Director – Steven Quale
Cast – Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, Ellen Wroe, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, P.J. Byrne, Arlen Escarpeta, David Koechner, Courtney B. Vance, Tony Todd
Release Year – 2011
Reviewed by John of the Dead
If you know me then you know that I really did not care for the Final Destination series prior to this film debuting, but I felt the need to get this series out of the way due to its popularity and managed to watch all four previous efforts in a short period of time, finally completing my fun-from-fate binge with this hopefully final installment into the famed series. After the abomination that was The Final Destination, I had high hopes that this fifth entry would bring the series back to at least a respectable level, and Final Destination 5 did so in being the most serious and possibly the best overall entry in this franchise.
While en route to a team-building seminar, members of a sales team narrowly escape a disastrous suspension collapse thanks to one’s premonition, only to find themselves slowly being hunted down by a mysterious and vengeful force.
Once again we are given the same overall storyline as in every other Final Destination film, but this time we are given a much more serious take on it than in previous efforts, something I was glad to see for once. Those of you who enjoy this overall storyline following a group of people running from the death they narrowly escaped should find the same joy in this storyline, although the kill sequences were not nearly as creative as in other films, but still good and gory. Writer Eric Heisserer(A Nightmare on Elm Street remake, The Thing remake) did a fine job executing each of the elements involved in this piece, with real character development, positive dialogue, engaging tension, and positive kill sequences making this a real treat to watch and a fine way to close out the series (God-willing). He continued the constant developments regarding the phenomenon behind these events seen throughout the series, delving into revelations regarding the process of death’s selection of who lives and dies, as well as giving us an awesome climax whose twist ending really shakes things up – a genius idea that I never saw coming.
First-time feature film director Steven Quale did a solid job directing this piece, giving us the least amount of cheese possible and instead focusing on the horror itself, which worked wonderfully for this piece. Gone are the crappy character performances as each of our numerous characters/actors involved gave us the proper performances to match what the story needed, and the positives only begin there. While the kills lacked the creativity seen in previous efforts, his execution of them was great and they offered most of the same shock value as previously more-creative kills due to that, and he provided much drawn-out tension leading up to the kill sequences as well. His visuals were amazing, especially during the iconic opening sequences involving the bridge collapse, showing that this guy has the talent required to continue in the genre seeing that he gave us a solid and enjoyable experience from an unoriginal storyline.
Overall, Final Destination 5 is a great installment to the famed series that makes up for the atrocitiy that was The Final Destination, and is most likely the best overall film in the series. While maybe not my personal favorite (Final Destination 2), it provided me with everything that I wanted to see in the film with a much more mature approach to the overdone but enjoyable storyline, which includes an awesome twist ending fans will enjoy.