The thought of another dance with Death – and in 3D – fills anyone tiring of the accident-obsessed franchise with dread. But Steven Quale’s addition to the grizzly iconic series, Final Destination 5 (3D), should not be dismissed so easily, and begins with a glass-smashing, gore-dripping, pole-flying 3D title extravaganza that makes you sit up and dodge the obstacles in a thrilling opening ride and grand taster of things to come.
In this instalment, attractive twentysomethings and work colleagues survive a suspension-bridge collapse on their way to a team-building retreat, thanks to Sam’s (Nicholas D’Agosto) premonition. Naturally, federal agents are keen to know how he knew it was going to happen and tail him for the rest of the film – as does The Candyman’s Tony Todd as the creepy coroner, gleefully waiting for his next pickup. The ‘unlucky’ few soon learn that there’s no way you can cheat Death, although you can try to work out its plan.
This film has all the same ingredients as the last ones – cringe-worthy acting, good-looking but dopey victims and spot-the-obvious death-trap setups. However, what Quale’s film has is uncompromising gore to rival and far exceed that of the second film. In fact, the gruesome experience is further enhanced by the 3D that’s definitely worth paying extra to see, with some of the most fun effects ever seen that purely enhance the thrills and bloody spills, rather than detract from them. Coupled with a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously up to a point and plays up to the clichés, these effects make for an absolute scream with more ways to obliterate a human being than you can imagine.
In addition to the enhanced 3D deaths that are a truly mind-blowing, major squelch-and-crunch fest of bodily matter – and apart from the beautifully directed and choreographed bridge scene, the best by far is at a gym, the film does have a rather delicious dark side to it. The majority of the characters never stray far from what’s expected of them, and there’ll be no awards for acting as they all lined up to take the fall – with a couple of red herrings slipped in to delay the fun. But one character in particular addresses the remote possibility of survival by turning the previous film’s idea of birth being their salvation on its head, and looking at the opposite extreme. This makes for a nice little thriller twist.
Final Destination 5 sweetly ties into the first in the franchise in a delightful, concluding fashion, which some might work out earlier on from the pointers, plus there’s a powerhouse montage of previous film mishaps for fans of the series to revel in. All in all, make your date with death for this finale as it offers the perfect ‘gutsy’ night out.