***Official "FINAL DESTINATION 2" Review Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Weinberg, Jan 31, 2003.

  1. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

    Oct 3, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Final Destination 2 (3.5 out of 5)

    Call it a guilty pleasure...

    What a novel conceit: take exactly what's wrong with modern horror movies (i.e. boredom and predictability) and flip the proverbial script on 'em. Those who (correctly) gripe that the Friday the 13th and Halloween sequels are nothing more than rote assembly line carnage-fests should find their complaints allayed here: the beauty of the Final Destination flicks is that anyone can die at any time - and often do.

    Imagine my utter surprise at the entertainment value of a Final Destination 2. Here we have an unplanned sequel to a surprise hit. Add to that the fact that we're talking about America-based horror merchants (who, for the most part, have no balls whatsoever) doling out the sequel, and let's just say that things weren't looking good for this one.

    I did my normal mental checklist throughout the film:

    Acting: almost uniformly bad.

    Script: muddled beyond measure in some spots, surprisingly clever in others.

    Direction: fantastic in the "kill shots", pedantic and drab otherwise.

    In other words, I intended to analyze this one as if it were any other flick, be it Fellini or Fincher.

    Apparently my funny bone overcame my critic's brain, because I found myself squirming, laughing, and hooting along with the rest of the moviegoing masses. I was easily able to overlook the glaring plot holes and intermittently atrocious acting and simply enjoy the more...visceral moments on display.

    To those unfamiliar with the original entry, the 'hook' of the FD flicks is simply this: Death is one poor sport, and should his next victims unwittingly discover a way to avoid his touch - the reaper roars back with a vengeance, resulting in some sinfully goopy dispatches.

    All in all, cool horror junk for cool horror fans.

    The first flick featured a cadre of high school students who were (un)lucky enough to disembark from an ill-fated airliner - only to be picked off later in elaborately nasty ways. Part 2 has its eventual victims avoid a horrific highway accident - only to be picked off later in elaborately nasty ways.

    What most impressed me about this follow-up (aside from the frequent moments of gory good fun) is the way in which the original film was referenced. There's a fantastic little scene in which all the soon-to-be-dead realize that they each have a tenuous connection to the victims from Part 1, and in a sea of 'in-name-only / ignore all prior entries' sequels, one that takes the time to tie itself to its source is worthy of a little pat on the back.

    The cast is a collection of pretty faces (for the most part), none of whom will leave all that much of an impression. Returing from the original is the long-suffering Ali Larter (who becomes the Linda Hamilton of the FD series) and Tony Todd, as a mortician who mumbles ominously for precisely one throwaway scene.

    Plot-wise...why would you even ask? Death wants these poor slobs dead, and we're invited to watch. Isn't that enough? OK, you caught me; I'm avoiding the main plot because A) it's silly and B) it makes very little sense. It's got something to do with the order of the intended deaths and a lot of malarkey about one gal's unborn baby. If the baby is born before everyone's dead, then death's curse is broken andzzzzzzzzzzz...

    Like I said, it doesn't really matter. People go to see fireworks for the light show, not for a thought-provoking lecture on the history of colored gun powder. Does Final Destination 2 deliver the gory goods?

    Absolutely, and then some. The initial car pile-up is staggeringly cool to behold, as are a few other extended moments of impending death - none of which I'll come close to divulging here. Let's just say that if a movie were rated solely on its creative moments of icky and intense carnage, this one could be an Oscar nominee.

    (And a very small and seemingly stupid moment of praise: THANKS for not saddling this enjoyable little flick with a moronic subtitle like Final Destination 2: More Finaler! We horror fans hate that crap.)

    The original may be a slightly better film, more finely structured and a bit more crafty - but the sequel doesn't offer Devon Sawa in the lead role, and in many ways that makes Part 2 considerably more entertaining.
  2. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

    Jun 3, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Hey everyone,

    This is the offical review thread for Final Destination 2. Please post all reviews and links to outside reviews in this thread. No discussion.

    Any posts that do not meet this criteria will be removed without notice.

    Offical discussion thread is located HERE.


    Home Theater Forum
  3. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

    Jan 23, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I think Final Destination 2 is exactly what I was expecting from Final Destination when I sat down in a theater back then. It was full of elaborate death scenes with some amount of cleverness and a lot of gore. I didn't expect much of a story or much style, but I was hoping to be entertained.

    Now, as it turned out, I was very pleased with Final Destination. It had an excellent cast (although I thought I was going to hate Devon Sawa after the first few minutes), a great creepiness to it, a fairly compelling and complex plan to the story (what with the order of death and intervening), as well as an emphasis on creativity rather than goriness (although it didn't skimp at all in that department).

    Now the sequel is not bad in many many respects. The casting isn't too bad, and the opening "event" was intense. They upped the ante on the goriness by several levels (I don't think there was a single death that wasn't a gibfest or bloodbath), and they were done very slickly. Unfortunately, they weren't nearly as creative or elaborate as the first film's scenes. The plotline was unfortunately a large rehash of the first, and they didn't really develop what could have been an excellent tie-in with the first that they were all alive only because of the previous survivors
    which they mention but just discard.

    Now, I must say that despite all of this, the film was a great deal of fun for an old horror fan like myself. It is far better constructed than most of the drek we've been wading through. It was directed solidly without any distracting and amateurish stylistic choices. The pace is also kept high. If I didn't have such a high opinion of the first one, I would likely have been more enthusiastic.

    I would recommend it for any fans of the original, or for anyone that misses the old kill-fest horror films of the eighties. The audience was very involved with it, so as far as being a fun ride, it suceeds quite well. It could have been a bit better, but it could also have been a ton worse.
  4. Joshua_Y

    Joshua_Y Screenwriter

    Dec 19, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Just got back from a screening, I was bored and wanted to see a movie, and this looked the best. Ive never seen the original, but man do I want to now. I really dug this flick. Some really great deaths and for once in a horror movie now a days, GORE! LOTS O GORE! Gruesome deaths! Yeah! Thats what I wanna see![​IMG] The part with the fence! Oh that was sweet. I just had a blast and the opening wreck made me not want to drive on the freeway home.

  5. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

    Jan 12, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Monroe, LA
    Real Name:
    Tim Glover
    Saw this tonite. Really promising opening...then downhill.

    Wanted to like it as I did the original, but some really stupid scenes...especially the:

    ending! Dumbest ending I've seen in a while.


Share This Page