Final Destination 2 (2003)
This is the Road to Hell
If he gives me the gas and I wake up with my pants unbuttoned, we ain't payin' - Tim Carpenter
Although I enjoyed the first "Final Destination" being a fresh but nonsense take on a bunch of teenagers in peril tale I can't say that I am as impressed with the sequel. Not because it's a bad movie because it's very much more of the same pacey nonsense peppered with shock and gore delivered in an ingenious manner. No, I am less than impressed because it doesn't bring anything different to the basic storyline and in an attempt to out do the original the shocks and ingenuity of the death scenes have become too long winded to the extent that whilst they will shock they will sometimes make you laugh.
On a trip with her friends Kimberley (A.J. Cook) gets a premonition of a major road accident with many fatalities. Flipping out she halts the traffic only to witness the accident for real, except thanks to her panicking those who she saw die in her premonition were actually saved. Linking her strange premonition to what happened a year before with flight 180, Kimberley believes that death will return to claim the lives of those who escaped. With the aid of sole survivor Clear Rivers (Ali Larter) from the doomed flight 180 they set about stopping death from completing it's morbid plans.
So the underlying storyline whilst a different place and a different time follows very much the formula of the original, with death returning to get those who escaped their impending doom thanks to a premonition. The only difference is this time death changes the order, why - who knows and more importantly who cares. Plus they try to throw up a clever twist that throws the list out of kilter and connects it to flight 180, I won't explain in fear of spoiling the surprise, but lets just say whilst possibly a little clever is still complete nonsense, well what do you expect.
Adding to this is the time honoured tradition of horror sequels that a lucky person from the first movie who managed not to die returns which means we see Ali Larter returning as Clear Rivers to help out the new crop of victims. There is nothing else to it and whilst I am sure many people enjoyed this sequel because it is more of the same, I just wish that they could have done something different, bringing a really good twist to the proceedings to spice it up.
Well they did actually try to spice things up this time by focussing on the death scenes and where in the first movie they had a bit on ingenuity about them this time they have a feeling of being overly long and convoluted. There is just too much build up to the deaths, too many supposedly red herrings where the poor bugger who is about to kick the bucket nearly dies in an unexpected manner only not to. A perfect example is the scene where the young lad marked for death so to speak nearly dies when a rubber fish from a hanging mobile falls into his mouth whilst he is under sedation in the dentist chair. It's too outrageous and just prolongs the agony of when they will eventually die.
As well as prolonging the death sequence the actual visual aspect of them has certainly been intensified with a lot more gore to try and shock you. It does succeed in getting those shocks but there is a feeling of too much with it verging on being porn for the sadistic. It will certainly be a movie which will appeal to those who have enjoyed the gruesomeness of the "Saw" movies with their ingenious and gory torture scenes but maybe a little too in your face for those who are not ready for blood splattering death.
Performance wise well there is nothing really special which stands out in amongst the actors who thanks to their underwritten characters are forced to either spout some macho bull shit as they call the premonitions nonsense or to scream and look frantic when death comes a knocking. At times the over acting combined with the corny dialogue makes for some unintentional amusement but thankfully it doesn't spoil the movie because lets be frank, great acting, great characters and great dialogue are not on the list of what you expect from a crowd pleasing horror sequel.
What this all boils down to is that if you enjoyed the first "Final Destination" for the way people were ingeniously and gruesomely killed then you will enjoy "Final Destination 2" which intensifies these aspects. But if like me you were hoping that it would build on the ingenuity of the original and add new twists to death returning then you will be slightly disappointed because it fails to be nothing more than a re-run just in another place and another time.
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