dir James Wong
scr Glen Morgan, James Wong, Jeffrey Reddick
with Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith, Daniel Roebuck, Roger Guenveur Smith, Kristen Cloke, Seann William Scott, Chad E Donella, Amanda Detmer, Tony Todd, Lisa Marie Caruk, Christine Chatelain
Review by Rich Cline
Alex (Sawa) has a series of premonitions before joining his high school French class on a flight from New York to Paris, then just as the final passengers are boarding he has a vision of the plane exploding on takeoff. He wigs out and is thrown off the aircraft with a teacher (Cloke) and five other students: his best friend (Donella), a loner (Carter), a jock (Scott), and a tough guy (Smith) and his girlfriend (Detmer). Then the plane explodes, and as the survivors cope with their luck, Death himself comes back to get them, one by one, in increasingly clever, complicated ways.
Wong obviously is enjoying himself as he builds the film's portentous mood within each scene, dropping hints with evil glee about the next bit of (very!) gruesome horror ... and just as frequently shocking us with something sudden and unexpected. There are references to death everywhere (all the characters bear the names of horror filmmakers), with fate represented by wind, rain, fire, blood, shadows and John Denver tunes. And there's even a creepy mortician (Todd) on hand to explain everything. The young cast is very watchable as they work their way through what is essentially yet another teen slasher film, but Wong nicely gets inside Alex's head to make it more intriguing--and horrifying--than most. And a lot more fun as well.
[18--strong violence, themes, language] 3.Apr.00
US release 17.Mar.00; UK release 19.May.00
See also: FINAL DESTINATION 2 (2003) | FINAL DESTINATION 3 (2006) | THE FINAL DESTINATION (2009) | FINAL DESTINATION 5 (2011)
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