Final Destination 2
Studio: New Line
Film Length: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
Audio: DD Surround EX, DTS 6.1, DD 2.0 Surround
Final Destination was far from a classic horror film but it did deliver some goods, which made it a sleeper hit at the theater. However, like most horror films from the past three decades, producers couldn’t leave well enough alone and as we all know, if a horror film makes money then a sequel is bound to follow. Three years after the original film fans got Final Destination 2, which comes off as a pointless and graphic remake rather than a sequel.
It’s vacation time so Kimberly (A.J. Cook) decides to take a trip to Florida with three of her friends. While on the highway Kimberly has a premonition of a deadly car accident, which will kill several people including herself and her three friends. Thrown into a state of shock Kimberly refuses to drive any further and within the matter of seconds a chain reaction wreck takes place and the entire road is filled with fire and death.
Kimberly’s friends are killed but she’s saved due to Officer Burke (Michael Landes) who pulls her from death right before it would have taken place. Although her friends are dead Kimberly is a hero because she saved the life of everyone behind her on the road. However by doing this she has altered the plans of Death who will have to go back and fix things by killing those who were saved. Together Kimberly and Burke must find a way to save the others and destroy Death before it can take its toll.
As with the case of many cash-hungry sequels, if you’ve seen the first film then you pretty much know what to expect out of this one. The storylines are pretty much the exact same and the movie really doesn’t try to hide the fact that it’s very unoriginal due to it being basically a remake more than a sequel. However, like the first film this one here has a very intriguing story dealing with cheating death that at least makes it watchable throughout. Just because the story is interesting doesn’t mean anything else works though.
What I really don’t understand about this film is the graphic and over-the-top gore, which fills the screen every time it comes for someone to die. I’m a die-hard horror fan and gore has always played an important part in various slashers but Final Destination 2 isn’t a mindless slasher but a wannabe intelligent film that tries to be a serious film. The director throws tender moments at us along with a lot a funny moments yet at the same time we get very graphic violence, which serves no purpose at all and comes off very mean and cold.
Within the short running time we get heads ripped off, eyes poked out, explosions, torture, bodies ripped in several pieces as well as young kids being killed. All of this leaves nothing to the imagination and at first its rather shocking but before long you’ll be rolling your eyes and asking yourself what’s the point to all of this. The further the movie goes the more gore is thrown at us, which eventually becomes laughable and takes away what the film was trying to accomplish. Gore is never scary and it's not a good idea to use it when trying to make suspense or fear.
Final Destination 2, outside the useless and tasteless violence is of course very stupid but in my opinion it’s everything a Hollywood film is today. While watching the thing you might find yourself having a good time but three minutes after the credits role the movie is all but forgotten and you really can’t remember too much about what you’ve just seen. I’m fairly certain had this film been made thirty-years ago some small time director would have made a very intelligent film about Death. This film however is too worried about being hip to a younger crowd that it’s virtually pointless. As for the CGI, in case producers don’t know, there’s a guy named Tom Savini out there that could have done many of the death scenes a lot better and made them actually look real.
VIDEO---The film is shown widescreen (1.85:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 TVs. This film had a modest budget but you certainly wouldn’t know that with this brilliant transfer from New Line. There isn’t a single flaw with the print, which is certainly one of the best I’ve seen in recent memory. The color detail is very strong with bright vivid colors and razor sharp imagery. The darker more somber scenes also look terrific without a bit of grain. A P&S version of the film is included on side B of the disc.
AUDIO---The sound is available in DD EX 5.1, 2.0 and DTS ES 6.1. Whichever option you decide to listen to will certainly give your speakers a wonderful workout and wake your neighbors up as well. The key sequence audio wise is the auto wreck at the start of the film that gives a wonderful three dimension feel that puts your right into the action. The surrounds are perfectly used to where we hear every little piece of glass hitting the ground and each dent put in the cars. The DTS option for this scene is certainly preferred over the 5.1 due to more aggressive use of the surround effects. The rest of the film sounds pretty much the same with both tracks.
EXTRAS---The film has been given the “Infinifilm” label, which means all sorts of goodies are added. Up first is an audio commentary with director David Ellis, producer Craig Perry and screenwriters Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber. The track is fairly interesting due to the different personalities that are constantly telling stories. There’s also the Infinifilm fact track that tells us various things about the film but I find these things a bit boring and useless. The Terror Gauge is a 14-minute segment that’s quite interesting. Three people are made to watch this film with a brain reading device to show the effect horror films have on people. Cheating Death: Beyond and Back is another very interesting segment that features interviews with real people who cheated death. This is actually a lot creepier than the film itself. Chose Your Fate is a silly game that gets old very quickly. Bits and Pieces: Bringing Death to Life runs nearly 30-minutes and talks about gore in the history of horror film but pretty much focuses on this film. We get to see how the effects were made, although no one ever mentions why they were needed in this film. Finally we get two music videos, a theatrical trailer and a trailer for the first film.
OVERALL---The film itself is pretty much the first one all over again but that’s not the main problem. The very graphic and mean spirited violence is simply uncalled for in this film and that there pretty much ruins any fun the film had going for it. However, even if you hate this film with a passion New Line delivers a must own disc with some of the best sound effects I’ve heard in any track. The flawless picture quality and heart-pounding audio makes this a wonderful disc to show off your Home Theater.
Release Date: July 22, 2003