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Final Destination 5 [3D]
Genre Thriller

Final Destination 5... the franchise has come a long way - relying on a tried-and-tested roller-coaster formula that brings audiences back for another thrill ride. The Final Destination, or fourth installment of the series was a serious low - delivering extra cheese with a gimmicky aftertaste that just ruined whatever credibility Final Destination had racked up since 2000. So it was a sweet relief that the latest edition, Final Destination 5, has come back with a vengeance to leave on a high note.

Grant that a high note for a thrill-seeking gore-fest is not all that high, but let's just say that Final Destination 5 is a surprise - lacking only the novelty that made the original such a success. Aliens of the Deep documentary film-maker and second unit director for Avatar, Steven Quale, has taken the director's chair for the last chapter in the Final Destination series and if James Cameron can trust him, then he can't be all that bad.

He isn't, taking all his experience of working on a heavy special effects blockbuster like Avatar and channeling it into Final Destination 5, which boasts some pretty amazing special effects wizardry. In case you didn't know, Final Destination is a tongue-in-cheek saga and isn't meant to be taken too seriously. The whole concept of fate leaving a crease in the timeline of life as we know it is intriguing, especially when you consider the possibility that it may try to correct these "wrinkles" with an iron.

The combination of make up artistry and visual effects is also first-class... giving us a real sense of what would actually happen if a laser were to cut into an eye, acupuncture needles were to dig deep in skin or if someone had to impale themselves on a yacht mast. These scenes aren't butchered in an average and obvious blood-and-guts style. The film-makers have taken it up a notch by making each kill less predictable, misleading us with elements in the environment that appear ominous, but don't carry out the execution. This makes each kill more of a thrill and a guessing game, translating just as much imagination in dreaming up the Saw machines, to carry out each lethal Final Destination 5 scene.

The cast includes an up-and-coming relatively unknown bunch of actors with one or two surprises. Nicholas D'Agosto of Fired Up takes the lead in a sort of Freddie Prinze Jr. type role. D'Agosto is supported by Miles Fisher, an actor who resembles both Tom Cruise and Steve Carrel with the gorgeous and enigmatic Emma Bell opposite him as leading lady. Then the comedy component is handled by P.J. Byrne of Horrible Bosses and David Koechner a.k.a. Champ Kind, "WHAMMY". It's a pretty decent cast considering they're all just lambs to the slaughter...

Final Destination 5 is the sort of film that will make you a little tentative about doing gymnastics, getting laser eye surgery, being treated with acupuncture. The movie takes precarious situations and then gets extreme in a few seconds, but 3D isn't the only new dimension in the fifth and final installment. Tony Todd, best known for his role as The Candyman, adds a creepy element as a mysterious stranger. Then, the crew of victims realise that they can pull a Highlander by murdering someone else to sap up their remaining years. A huge leap in terms of fatalistic theory, but who's to question the movie equivalent of a roller-coaster?

These new additions add a freshness to the thriller and weary formula, making it easier to get through the last few deaths and making the movie more of a whatdunnit? The production values are high and the movie kicks off with a climax on a bus in setting up the survivor tale as a bridge collapses. The opening is like Source Code in the way the hero has a timely vision of what should have been before the tell tale signs warn of impending mass death, while the closing leaves us quite stunned.

Die hard fans of the series will be more than satisfied with the revamped addition to the Final Destination saga. The extended opening credits lower expectations with flying 3D effects and the closing credits recap the deaths throughout the series in a cheap montage taking away from the overall experience. While the credits are not representative of the production, it remains a solid entry. They could've explored Tony Todd's character a bit more and the cast could've used more fire power, but all things considered - this is a horror sequel, one that will definitely meet your confined expectations.

The bottom line: Entertaining


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