Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

In my recent review of ĎWhen a Stranger Callsí I complained about, among other things, how a PG-13 rating removes all of the gratuitous breast, and bloody gore from these modern Ďhorror moviesí.  Back in the 80ís, even if a horror movie sucked, you could at least count on breast and blood.  Now after seeing Final Destination 3, I should learn to keep my freakiní mouth shut.

 

Chances are you know the Final Destination routine, but here it is a nutshell for those of us out of the loop.  Crazy clairvoyant teen has a wacky vision, aborts impending doom for some other teens, death gets all pissed off that his quota came up short and decides to make them all pay in the most horrific ways possible.    In this third installment, crazy clairvoyant teenager Wendy Christensen (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is at the big senior day carnival party taking pictures for the yearbook.  Every picture she takes is starting to freak her out because she sees something in it that, well, freaks her out.  Itís never quite explained to us what she sees but judging by her freaked out look and freaky background music, it canít be good.  Her sense of doom only grows as her boyfriend cajoles her into jumping on the roller coaster.  Reluctantly, she agrees but only if she rides in the back, beginning her vision of the roller coaster running off the track, killing everyone.  Wendy completely loses it, freaks everybody out, including the carnies.  They drag her off the ride, and a few other Ďluckyí teens jump off too.   The ride goes on, the ride crashes, teens die horribly.  THEY as it turns out, would be the fortunate ones. 

Now what exactly is Deathís problem?  I mean heís playing the game with a stacked deck.  He canít lose!  Death beat Jesus for goodness sake!  Admittedly, he rose up the next day, but he did get to him.  So why is he so concerned about a few teenagers missing their appointments?  Theyíll be back on the schedule.  We ALL gotta make that date.  What he needs to do is find out whoís putting these freaky visions in these kids

heads and have it out with them.  But no, he has to take it on the teenagers, and simply stopping their hearts or making them choke on atootsie roll just ainít good enough for Death.  As such, beginning with Final Destination 2, this is what the series has become:  New funny clever ways to turn teenagers into bloody chunks.

 

The films franchisees have determined that though the cheating death plot device of the original was unique, it would be far less so in subsequent sequels.  So instead, they now focus on a labyrinth of an unlikely of events that must happen to eviscerate, decapitate and truncate the lives of these teenagers.  But where the second film, in my opinion, was a miserable failure, this third installment kind of works.  Once you get past the overly dramatic opening roller coaster sequence and the completely ridiculous, even by FD standards, initial teen deaths (though that did include some unnecessary breast, so Iím assuming they had to find SOME way to squeeze them in.  So to speak.), Director James Wong was very effective in raising the tension levels on each of the following massacres.  Clues are spoon fed to us in the pictures that Wendy took at the carnival.  And when she and fellow survivor Kevin Fisher (Ryan Merriman) attempt to warn the victims, they are surrounded by the potential instruments of their impending.  You know itís coming, you just donít know from where.

 

Letís be honest with each other.  This here film is fairly bereft on character development, the characters that are here are nothing but caricatures (Jocks, Goths, Valley Girls, goof offs), itís low on plot, and there will probably be at least another eight of these in the next ten years.  Our star, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, seems tobe a very competent young actress, but her tasks in this movie mainly consist of guiding us from slaughter to slaughter.  This film wonít be showing up in film school classes anytime soon.  BUT, if you want to see petulant teens die in bloody ways that youíve probably never seen before and not be bored to tears watching it, FD3 is the movie youíve been waiting for.  And should have a vision of your impending death, heed my advice and just take it like a man.

 

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