In my last film review, I discussed how long running film series often see a decline in quality. In particular I was discussing the Planet of the Apes series and how bad the last film of the original set – Battle for the Planet of the Apes – was.
There’s nothing unusual about this., its just diminishing marginal returns. Police Academy wasn’t a great film by any means, but it was positively North by Northwest compared to Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow. And what about Rocky V? Or Saw 15?
So it was with a little bit of trepidation that I went along to see Final Destination 5.
The first film was good and so was the second. The third was merely alright, and the fourth one – The Final Destination – was kinda crap. The problem was they all had the same plot and didn’t even try to change it. Yes, the fourth one had 3D effects, but it was one of the earlier 3D films so it was gimmicky and looked crap.
So if the fourth one was tired, surely this new one would be even worse?
I’m not even going to bother to go over the plot of this one. If you don’t know the premise of the Final Destination films, then you should go and watch the first one.
But as for my opinions…
I was pleasantly surprised by this film. Of course it has the same premise, but it does shake things up a little bit. How? To tell you would be to ruin the plot a little bit.
You know what’s going to happen early on. There will be an accident, people will die horrific deaths, and then the people who cheat death eventually die themselves.
What I think this film does differently is that it embraces the fact we know what the films are about now. And so it’s not about what will happen, but rather about how it will happen. There are plenty of bait and switch moments when you sit there thinking “Well that’s how she’ll die”, only for it to be something else; something better.
And the director doesn’t disappoint when it comes to gruesome deaths. They are ridiculous, gory and – to me anyway – pretty funny.
Regular readers of my reviews will know that I don’t particularly like 3D films. Most of the time its just a pointless gimmick. But with Final Destination 5, the 3D works. From the eye catching opening credits all the way through to the end, the 3D compliments the film beautifully. It’s not gimmicky nonsense like in the fourth film, and it’s not just a series of things being thrown at the screen. It was filmed in 3D and was the type of film that was able to actually make use of it. For once, I’ve come away from a 3D film thinking it was worth the extra expense.
The acting and characterisation? It’s not important is it? When the only people I recognised were Todd Packer from the US Office and Benjamin Juma off 24 you know that it’s not going to be I, Claudius. Nothing to shout about, but nothing to complain about either.
The best thing about this film is the ending.
Sometimes, something will happen in a TV show or a film that makes you sit up and pay attention. Now, if that something is completely out of the blue, your reaction – or mine at least – will be a mixture of enjoying it and being stunned.
When that happens, it’s great. It’s a feeling that can’t be beat in relation to TV/Films.
But just beneath that, is when you sense a swerve is coming. You then think ‘Oh if what happens here is what I think is going to happen, it’s going to be fantastic’. And when it does happen, you both love it and give yourself a pat on the back for predicting it.
And that’s how this film ends. I’m not going to tell how it ends, but if you’ve seen the other films then I’m fairly sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
It was the difference between the film being merely ok and pretty good.
Should You Go And See Final Destination 5?
This film surprised me. It stuck with the premise that made the series famous but rather than dwelling on the whole ‘This has happened before…what do we do to stop it’ aspect of the previous three, it focuses on the set-pieces of the deaths more and then finishes off with a solid and clever ending that will put a smile on your face.
And it probably gives a sense of completion to the series.
I don’t think we need to see a sixth instalment, but I’m glad this one came out so the series didn’t end with the substandard fourth one.
If all you’re after is some light relief, a chuckle and some nice looking/gruesome special effects, go and see this film because you’ll enjoy it.
If you’re expecting The King’s Speech, don’t bother.