Friday, September 23, 2011

Final Destination 3 (2006) - 2/5

The "Final Destination" franchise is a roller coaster of sorts, but at the time of "Final Destination 3" the franchise was on a downward spiral of doom. At this point in the franchise, if you were expecting clever then you might as well punch yourself in the face and be done with it. This film isn't clever. The worst part is that unlike "Final Destination 2", this film seems to rarely try for anything new and just purely focuses on the gimmick. Not the best way to keep fans of the franchise interested even if you come up with some fun death sequences.

Wendy (Winstead) has just done her friends a big disfavor. After a premonition that the roller coaster they were going to ride was going to crash, she gets a slew of her friends kicked off the ride. They watch the coaster crash and move on with their lives. But wait...there's more. Now death is out to get the survivors of the botched coaster wreck and Wendy must figure out how the pictures she took hint towards each one's eventual demise.

Yawn. I'm sorry. I fell asleep writing that synopsis because its the same thing I've written before. All right, I'll admit it that besides the change of characters they did try one new thing in part "3"...they added premonition hinted pictures! Wowza! That's just...kind of new. Unfortunately, it doesn't really work as a new twist in evading death's design because the characters always see the clues too late and director Wong rarely shows us the photos long enough for us to decipher them.

Besides that, "Final Destination 3" just runs through the motions for the series. Group of relatively unmemorable teens survive death and then piece together a simple puzzle that was figured out two films ago before going about helpless until a random twist ending. Even the deaths can be rather unmemorable. Hell, the initial death chain just pales in this movie. Roller coaster crash? After the massive and gory high way pile up in part "2", this one seems like child's play. Even though the film focuses on the death scenes many are just not near as good as one could hope for this series. A few here and there for unintentional humor (the weight room death for example), but not near as good as they could have been.

Despite having Wong return as director (who does add a bit more style to the mix) and the rather solid lead performance from genre regular Winstead (who has since been in the remake of "Black Christmas", "Death Proof", and the upcoming "Thing" prequel), this film will only be surpassed in silliness by the next installment. It's blah and boring with nothing new to add to an already stale formula. The death sequences can be rather unmemorable sans a few over the top moments and the final twist is visible from a mile away. Not a great entry into the long running franchise.

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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