May 29, 2017

Final Destination 5 (3D) Review Look, the Final Destination series is arguably the Mad-Libs of modern day studio filmmaking. More-so than any other franchise in recent history, the ongoing ‘Death Strikes Soon!’ saga is basically a fill-in-the-blank template with few real deviations from the formula. If you haven’t liked any of the sequels, you won’t like this one either. It is too much to hope for that the series will return to the genuine quality that started it back in 2000.

The first Final Destination was a real movie. It was a moving, somber, and character-driven horror fable that dealt in real terms with grief, loss, predestination, and the often arbitrary nature of death itself. The sequels that followed have been, to varying degrees, gore cartoons whereby a bunch of pretty people survive an over-to-top tragedy and then get picked off one by one in various Rube-Goldberg-esque fashions. The last film didn’t even bother to try to be a real movie, and it failed to even deliver on the the blood-splattering ‘money shots’ that would have justified its existence. This new entry is a marked improvement and it may even be the best sequel in the series (give or take your admiration for Final Destination 2). It is indeed the same old meal you’ve been eating for eleven years, with mostly the same ingredients. But it’s prepared better this time around, with just enough new spices and marinade to make it tastier.

The plot? You’re kidding right? Okay, um… two dozen employees embark on a bus trip heading for a company retreat. One of them gets a premonition that the bridge is about to collapse, so he ditches the bus and several of his friends and/or coworkers follow him. Nothing happens and he is fired for screwing up the retreat. I kid… the bridge does indeed collapse, killing 80-something people in the usual spectacular fashion.

And, as we all expect, the survivors eventually realize that Death had a plan for them and Death plans to collect on his respective lost souls. We know this because Tony Todd tells us so and because I imagine anyone walking into Final Destination 5 has seen at least one or two of the previous entries. Anyway, so it goes: pretty people narrowly escape death, then pretty people die off one-by-one in the usual grotesque fashion. It’s the same old recipe, but it’s cooked with a bit more care this time around.

Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures

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About Scott Mendelson

Mendelson's Memos: The basics - 30 years old, married with one child, currently residing in Woodland Hills, CA. I am simply a longtime film critic and pundit of sorts, especially in the realm of box office. The main content will be film reviews, trailer reviews, essays, and box office analysis and comparison. I also syndicate myself at The Huffington Post and Open Salon. I will update as often as my schedule allows. Yes, I'm on Facebook/Twitter/LinkIn, so feel free to find me there. All comments are appreciated, just be civil and try to keep a level discourse, as I will make every effort to do the same. Read more at Mendelson's Memos:

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