Final Destination

Final Destination

***

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Continuing the tradition of Last Summer (I Know Where You Were, etc.) and Scream 1-3, James Wong's debut feature mixes a little psychic spookiness into the teenage body count. This is not a serial slasher flick, because the bad guy is Death itself. Confused?

Alex (Devon Sawa) joins his high school classmates for a trip to Paris. He's nervous about flying. Most people are. No big deal. But with Alex, it's different. He has a flashforward of what is going to happen and tries to stop the jumbo jet taking off from Kennedy Airport. After a scuffle, he and a handful of others, including a teacher who is attempting to calm things down, are forcibly ejected. The plane leaves and, within sight of the departure lounge, explodes.

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Amongst the survivors is Claire (Ali Larter), who lives alone, welds metal sculpture and believes in Alex. Also, there is Carter (Kerr Smith), who hates him, and three others. The FBI send agents to check these kids out. Why did they get off the plane? Did they know something? Once they start dying in mysterious circumstances, Alex works out that Death has a design on them. And what is more, he knows the order in which they are going to go.

The film becomes a war of wills - Death vs Life - with Alex captaining the Life team. In many ways, this is an improvement on loonies in fancy dress. Death arranges elaborate domestic accidents, without having to speak lines, or look sexy in black. The young actors fit their stereotypes. Death has an arsenal of lethal possibilities. The Effects Dept love it. If you sat through The Sixth Sense and didn't feel cheated at the end, you'll have no difficulty with this. Sawa is engagingly unshowy and Larter looks terrific no matter what the dark force does.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Teens take on death after escaping a plane crash.
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Director: James Wong

Writer: Glen Morgan, Jeffrey Reddick, James Wong

Starring: Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith, Tony Todd, Kristen Cloke, Seann William Scott, Daniel Roebuck, Roger Guenveur Smith, Chad Donella, Amanda Detmer, Brendan Fehr

Year: 1999

Runtime: 97 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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