Survivors of a suspension-bridge collapse learn that there’s no way they can cheat death. Read the review of Final Destination 5 for more.
Business rating: 1/5 star
Star cast: Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, David Koechner.
What’s Good: The cheap thrills that will appeal to the youth; the visual effects, especially in the 3D version.
What’s Bad: The routine and repetitive story; the complete absence of any logic in the script; the uninspiring performances.
Verdict: Final Destination 5 will fail to reach a respectable destination at the Indian box-office.
Loo break: Several in the latter half.
Watch or Not?: Watch only if you are a fan of the Final Destination series.
Jellystone Films and Practical Pictures’ Final Destination 5 is a film in the Final Destination series, in which a group of youngsters are heading towards their imminent death.
A group of employees of a paper manufacturing firm are on their way to a business retreat. The group includes young salesman and aspiring chef, Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto), his estranged girlfriend, Molly (Emma Bell), Sam’s friend and boss, Peter (Miles Fisher), Peter’s girlfriend, Candice (Ellen Wroe), Olivia (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood), Isaac (P.J. Byrne), Nathan (Arlen Escarpeta), the company’s boss, Dennis (David Koechner), and others.
When the bus in which the group is travelling, is crossing an under-repair suspension bridge, Sam gets a vision in which he sees the bridge collapsing and all of his co-passengers dying in a very brutal manner. However, he manages to save Molly (in the vision). Once out of the vision, Sam freaks out and announces to everybody that they should immediately get out of the bus. Sam runs with Molly and several others follow him across the bridge. Within seconds, the bridge actually collapses, killing all the other employees and others who are left behind.
A federal agent (Courtney B. Vance), who is investigating the incident, suspects Sam of wrong-doing. But evidence shows that the bridge was weak and fell on its own. At the funeral of the dead employees, Sam and Peter are accosted by a mysterious man (Tony Todd), who tells them to be “careful of death”. Sam, shaken after the incident, pleads with Molly to get back with him.
Soon, Candice dies a gruesome death in a freak accident at the gymnasium. Her boyfriend, Peter, is aghast. Next in line is Isaac, who is again killed in a freak accident at a spa. Sam, Peter, Nathan and Molly spot the same mysterious man outside the spa where Issac is killed. The man, who turns out to be the state coroner, tells them that they were sure to die and that they could escape death only by killing someone else. Olivia dies next when she is undergoing laser eye treatment.
Soon, Sam realises that the survivors from the bridge accident are dying in the same sequence as they had died in his vision. Even before Sam can tell them that they are next in line, both, Nathan and Dennis, die in quick succession of one another. Peter is convinced that he can survive by killing someone, as mentioned by the coroner. On the other hand, Sam and Molly want to move on with their lives. What happens next? Is Peter successful in his plan of saving his life? Of Sam, Peter and Molly, who survives or survive?
Final Destination 5 Review: Script Analysis
Eric Heisserer’s script, based on characters by Jeffrey Reddick, is exactly on the lines of the previous Final Destination movies. However, there is no novelty, the writing is extremely sketchy and the film’s plot only relies on providing cheap thrills. Basic logic is given a pass. Agreed that this is one in a series of films, which might have a few die-hard fans who come back for the blood and gore, but that doesn’t mean that the writer can’t make any efforts to ensure that the story is better than the stories of the previous films in the series. As such, many viewers will be put off by the excessive show of blood and gore.
As the screenplay moves from one bloody death to another, the shock value dips. All the characters are uni-dimensional and sketchy. Moreover, there are no scenes of mystery, comedy or drama, to speak of. The dialogues are rather mundane. The question remains: how many films can the audience digest where all the characters keep dying one after the other, especially when the narrative style is extremely staid?
The climax, which has a thin connection to the first film in the series, Final Destination (2000), seems contrived. Is it a sign that this is the last film in the series?
Final Destination 5 Review: Star Performances
Nicholas D’Agosto, who is a fine actor otherwise, does not get much to do in a uni-dimensional role. But he is still the pick of the lot. David Koechner (as the boss, Dennis) does well. Courtney B. Vance (as the federal agent) and Tony Todd (as the coroner) are okay in small roles. The rest of the actors – Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, Peter Friedkin, Ellen Wroe, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, P.J. Byrne and Arlen Escarpeta – mouth their lines mechanically.
Debut-making director Steven Quale’s narrative style is suited to the franchise that the Final Destination series has become. That is, the action sequences are well-composed and shocking but there is little else to look forward to. Brian Tyler’s background score is appropriate. Brian Pearson’s cinematography is alright. The visual effects are good. The film is better in its 3D version than in the 2D version. Editing, by Eric Sears, is good.
Final Destination 5 Review: The Last Word
On the whole, Final Destination 5 is a below-average fare. The thrills it provides will attract a few youngsters to the theatres, but that’s as far as its Indian box-office fortunes will go.
Final Destination 5 was released in India and US on August 12, 2011.