Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ryan Merriman, Kris Lemche,
Amanda Crew. Rated R.
discussion of Final Destination 3 must be of a technical nature, because there’s no point in
scrutinizing the characters or the plot, which follows an established formula
for box-office success. By now, you’ve probably figured out whether you’re a
fan of the Final Destination series and its preposterous, over-the-top methods of
killing teenagers. If you are, then this grisly slice of mayhem should be a
welcome distraction. If you’re not, consider a good book. Or a warm bath.
admit that I’m a fan. Final Destination had a modestly clever idea, and Final Destination
2 used that idea as
the framework for 90 minutes of the most enjoyably overwrought chaos ever
committed to film. Now, creator James Wong has returned to the scene of the
crime for a third installment, and if he’s content to recycle the same old
story, he can be forgiven. These movies are about the thrill of the kill,
uninitiated, a quick recap: A group of kids narrowly escape some disastrous
brush with death – in this case, a roller coaster flying off the tracks – and
breathe a big sigh of relief. The only problem? Death is still waiting in the
wings, and it’s up to the kids to watch their backs and, if possible, change
plot. There’s not a lot of suspense in Final Destination
3, because it’s not
a question of
whether the kids will die, just how and when. And when the Grim Reaper comes
calling, it’s never pretty. This is a movie driven by spectacular special
effects and cleverly conceived deaths, with attractive young bodies being
burned, splattered and punctured in all sorts of diabolical ways. It’s an
absurd theater of the macabre, amusing to fans and, I can only imagine, repellent
to everyone else.
anything, Final Destination 3 doesn’t quite match the standards of demented invention set
by its immediate predecessor, but it’s a close call. Fans will relish the gory
spectacle, but moviegoers seeking fleshed-out characters and a compelling story
will be invariably disappointed. So, for those drawn to this kind of stuff, it’s
a three-star experience; for the rest of you, knock it down to two. The truth
probably lies somewhere in between.