Been there, done that, got the t-shirt
Whilst enjoying herself with her friends at an amusement park, high school student Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is overcome by a premonition of a fatal accident on the rollercoaster. Although she manages to get off the ride with some of her friends, others stay on and end up dead in a freak accident. Now having seemingly cheated death, it looks like death is coming after all of those who were saved by her premonition.
When the first "Final Destination" movie came out I surprisingly enjoyed it, not that it was an amazing film, but it was imaginative. When "Final Destination 2" hit the screens it definitely lacked the originality that the original had but was still entertaining enough. But now they seem to have pushed the series too far with "Final Destination 3" a film which lacks in just about every area going. Not only does it suffer from a lack of originality but also from a non existent plot, dire performances and over the top scenes which are neither entertaining nor clever.
When I say that "Final Destination 3" has no tangible plot it is not a lie, yes there is the set up where a student has a premonition of a huge rollercoaster crash and by freaking out saves the lives of the passengers only for death to then seek them out one by one to kill them. But other than this the film is just a series of excruciatingly far fetched scenes where the writers have gone way over the top in conjuring up their final fates. At times these death scenes reminded me of the intro to the 80s TV show "The Great Egg Race", where one thing makes another thing happen and in the case of "Final Destination 3" after many contrived coincidences one of the characters meets a gruesome death. To be honest these scenes are more laughable than gruesome and you are left waiting to see how far fetched they will become. Even the so called red herrings where we think okay so he will be the next one and will die when he is decapitated by some falling planks fails to work because by now we know that these scenes are not going to be straight forward and will always try to make us think one thing only to surprise us when something else happens.
With this being the third instalment it comes as no surprise that the film is totally predictable and lacks any imagination in spicing up this now well worked scenario. Right from the opening scenes you know that the student will have a premonition and inadvertently save the lives of her friends only for death to seek them out. You can even guess who will get killed and the supposedly imaginative yet implausible twist at the end. The only really positive thing I have to say is that you don't really need to have watched either of the first two films to understand what is going on in "Final Destination 3". In fact you would probably get a lot more from it if you have never seen them before.
"Final Destination 3" is not helped by some wafer thin characters and lousy performances, with both feeling like they have come straight out of an American teen drama like "Dawson's Creek" or "Beverley Hills 90210". Of course you wouldn't expect amazingly in depth characters in your typical teen horror flick, but "Final Destination 3" does not even give us a starting history or a reason to actually like any of the characters. It just feels like the writers have dumped in your typical range of teenagers from Joe average, to the air head blonds and the predictable sports jock so that the film will appeal to your average teenage horror fan who cares more about how gruesome the deaths will be above anything else.
As for the cast and their performances I have to say I hadn't got a clue who any of the actors or actresses were, or what they have been in before, and in my opinion after this they will struggle to find work in anything other than your typical teen horror flick. Like the laughable over the top death scenes, I found most of their performances to be equally over the top but also lacking any real emotion or angst. Maybe I am being a bit critical as this is obviously a teen horror movie aimed at a much younger viewer than myself but even so If I was a few years younger I would still be laughing at these dire performances.
With the return of director James Wong to the Final Destination series I was expecting much more from this than it delivers. Whilst the film obviously has some major problems it does have a real snappy feel about it, with the film moving along at a brilliant speed, probably down to the lack of plot to slow it down. Plus the opening sequence in the theme park really does a good job of setting the scene with decent action and some reasonable suspense. But sadly "Final Destination 3" then falls into the world of being predictable and totally over the top.
What this all boils down to is that "Final Destination 3" is too predictable, over the top and lacks any sense of a plot, realistic or not. The concept behind the film worked well in the original "Final Destination" but by now in the third in the series it is too predictable and instead of trying to add to it they have resorted to basically reworking the original premise in a new location. It also doesn't help that the death scenes are just so over the top that at times the chain of events leading to a death is laughable, let alone the special effects which are at times a little cheesy. But of course the film has its plus points, one of which is that it is a snappy affair, moving along quickly so that the viewer doesn't have time to dwell on things before the next chain of events happen, which is definitely a positive as there is not much too really dwell upon anyway.