It’s like deja vu, says the main character, only of something I haven’t done yet.
Wow, get out of my head, Wendy! We are barely minutes into “Final Destination 3” and already we, the audience, are sharing her feeling. We have been here before, too. Instead, it was called “Final Destination” and then “Final Destination 2”.
If you have not had the pleasure of the prior “FDs”, there really is no reason to start now.
However, if you have seen either of the first two in the series and are looking for more, then you know exactly what is in store for you. Attractive young things narrowly avert a fatal accident due to someone’s premonition -– thanks, Wendy! — and then they spend the duration of the movie being killed off in graphic, squelchy deaths. This time around, lives are ended with props including nail guns, tanning beds, falling objects, weight-training equipment, and, yes, that initial roller-coaster debacle.
Finally, for the real FD connoisseur, 3 is more in the spirit of the original than 2, as director James Wong has opted to place back the fig-leaf of plot and character development that 2 ignored for the sake of more elaborately drawn-out gore. Is it a worthy trade-off? Most of the audience seemed not to care a whit about the characters despite many scenes of Wendy’s tear-stained cheeks.
Since nobody appears to be putting the “final” in “Final Destination”, maybe the director of FD 4 will skip dialogue all together and use the money saved to stage even lengthier scenes of decapitations and dismemberment. “FD4: Attractive Co-Ed Mimes in Danger”, Wendy, doesn’t that just give you deja vu all over again?
Parents should know that these movies are thin excuses to demonstrate random, cartoon-like violence and extremely gory special effects. There is near constant peril and almost every character with a spoken line ends up brutally killed in a range of creative accidents. The stereotypically shallow girls are burnt to death on malfunctioning tanning beds, a lecherous guy has his head partially pureed by a fan, someone is peppered by nails to the head, and the list goes on. A character shoots pigeons with a nail gun, several people die in an explicit premonition about a roller coaster accident, and there are very few carnage-free scenes. One character is more concerned with being embarrassed in death and refers to particularly graphic form of impalement. Add in the nudity, the near constant expletives, some “friendly” name-calling with graphic profanity, and this movie is rendered inappropriate for sensitive viewers of any age.
Families might want to talk about desensitization and what is shocking about these movies, if anything. They also might want to talk about how different characters react to their impending demise and how laughing at death might help some people feel power over the inevitable. Finally, the repeated references to feeling a loss of control might provoke an interesting discussion about how people often fear what they cannot control.
Families that like this movie might want to see the others in the series, or they might wish to use the time to discuss safety protocols for almost any activity imaginable.
Thanks to guest critic AME.