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Final Destination 2

Review by: 
Head Cheeze
Release Date: 
New Line
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
David R. Ellis
A.J. Cook
Ali Larter
Michael Landes
Bottom Line: 

 The Final Destination films are a lot like sex with a vacuum cleaner. At first it's surprisingly different and exciting, but, after a while, it simply sucks.
I think the main problem is that both films in the series open with really elaborate and suspensful "premonition" segments that hint at great things to come, but they never really do. Instead, they disintegrate into standard slasher fare, with the only real difference being that the antagonist is Death, as opposed to a guy in a clown suit or hockey mask.
Final Destination 2 is set one year after the first film, on the anniversary of the Flight 180 tragedy. Kimberly (Cook) and her friends are headed off to Daytona Beach for Spring Break, but, while her passengers are having a ball, Kimberly's a touch concerned. You see, while stuck in traffic, she had a premonition of a massive highway accident in which she and her friends, along with a coupla dozen others, lost their lives. Kimberly blocks traffic on the off-ramp to save all of the victims in her premonition, but, one by one, those she saved are killed in freak accidents.
Kimberly finds the lone survivor of Flight 180, Clear Rivers (Larter), in self-imposed exile in a padded room of a mental asylum, and asks for Clear's help in cheating death. Clear, Kimberly, and the remaining survivors learn that one of the potential victims that Kimberly helped to save was pregnant, and deduce (somehow) that if the pregnant woman were to have her baby, then it would go against Death's design and they would all be saved!!
If Death is after you, why does he feel the need to employ all manner of Rube Goldberg style trickery to claim you? Couldn't he just give you a heart attack or an aneurism and be done with it?? It certainly wouldn't have made for an entertaining film, but it'd have made a helluva lot more sense than this convoluted boogaloo!
FD2 is a perfect example of what happens when writers paint themselves into a corner and bullshit their way out. The film, which opens so promisingly with one of the most suspenseful scenes in recent memory, instantly self-destructs the moment the characters walk away from their intended fate. After that we are treated to 80 minutes of Scooby Doo logic in which people who were literally clueless merely hours before suddenly become experts about all-things-Death. It would all be so much rubbish if the death sequences weren't so deliriously funny and surprisingly gory! I can't remember a mainstream horror film that was so willing to pour on the red stuff as much as this lot, and it resulted in a lot of maniacal laughter on my part, as well as a few groans of despair from my girlfriend. It seems as though the death sequences were done with tongue firmly in cheek, which led me to wonder why the whole film wasn't just handled as a parody of sorts? Sure there are some funny lines here and there, but, overall, the dialogue leads one to believe that they wanted us to take this film seriously. It's a schizophrenic affair that would have benefitted from a lighter touch thematically to go along with the hilariously gruesome deaths.
The Infinifilm DVD from New Line is stocked with all manner of goodies, including commentary tracks, alternate scenes, deleted scenes, alternate endings, featurettes, and, frankly, much more FD2 stuff than I cared to sit through. However, it's a very thorough set, and those who really enjoyed this film will be glad to know that this one love you long, long time.
Personally, I found it Final Destination 2 almost insultingly stupid, but, at the same time, I also laughed my arse off at the on-screen carnage and had a good time poking fun at the numerous plot-holes. While that is by no means an endorsement, it is reason enough to give this film the once over next time it pops up on cable or shows up in a five dollar bin.

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