Tuesday, September 01, 2009

New Line's "Final Destination" franchise: 3-D doesn't add that much


New Line has brought back its notorious “Final Destination” franchise with simply “The Final Destination” in 3-D – for which I had the privilege of paying $4.50 extra at a Regal today.

Everybody knows the theme: Death keeps stalking each of the characters, an invisible enemy that would fit into a Friday the 13th if materialized. Really, I wonder how many get the supernatural, almost religious meaning: your karma follows you, and nature seems to arrange the stacks (perhaps taking advantage o f quantum mechanics) to make you face your just desserts.

Except the most of the victims are likeable. Bobby Camposecco plays Nick, the enterprising teen who does figure out that there is a “List” in the netherworld, and that saving just one person in the chain (there’s hope after a car wash drowning is avoided) could stop the process. Don’t get your hopes up.

There’s enough that goes wrong with technology in this movie to make you a Luddite. But it’s old bricks and mortar machinery, winches and cables, the kind of stuff that was around even when silent films were made.

The 3-D effects are gruesome enough, with all the poking (I don’t mean a Unix poke). And the story uses dreams (Nick’s prescience) as a way of adding to the most explicit carnage. One dream sequence has a movie theater blowup like that of “Inglourious”. But no scene is so graphic was one in F.D. II, where a man is bisected by a trip wire, and actually stands for a moment after being cut in half, only then to topple over.

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