The Establishing Shot: Final Destination 5 Review

Posted by Craig Grobler on Google+ On Friday, August 26, 2011

Final Destination 5I'm not a fan of the Final Destination series of films, but I fully appreciate the ingenuity and shock and awe factor in the ongoing formula. I am however a big fan of 3D and the Final Destination series is probably the perfect film material for fun 3D. From the astounding almost art house 3D title sequence to the clever ending. I was having a blast.

I’m unsure of exactly how many of the Final Destination films I have actually seen. I know I definitely saw the first one and the fourth one. As with them Final Destination 5 follows the same successful formula – a bunch of kids escape some sort of disastrous death, like say an airplane crash, when one of them has a premonition. But death views this unkindly and as the tension mounts delivers each of them an increasingly gory and bizarre death sentence and for the rest of the film they buckle under the pressure or turn adventurer as they try outwit death.

Of course it’s not that simple as each death is a study in physics and serendipity that leaves the audience laughing, cheering or oohing at the grossness and gore.

Final Destination 5 starts was an incredible title sequence that is somewhere between art house and a performance art installation display. It is absolutely spellbinding if you are a fan of 3D like myself. We are then introduced to group of disparate office workers as they are about to head off on a team building exercise. Each of the characters has their own personality traits and is played in a different way by their respective performers. The character bits that I enjoyed the most were the one line zingers and quirkiness. Others don’t play their roles as entertainingly.

The story then moves quite quickly from here and we follow the team’s bus as it is becomes stuck in traffic on a large suspension bridge. Predictably disaster strikes, mayhem and some of the most hilariously over the top death scenes follow. If you have ever been to a press screening, you know that it is a bit like a poker game and all the audience/players are po-faced as they cast their critical eye over the directors naked work - the only sound in the cinema is usually the rustle of clothing as they slowly remove their knives from their inner jacket pockets and the short low ringing as they then sharpen them in preparation of their forthcoming reviews.

The Final Destination 5 screening did not follow this pattern though, as their was lots of chuckling, giggling, oohing and ahhing as well cheers with each over the top death scenes.

Pretty soon I was feeling like a kid watching the rare 3D releases that came up one in a while in the 80s (El tesoro de las cuatro coronas aka Treasure of the Four Crowns, Comin' at Ya!, Jaws 3D, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone 3D)

They were usually really bad as the plot and acting were really just vehicles to get from one 3D effect to another - but had such a high entertainment value that I loved every minute of it. Just to clarify I am not implying that Final Destination 5 is as bad as those films I’m just saying that I was as entertained by it, as much as those films of my youth.

The effects and camera work are brilliant and use the 3D to its full effect. I was really impressed by it and after the screening did a little research - The Director of Final Destination 5 Steven Quale knows what he is doing - he was James Cameron’s second unit director on Avatar and Titanic among others as well as co-directed the 3D underwater documentary Aliens of the Deep alongside Cameron.

Thankfully the cleverness of Final Destination 5 is carried through to the ending. Which I absolutely loved and is possibly the best bit of the Final Destination series, at least certainly the films in the series that I have seen.

Exceptional effects and camerawork really lift Final Destination 5 head and shoulder above other similar teen 3D efforts, it is the fun and entertaining film that the likes of: Piranha 3D and My Bloody Valentine 3D wanted to be.

Final Destination 5 release date: Final Destination 5 is in cinemas from today Friday 26 August, 2011

For more info head over to: or!/cheatdeath_

Final Destination 5
Survivors of a suspension-bridge collapse learn there's no way you can cheat Death.

Director: Steven Quale
Writers: Eric Heisserer, Jeffrey Reddick (characters)
Stars: Nicholas D'Agosto, Emma Bell and Arlen Escarpeta

Final Destination 5 Review


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