Saturday, January 14, 2012

REVIEW: Final Destination 2 (2003)

Ah, Final Destination, the horror movie series catering specifically to clumsy people with no coordination, horrible luck and an inexplicable case of psychic premonitions…this is the half-assed, brainless sequel, brought to you by the genius mind behind Homeward Bound II, so let’s jump on in!

Director: David R. Ellis
Starring: A.J. Cook, Michael Landes

The movie begins with news footage recapping the first movie, because you know, missing that one really cripples your understanding of this one. We get some banter about how Death finds us all while the opening credit sequence rapes our eyes with ridiculous imagery that has nothing to do with the plot. This is something like the leftover remains of a bad Goosebumps episode – just silly.

Then we get our main character Kimberly, who is going on a journey to get away from her father, who I like to call ‘Essence of Kevin Costner.’ They’re going on a rockin’ road trip to Daytona, FL where they plan to get high and stuff, I guess, which is pretty much all they talk about in the car. The next ten or fifteen minutes of the movie is pretty much just this bunch of dillweeds blathering on about stupid nonsense and not really making a good case for their continued existence on Earth. So luckily…this happens!

Yes, we get the motherlode of all highway car pile-ups caused by a guy spilling beer on himself and a truck full of logs spilling them out the back and causing pretty much every damn car on the road to explode like a bad Michael Bay film.

I get the idea the movie’s entire budget was used on this one scene – was it worth it, guys? Was it worth it?

Well, I’d say no, personally, as we then see that it was all a premonition in Kimberly’s head, just like in the last movie. They make a big point of tying this into the last film, too, like I mentioned before – every radio spot and TV snippet we see is advertising this one-year anniversary of the plane crash from the first movie. Call it ‘convenience media breakdown.’

Anyway, she stops the pile-up and saves a bunch of lives, but then her friends get killed anyway, shock and awe, and I can’t say anything of worth was lost. I mean they weren’t even attractive. Isn’t that like rule number 1 of horror movies?

So then, just like in the last movie, they don’t question at all Kimberly’s premonition or anything; they just let her go. Because that kind of psychic foresight wouldn’t be at all worth experimenting on or looking into, would it? Not even worth a few minutes of questioning from scientific minds, huh? Well okay. There’s also this one guy who looks like he belongs in a movie more along the lines of Sugar Hill or something. He tells them pretty much what the opening credits already told us – death is after them, ooga booga booga, etc etc etc. Because when your viewers are the kinds of people who probably inhale paint every day, you have to REALLY HAMMER IN THE POINT. NO SUBTLETY ALLOWED.

Kimberly pretty much just mopes around, I guess, and we switch over to this one guy who would have been killed in the pile-up, who happened to win a bunch of money in the lottery before that. Apparently this guy has the luck of the gods, and is so pompous that he can throw spaghetti in a frying pan out the window for no reason!

I'm rich, so I don't need spaghetti anymore! Screw just throwing it in the garbage, I'm gonna THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW! I AM HARDCORE SPAGHETTI-THROWING MAN!

But his luck is about to run out as he gets his hand stuck in the dish disposal (couldn’t you just yank it out of there?) and somehow starts a fire that consumes his whole apartment…he gets out the window and gets to the ground, but slips on the conveniently placed spaghetti that he randomly threw out the window, and is then impaled by a fire escape ladder. Oh how oddly specific…

The revenge of the spaghetti! Karma strikes again!

Then we get some more prophetic fun as Kimberly sees some pigeon-hallucinations in the window and suddenly they’re positive that the next victim will get killed in a way involving pigeons! Here’s a question for you, filmmakers: if these deaths are really a result of ‘death’ trying to ‘set right the path’ or whatever…why does it give certain people these premonitions? It’s never explained! Why bother giving them clues to help THWART your plan? It’s like if a serial killer sent the police the location of his next murder in advance. What’s the purpose?!

But it’s okay, because next we get some of the most hilarious hijinks this movie has to offer us yet! In perhaps the worst dentist office in the world, we see that they let their fish tank leak all over the floor and the dentist gets distracted super easily as pigeons suicide-bomb into the window!

Yeah, I'm so glad this dentist's office is so secure in their electronics and water systems. Truly a place I would trust with the safety of my teeth.
And now there are birds inside! Great. Just great.

