Saturday 19 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Horror · Final Destination 5

Final Destination 5

‘Final Destination 5’ has plenty of blood and nearly no brains. But as long as you know that …

Rod Lott August 17th, 2011

Last summer, the fourth “Final Destination” movie swapped a numeral for a definitive article, because producers figured the franchise had run its course. Then “The Final Destination” made $181 million worldwide, so this summer, we have another chapter, and the numbering system has been reinstated.

So has everything else. As has been the case over the course of the hit horror series, each chapter adheres to its tried-and-true template. In fact, it could be argued that the movies are written from a “Mad Libs” page, but the only variable to change is the epic disaster that kick-starts each one.

With airport, freeway, amusement park and racetrack exhausted, “Final Destination 5” has filled in the blank with “suspension bridge.”

That’s where our supposed hero (Nicholas D’Agosto, “Fired Up!”) convinces some cookie-cutter co-workers to get off the bus, because he’s just had a vision that the structure is about to go all River Kwai on them. Of course, it then does, and the unseen Grim Reaper spends the rest of the film getting them anyway, in methods seemingly invented via collaboration between Rube Goldberg and the Marquis de Sade.

These five flicks — and you can bet there will be more to come — are critic-proof: Like the “Saw” series, either you like them or you hate them, and no amount of convincing is going to sway you to the other side.

Despite all their flaws — and admittedly, there are many — I happen to like them.

On the downside, you have stock characters that fill labels more than roles — i.e. Hot Girl, Token Black, etc. — essayed by actors of limited talents. Hardly anyone is likable, but that’s OK since none of them survive by the end credits. (Relax — that’s only a spoiler if you’ve never seen any of the previous four, which means you’re never going to watch the fifth, either.)

D’Agosto is as dull as his name is apostrophized; his “meh” presence is matched by a mopey, mousy Emma Bell, who was livelier in “Frozen” and season one of “The Walking Dead.” Briefly reprising his role as the sagelike coroner from all the chapters but the fourth is Tony Todd (TV’s “24”), and he’s like Laurence Olivier compared to the expendable kids.

On the upside, you have the death sequences, even if they lack the creativity, cleverness or intricacy of its predecessors. The highlights here involve a folding gymnast, a Lasik machine gone haywire and more acupuncture needles than are comfortable.

Director Steven Quale (“Aliens of the Deep”) and screenwriter Eric Heisserer (the remake of “A Nightmare on Elm Street”) save their only true surprise of the show for the last.

“Final Destination 5” is what it is.

I enjoyed it, even if, after 48 hours, I’ve mostly forgotten it.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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