Final Destination 5 (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner26/08/2011

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 92 mins

Inventive, superbly acted and featuring some terrific special effects work, this is a hugely entertaining, suitably grisly thriller that's much, much better than that 5 might lead you to expect.

What's it all about?
Directed by Steven Quale, Final Destination 5 is the fifth instalment of the popular franchise and the second in the succession to be filmed in 3D. Nicholas D'Agosto stars as Sam, who has a terrifying vision of a suspension bridge collapse while on a corporate outing and manages to persuade seven of his colleagues – including ex-girlfriend Molly (Emma Bell), best friend Peter (Miles Fisher) and annoying boss Dennis (David Koechner) – to get off their bus and run to safety, seconds before the bridge does indeed collapse, killing dozens of people.

However, as a mysterious stranger (series regular Tony Todd) informs them, Death doesn't take too kindly to being cheated and sure enough, the “Lucky Eight” soon start dying in a series of freak accidents, in the same order in which they died in Sam's premonition. And then the stranger mixes things up a bit by telling them that each of them can avoid their imminent encounter with Death by ensuring that somebody else dies in their place ...

The Good
D'Agosto, Bell and Fisher (who occasionally seems to be channelling Tom Cruise) make extremely appealing leads and there's strong support from David Koechner (very funny as Dennis), Ellen Wroe (as Peter's gymnast girlfriend) and Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (as vain, short-sighted colleague Olivia), while Courtney B Vance is good value as a disbelieving cop.

The special effects are excellent, particularly during the jaw-dropping bridge collapse sequence, while the 3D is used brilliantly throughout, most notably in a scene involving a ship's mast. Similarly, the death scenes are both inventive and elaborately staged, while first-time director Quale pulls off some crowd-pleasing twists and turns.

The Great
In addition, the script gets the tone exactly right by expertly blending suspense, black humour and suitably grisly death scenes (anyone scheduled for laser eye surgery might want to give this a miss). It also has a lot of fun with the conventions of the franchise, notably in a knowingly comic scene where Sam walks through a restaurant kitchen that's suddenly teeming with potential death-traps; basically, you can judge the success of a Final Destination movie by whether or not it has you hyper-alert to the potential dangers in your surroundings when you leave the cinema and on that basis, Final Destination 5 should be a huge hit.

Worth seeing?
Final Destination 5 is a hugely enjoyable, impressively directed thriller that ranks comfortably alongside Final Destination 2 as the best film of the series. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

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Content updated: 23/10/2017 10:44

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