Wow. And I thought I had seen some ridiculous things on this blog before…

...I think someone's getting sued over this.

Well, I can safely say, the only way this scene would be sillier is if our main idiots came running up to the people about to be killed screaming “WATCH OUT FOR PIGEONS! THE PIGEONS!” And yeah, that’s pretty much what happens. It’s a bad thing when I can’t tell if the movie is so bad it’s good, or so bad it’s worse. The kid gets crushed by some construction or something and explodes in a cloud of horrible CGI blood sprays. What a worthwhile scene, right?! I especially love how the cop tells Kimberly not to bother the kid’s mom with the fact that she’s next in the cycle because “she’s going through a lot right now” – well, great, just let her maybe DIE too, right? She’s grieving, so just put her life in danger! Why not?

Kimberly goes and gets the ever-stupidly-named Clear Rivers from the first movie out of an insane asylum she voluntarily put herself into, and then they team up with the cop and go to see Tony Todd, also from the first movie! He’s even more ridiculous than last time, as he has his mortuary set up with cheesy fake fog and red glowing lights like something you’d see in a horror movie. He says that he knows Kimberly, probably because he’s actually just a creepy old man who stalks young girls in his free time – but I’ll let the movie keep pretending he’s supposed to be ominous.

Oh Tony Todd, you're such an awesome actor who gets stuck in such consistently lame roles. How desperate for money were you?

So then they all gather in this apartment with this police officer and everyone starts to argue about how much they hate the idea of death coming after them, and blah, blah, blah. Even the one Sugar Hill-ish guy from before, who previously told them the whole story about death coming for them in the first place, now hates the idea and protests that he’ll never let it happen to him – logic? What’s that?

Meanwhile, Nora – the mother of that kid who died at the dentist’s office – decides that she wants to die and is at peace with the idea now. It’s actually a fairly emotional scene. The movie decides to follow it up, though, with a death scene that rips off one from Scream. She gets her hair caught on the prosthetic arm hook of some guy who just happened to be on one of his daily ‘hang out in elevators with a box of prosthetic limbs’ itches…OH. HOW. CONVENIENT.

Oh ho ho, I carried around a box of prosthetic limbs AND sniff a girl's hair today! What a productive afternoon!
Ripping off Scream isn't the way to go, folks.

Following that up is another equally wasted scene in which this other guy tells Kimberly to go find his mom and tell her he’s sorry he disappointed her – again, a very emotional scene ruined by a tasteless and retarded death scene seconds later:

Oh Final Destination 2…you’re such a horrible, worthless excuse for cinema.

So there’s also this other plot involving a pregnant woman that Tony Todd told them could stop death’s plan if she has her baby. Kimberly has a vision of the pregnant woman driving a van into a lake, and so the cop has her pulled over and arrested for "stealing" the car - really just an excuse to keep her safe from the death cycle. The guy at the police station is such a good cop that he holds a gun in her direction while talking to her in her cell!

Best. Cop. EVER!

Her water breaks and they rush her to the hospital. Kimberly has some visions and stuff and then the baby is finally born, only for Kimberly to realize that they had it wrong – the pregnant woman was never supposed to die in the first place, and Kimberly herself was supposed to die driving the van into the water! So like a good little idiot she is, she steals a van and drives it headlong into the water. Wow. Truly, astoundingly retarded! I bet she’d believe anything. You could tell her she was actually the descendant of the Mole People and unless she killed herself, the world would end, and she’d probably go along with that, no questions asked. Truly a spectacle of human stupidity.

So yeah, she ends up surviving somehow, the whole supernatural chain of deaths stops for no reason at all, and everything is okay to the point where they can have dinner with this random family on a farm. Only then their son blows up in a nonsensical explosion and his arm lands on the table!

Okay, I can’t take it anymore; this is crazy! Complete lunacy! The Final Destination series is just crap. I mean I guess you get a few cool scenes like the big car chase at the beginning of this one, but what’s the purpose of any of it?! It’s all the more frustrating because I get the idea the makers of this movie knew they were making half-baked tripe that five year olds could write better. The fact that they did it anyway, with so little shame or discretion, just makes this whole thing all the more despicable! I declare this movie complete ASS. Full stop. Don’t watch it. Just run away; far away!