 have died in freak accidents. The only survivor, Ali Larter's character, is safely tucked away in a padded cell. The movie begins with, and I know this will shock you, a huge pile-up on the highway. Instead of a young boy having a premonition, it's a young girl this time. She attempts to stop the accident and, another shocker, she survives, as well as a small group …
review by . October 05, 2003
Pros: great stunts, interesting story, excellent special effects     Cons: story not told well, a couple of lousy actors, contrived script     The Bottom Line: If you like gory movies, this is a good one for you. But, if you're into well-developed characters and a good script, you'd better pass.     Ah yes, yet another movie review from one of my weekend film fests. Along with Malibu's Most Wanted and The Scorpion King, I rented Final Destination …
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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Final Destination 2begins with a well-orchestrated multicar pileup on a freeway--a horrifying accident that turns out to be a premonition, as seen by a young woman (A.J. Cook) who saves herself and several other people by blocking a freeway on-ramp. Thus, as in the firstFinal Destination, a prescient vision disrupts the destined plans of death, and death goes to extreme lengths to correct matters. What makesFinal Destination 2entertaining is that the characters can only survive by learning to recognize the signs of impending doom--and the signs are basically the cinematic foreshadowing that moviemakers use to invoke suspense. This, combined with some elaborately complicated and gruesome deaths, fosters a ghoulish humor that's more entertaining than the smirky self-referentiality ofScream.Final Destination 2doesn't aspire to be a great movie, but trash has its pleasures. Also featuring Ali Larter as the only survivor of the first movie.--Bret Fetzer
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