|Final Destination 2
It's exactly one year after the events of Flight 180, in which a group of teens cheated death by getting off an ill-fated airplane, only to have death catch up with them later. This time our heroine is Kimberly (Cook), who has a premonition of a horrific highway pile-up and ends up saving the lives of a disparate group of people. Then she starts to make the connections with the earlier event, and working with a cop (Landes) she contacts the only survivor (Larter) from the first film and they try to stop death before it gets them all.
As with the original, this movie continually surprises us with inventive and unexpected set pieces leading to another horrible fatality. The genius of the concept is that there's no creepy villain lurking around the edges of the story; everyone dies in a freak accident as death tries to correct his mistakes. And the filmmakers have a great time setting us up for the most grisly freak accidents possible. Some of them are elaborate and nearly endless strings of coincidences and strange goings on, while others are so sudden they take our breath away. All of it leaves us laughing, not frightened.
The cast is efficient and beautiful, and just about what you expect from this genre. Todd is even back as the wisdom-spouting mortician who seems to have some sort of hotline to Death. The film lacks some of deranged glee that the original had (where are the John Denver songs?), but it's still entertaining and outrageously irreverent. And since there's probably no end of ideas for even more elaborate death scenarios, this is a franchise that's likely to run and run. As long as just one person survives at the end.
dir David R Ellis
scr J Mackye Gruber, Eric Bress
with Ali Larter, AJ Cook, Michael Landes, TC Carson, Jonathan Cherry, Keegan Connor Tracy, Sarah Carter, Lynda Boyd, David Paetkau, James N Kirk, Justina Machado, Tony Todd
release US 31.Jan.03; UK 7.Feb.03
Dicing with death. Our central trio visits a sinister mortuary to get some answers (Cook, Landres, Larter)
FINAL DESTINATION (2000)
FINAL DESTINATION 3 (2006)
THE FINAL DESTINATION (2009)
FINAL DESTINATION 5 (2011)
Laurie T, Minneapolis: "The first one surprised us - we got a kick out of it. It is not, nor will ever be known as the BEST movie, but it was fun to watch in a creepy sorta way. Naturally, we were interested in the second movie. The whole idea is someone one cheats death, someone is able to see an accident before it happens - which normally should be a good thing - but the whole theme of these movies it that is death had a design, which got interrupted, and death will come get you anyway. So why not go ahead and die, right? After seeing one of these movies, that is the assumption - trust me, dying the original way appears to be better than the 'backup' plan. In a gruesome way, this movie is as much fun as the first, maybe more so. Okay, it is not one for children, but in a weird way, it is fun to be scared and jump out of your seat. It's one of those movies where you know someone will be the next to die in a really creepy way - but it is fun to jump out of your seat when it happens. Not for the weak stomach, nor weak of heart - but a silly scary movie. If you liked the first, you will enjoy jumping during the second." (6.Feb.03)
Ree, net: " It was excellent. It was definitely easy to predict who was going to die next, because there was a design right in front of you but the way they die was incredible. No one could guess until seconds before it happens. Lead ups to a persons death make it appear that they will die one way, but then they go and die in a way that was completely unexpected! This movie and the first Final Destination film rank very high in my standards. Well done, I won't sleep tonight." (1.Oct.03)