Friday, February 18, 2011

Review: Final Destination (2000)

Director: James Wong
Starring: Devon Sawa, Ali Larter

In the year 2000, there was a movie made that was groundbreaking, original, horrifying, intelligent and mature. This…was not that movie.

Final Destination begins with a rich white kid named Alex going on a plane trip to France for his high school graduation. And already I’m wondering, what kind of high school sends their students to France as a graduation present? Do they attend the Richy McRichRich School for Rich Kids? Caucasian Meadows High? Alex tells his mom not to remove the tag on the briefcase because he believes it’s good luck. You'd think this would have some significance in the movie, but nope. It's just setting up how much of an unmitigated pussy our main character is. Seriously, the kid's a wimp. The fact that he does ANYTHING heroic in this movie at all is a testament to the very convenient writing more than any actual development. Ugh.

Then through some home-video-style tracking shots of his room in the dark, the camera arrives on the alarm clock, which flashes 1:00, which is the movie's cue to transition to the flight departure board at the airport flashing a similar number. This poor directing brought to you by the same guy who made Dragonball Evolution! The graduating class is made up of all white kids, all interchangeable from one another – they're identical balls of disposable dough and hair gel, each with the same crass under-knowledge of French and each with parents who can buy them an SUV in the blink of an eye. Alex gets handed some pamphlet about death not being the end, and this gets him spooked at the scaaaary coincidence of the flight time being the same number as his birthday (9:25) and the shutters of the flight departure board moving. Creepy! Oh, wait…no it isn’t.

Then some kid comes up to him and says, “Alex, let’s go take a shit.” His reasoning is that hot girls might not like them if they take a shit on the airplane.

…You really don’t want me to be interested in this movie at all, do you? Did I mention the same director made Dragonball Evolution? I can't decide which one is less mature!

They board the plane where the friend who was worried about girls not liking him tells those same girls that he has a urinary tract infection and can’t switch seats with them. Real counter-productive there, guy!

"Help! This movie is simply way too hammy and clichéd!" 

Alex gives up his seat for the two girls and then the plane blows up horrifically. Oh, wait, no; it was a dream. Then he goes fucking nuts and starts screaming about how the plane is going to blow up. He gets in a fight with this kid named Carter, who I guess takes it really personally when people act crazy, and they get taken off the plane along with a teacher, Carter’s girlfriend, Alex’s friend Tod, this one kid who was in the bathroom at the time, and a random girl. They sit around for a while when the plane actually does blow up after all. Oops.

YOU DON'T FUCK WITH THIS FACE! This is his Mean Face. Or his 'taking a shit' face...I forget which.

They all get interrogated by the FBI and then go home to wallow in depression. Everyone pretty much treats Alex like dirt because he had this unexplained vision and yet nobody really seems too interested – until later, that is, when people start dying. Yeah. Don’t do anything logical like have him see a counselor about his problems or anything. That would make too much fucking sense.

At the memorial event for all the dead students, Carter gets in another fight with Alex for no reason (because he has nothing better to do, I guess) and that random girl, whose name is Clear Rivers, gives him a flower for saving her life. Clear Rivers? That’s a weird fucking name. What, was she one of those Native American children whose names are more like nature catalog descriptions? Maybe she’ll name her son Muddy Puddles. Or Sharp Rocks. The possibilities are endless.

Oh, and while I’m at it, one of the kids is named Billy Hitchcock. Yeah, because when I think of this movie, I’m going to think of Alfred Hitchcock’s name now because you did that. Clearly the resemblance between this movie and Hitchcock’s classic, inventive thrillers is striking! I’m just shocked.

Then we see Tod on the toilet again. Because you didn’t get enough of that the first time, you get to see it again. Seriously, how many movie characters get shown taking a shit twice in the same movie? After that, Tod gets killed when some water in his bathroom comes to life and makes him trip into the shower where he somehow strangles himself to death. Yeah, can’t make this up, people. It’s like if MacGuyver constructed a death trap. It’s just insane! Everyone of course dismisses it as suicide, and when a shredded up newspaper gives Alex a clue – they’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel here – he rushes over and gets arrested. The detectives laugh at him when he tells them about his vision and then just let him go.

Don't even ask how this happened; the writers don't know either!

