Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Final Destination 3D

Death By Escalator

If you're a fan of the franchise, you'd know the drill by now, and can probably mentally run through all the cliché moments you'll be expected to see being played out on screen once again. Start with a spectacular death-defying escape from certain demise, and because Death cannot accept those who cheated on him, hence begins that hunter-prey game where the Death's invisible hand starts to design some elaborate life-ending sequence for its victims, sometimes with some wickedly black humour thrown in.

Seriously though, Death has turned hip in the series, allowing a select group of survivors led by a prophetic messenger, if anything just to challenge himself to pick them off one by one through the simple rule of elimination in order of the premonition, dangling the carrot that whosoever can break any of his death traps, will be worthy of a second chance in life, not. One thing's for sure, an audience is not going to just walk in and expect great acting or high drama. All we want, simply and crudely put, is to see how brutal or comical death can result from sometimes the most ridiculous of set ups.

To top its predecessors, this installment had its introductory big scene set in stock car racing, which is the perfect avenue for 101 things to go wrong, and when they do, have thousands of potential victims to pick off from. While the very first movie had a spectacular, and some say too realistic for good taste in having witness from within a plane break up and explode upon take-off, this one had an adrenaline pumping race that got enhanced thanks to the latest gimmick in town, 3D.

And while some films are presented in 3D format without exploiting its 3D elements to the maximum, The Final Destination milked every single sequence that it could. From the get go you have objects darting around and flying toward you, be it huge tyres or mashed body insides, everything got hurled toward you from the screen, which I have to admit made me duck a couple of times, having deliberately chosen to sit up front so that the screen totally enveloped my field of vision. But there were still some sequences that looked quite cheaply done though, akin to the quality of those made for television movies due to a smaller budget devoted to effects. But for what it's worth as a 3D film, this is one of the better contemporary live action ones out there now.

One does not expect Oscar winning material in its storyline or acting, though the eye-candy cast made sitting through this film palatable, even if they're acting range comes with vast rooms for improvement. The film's relatively short, clocking under 90 minutes, and had enough cheat sheet deja-vu moments (which included the opening credits priming you on what to expect) to repeat itself for the sole purpose of bloating the runtime. It also ran out of steam in its final act, leading to a very convenient and rushed conclusion which was just probably director David R. Ellis' way of saying “I do not know how to end this”.

Will there be another Final Destination? Sure, if the writers can dream up of another shocker of an opening sequence to set the stage for more deathly carnage to happen. It's no-brainer, and if box office results this opening weekend prove to be stellar, then we should expect this franchise to develop some legs to keep going on. And on. But if that happens, this will be viewed in 3D, or naught.

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