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Final Destination 3

A horror movie directed by James Wong and Julie Ng

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Cliched, by all means, but fun.

  • Aug 12, 2011
**1/2 out of ****

With James Wong back in the director's chair, "Final Destination 3" already has plenty of potential. I watched it and tried to enjoy myself, and I did. Wong is good at making movies like this. He knows how to stage death scenes and plot his movies in this franchise in an almost satirical, funny way. This installment is closer to what I liked about the first film than the first sequel, and it hits the spot, for what it is. Nothing can save it from its stupid, ludicrous plot and its shallow characters, but look at the bright side: at least you get to see them all die in genuinely creative ways.

Probably the biggest down-side, aside from what I've already described, is that Tony Todd does not have a physical appearance in this film. He does, however, lend his vocals to a few cameo voice-roles. You'll notice them off the bat if you know what Todd talks like; and how distinctive his awesome voice is. Oh yes: it is awesome. And you know it.

Wong opens his movie like a master filmmaker, with shots of the doomed carnival/amusement park that set an ominous mood. He manages to make roller-coasters look like the home of the ill-fated. After the brilliant opening sequence, the film gets messy, but in a fun sort of way. Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is visiting the very carnival that was depicted in the opening credits with her senior friends. She brings along a camera so that she can take pictures, and by the film reaches the half-way point, she'll be glad she did, as the fine piece of photographic technology actually plays a big part in the film's plot.

Wendy has one of those "horrific" premonitions, but this time it doesn't involve a plane-crashing or even a big-ass traffic jam. This time, it's an off-the-rails roller-coaster. In Wendy's vision, the thing spirals out of control and everyone dies: the end. Of course, like in the rest of these movies , she freaks out and gets kicked off the ride along with a few of her friends. The others that don't kick off, one of them which is Wendy's boyfriend, die in the accident that was destined to happen.

After that, Wendy returns to her life as a guilt-stricken older-teen. We don't feel bad for her because we're not expected to care about anyone in these movies. I think even director James Wong understands that; he understands everything. The problem from here-on-out in the film's story is this: Wendy discovers that the photographs she took are accurate predictions of how any of the fellow survivors are going to die. When the coincidences turn out to be much, much more; she panics, and tries to save whoever she possibly can.

If you've seen the other "Final Destination" films, then you need no further explanation. There's not too much separating "3" from "2" aside from the fact that it's actually pretty well-made, and significantly more pleasurably. I enjoyed how the film abandoned the serious nature that the second film tried to attach to the franchise, and James Wong knows how to make a movie. The story is crap, and so are the stupid, stupid characters; but I admire the craft that went into making the film a guilty pleasure.

Good cinema this is not; good fun it is. I can't recommend "Final Destination 3" because technically, it's not a good movie. However, a film as well-made as this one might get some of the attention it deserves from fans. It is a mindless, but old-school blood orgy that never lets up; never slows down. Lame, lame, lame; and I can't deny that it is. But if you try to see what James Wong was trying to do, you might just appreciate what he has actually done, and it all amounts to something. Just not enough to satisfy a whole lot of people. But, yeah: all-in-all, not all that bad.

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More Final Destination 3 reviews
review by . October 13, 2009
I was very disappointed with this third film of the Final Destination series.  The movie was nothing more than rehashed tripe, very contrived scenes of "accidents" and a lot of hokum.  I really enjoyed the first two films but the last two were just bad.  All I can say is that I was not pleased with the film because it failed on all levels.  The actors weren't very good, the direction was by-the-numbers and the writing was mediocre.  The main reason was the set …
review by . April 29, 2009
This is the most entertaining of the 3 films. The deaths are really cleverly done. A teen who was about to go on a roller coaster has a vision of everybody dieing horribly on the ride. She starts screaming just before the ride is about to start and she and several other people leave the ride. The ride does in fact crash in the same way she imagined it. The ones that got off the ride in time and cheated death start to die in the order that they were sitting on the ride.     The …
review by . November 02, 2008
Final Destination 3
A group of seniors on their high school graduation trip are at an amusement park, when Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has a premonition about the Devil Roller Coaster. She becomes so upset that seven of the seniors leave the ride, and of course, the premonition of disaster comes true. Her boyfriend dies in the crash, but Kevin (Ryan Merriman) his best friend lives. Kevin has done his research, and finds an "urban legend" about a similar occurrence on Flight 180 years ago (a tricky reference to …
review by . September 02, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
I really enjoyed the first two "Final Destination" flicks. The original was exactly that--original. Having Death go after those who cheated him was a very good idea. The second film, bringing back Ali Larter and (in a minor role) Tony Todd, managed to keep my attention very well. The kills were a bit more extravagant and the pacing was excellent.    With "Final Destination 3," however, this rollercoaster has lost some steam. Granted, the kills in this film were just as fun and …
review by . May 02, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
I've always been a huge fan of the Final Destination series, mainly because it got me to look at the world in a whole new light. Granted, a slightly paranoid light, but a new light all the same. Any film capable of doing this deserves some recognition! The first and second were gory and brashy films, and didn't attempt to pretend they weren't, and the third followed the same route.    The plot in itself was pretty thin, and the characters were really just people on a hit list, …
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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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About this movie


Final Destination 3 is a 2006 horror movie, and the third film in the Final Destination series distributed by New Line Cinema. The film was directed and written by James Wong, who co-wrote and directed the original, and was produced by Craig Perry. The film was originally scheduled for release on February 24, 2006, however, the date was moved to two weeks earlier, February 10.

Final Destination 3 was rated R by the MPAA for strong horror violence/gore, language and some nudity. It received a 15 certificate in the United Kingdom. In Germany, it received an 18 certificate, in contrast to the 16 received by the first two installments, due to the increased relative intensity of violence and gore.
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Director: James Wong
Genre: Action, Adventure, Horror
Release Date: February 10, 2006
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: James Wong
Runtime: 1hr 32min
Studio: New Line Cinema
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