Final Destination 2 Retro-review

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We have now arrived at the sequel slump. Final Destination 2 is little more than an excuse to kill off more 20-something teenagers in even more elaborate and incredibly unlikely ways. It has become clear that Death would score poorly on any performance review, as the dude continues to miss his mark and spends way too much work time trying to fix his mistakes. Under normal circumstances I might find that endearing, but in reality I mostly find that hard to believe.

Death, an entity that has been doing this job since the dawn of time itself, is actively being outsmarted by a group of angsty kids. And you may ask “How?” The answer is occasional premonitions. Flash in the pan visions of future doom.

How can these kids see the future? No one knows. It just happens, apparently, and it isn’t always spot on. In this movie, Kimberly has premonitions that a bunch of people will die in a fatal log disaster on the highway. It’s a gruesome image, but it never actually happens. She chooses to block the road with her car and thus doomed herself and everyone else to death. Later, she is informed of the events of the first film (WHY?) and after some research learns that Alex Browning, the protagonist of Final Destination, died off-screen after the movie was done from being hit by a dislodged brick (Seriously, WHY?). The last survivor of Flight 180, Clear Rivers, is now a willing inmate in a psychiatric ward – because that is clearly more honorable than simply accepting death and enjoying what life you have left. She warns Kimberly to watch out for signs of death. As such, Kimberly continues to have visions that shape the way she handles everything, even though they are about as understandable as a drunk mime.

It was frustrating watching Final Destination 2 because it was not a horror film, as it billed itself to be. The original was a decent flick with an original idea and some unique, yet somewhat plausible, death scenes. Destination 2 is a completely different beast. It’s not even a thriller so much as a poorly acted teen drama with some dead people thrown in for good measure. Which isn’t to say that the death sequences are poorly done, so much as they act as minor payoff for sitting through a muddled mess.

In order, the survivors endure: being run over by a speeding truck, crushed by a pane of glass (how?), decapitation via elevator doors (how?), impalement by a pipe after an airbag is accidentally activated by the Jaws of Life (HOW?), death by barbed wire after an explosion (HOW?), a room exploding through oxygen combustion (actually plausible), and a barbecue grill explosion. Sigh. Mythbusters would have a field day with these movies.

I’m not even going to count the ways that this plot is rubbish, but I will say that the likelihood of any of this happening is way too unlikely. To which you may retort, “But Trent, maybe death is pissed off and wants to take pleasure in killing these kids.” And to THAT I would say “death would not screw up the first time.” Any even if he napped through his duties, do you know how easy would be for someone with his powers to give one of these teens a fatal aneurysm or myocardial infarction? If these people were destined to die, they wouldn’t have been able to cheat death at all. There are simply too many ways to bite the bullet that would have come before BEING CRUSHED BY A FREAKING FALLING PLANE OF GLASS.

The only good thing in this film is the return of Tony Todd as William Bludworth. He continues to be creepy in all of the right ways. Watch him in Candyman – it’s a much better movie.

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Trent Seely

I'm not that crazy about me either.

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