So then Alex hooks up with Clear, and he tells her that he thinks that Death is trying to kill them off because they didn’t get killed when they were ‘supposed to’ in the plane crash. Like Death is a serial killer that actually chases after people in a black cloak with a scythe. Is this movie making you dumber yet? Pause the movie now just in case, and do a few basic math problems to exercise that big brain of yours which probably isn’t getting a lot of work out of a movie like this.

Done? OK. They go and break into the funeral home where they find…the Candyman! AHHHH!

He tells them that Death is coming for all of them. How does he know this? Never revealed. What is he doing creeping around the funeral home in the middle of the night? Not answered. Why is he even in this movie? Because they didn’t have any other black people in the movie. Or just because their quota for ‘wasted horror actor potential’ had not yet been filled, and they decided that Tony Todd was a seasoned veteran of that kind of thing. Either one works – pick and choose your own explanation! Get creative. He never shows up in the movie again anyway, so whatever you pick will be fine and dandy!

So then Alex goes home and sits around in his room some more trying to find – oh, God – a pattern for how Death is killing everyone off. A fucking pattern! Are you for real? It’s not like this is a scavenger hunt. You don’t get a prize for jumping through the most hoops and figuring out the big riddle. Well, these kids get to stay alive, I guess; but that’s not a reward for any of the rest of us watching this shitfest! And again, it’s like they’re trying to say he’s a physical bogeyman running around going OOGA BOOGA BOOGA!

Alex talks to Clear about it at a random, generic intersection where by COINCIDENCE everyone else who survived the plane disaster shows up, too! The teacher is coming out of a store, Little Billy Hitchcock is riding his bike down the street and he almost gets run over by Carter and his girlfriend Terry, or something like that. Carter decides to pick a fight with Alex for no reason at all, literally, and Terry stands conveniently in the middle of the street to tell everyone to stop fighting. Or else they’ll all be dead.

That’s when the bus comes out of nowhere and hits her. Even though in broad daylight it should have seen her from a mile away and slowed down, this is the movie’s most famous scene, so I guess I’m just supposed to shut up and deal with it.

Then we get the revelation that the teacher is next to die. She’s alone in her house moping to some random friend on the phone about how her life sucks now when a computer blows up for no reason and slits her throat. Then she falls to the floor as her house catches fire, where a kitchen knife falls at the PERFECT ANGLE to stab her in the stomach and kill her. Excuse me while I laugh uncontrollablAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Okay, I’m done. All this right before Alex arrives and picks up the knife, putting his prints on it and setting him up to look like the murderer. Good job, dumbass; good job!

Tom and Jerry would have been proud. So would most of the ACME corporation, I think.

Now he’s on the run! The police are after him and he’s got to shack up with the other survivors and BE A REBEL! They drive around in Carter’s car until Carter goes nuts and tries to kill himself on some train tracks. Alex pulls him out, but then Billy gets all huffy about how Carter is next and he doesn’t want to be around him, like it’s contagious. Just like before with that Terry girl getting hit by the bus, Billy stands in exactly the right spot and gets decapitated by the train right at that very moment. OH. HOW. CONVENIENT.

So then Alex, holed up in a cabin all alone and talking to himself like a crazy person, realizes that Clear is actually the next to die! He rushes to her house, which is guarded by the cops who are looking for him, where he finds her trapped in her car, victim to a million and one failed Looney Tunes traps. Yes, even Tom and Jerry wouldn’t do these traps, unfunny as they are…damn, I really want to finish this review; if you’ve seen the movie you know how dull it is. How little surprises can you have in a movie? Both characters live, they go to Paris with Carter for some reason (I guess he’s a friend all the sudden…) and then Carter dies because he saves Alex from dying. Yeah. The movie ends on the death of a character nobody liked and who barely did anything throughout the film but act like a whiny little pussy. SURPRISED?

Whew, this was an annoying one. I mean, come on; this is pretty much a Saturday morning cartoon, not a horror movie! Final Destination embodies pretty much everything wrong with a lot of these late 90s and early-mid 2000s films that were just so lame. That’s really the core of it. Lame writing, lame acting, lame directing, lame stories…just lame ass movies in general. This is more of a comedy than a horror movie, and if you think it’s scary, I have another horror series that might chill you to the bone, too:

Disclaimer: I actually think Goosebumps is much cooler than this movie.

That about sums it up. Don’t watch this crap, it sucks. The end.

None of these images are mine. I took them from other people. I did not create them.