Eye For Film >> Movies >> Final Destination 2 (2003) Film Review
Final Destination 2
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
It is difficult to come up with new ideas in the teen slasher genre. Final Destination did so. Instead of a dead guy in dreams, or a psycho with a mask, the serial killer was Death itself.
Although this sounds about as idiotic as a romantic comedy starring God, the concept of premonition, followed by evasive action, followed by the Grim Reaper's revenge almost makes sense in an X-Files kind of way. As one of the characters wisely points out, "When your number comes up, your number comes up."
What would happen if you knew in advance how you were going to die and simply avoided it? Wouldn't Death be pissed off and come and get you anyway to keep the books straight.
Sequels, as the cliche goes, emulate the original without adding to it. FD2 could be accused of this. The plot is similar, with different personnel, of course. Instead of a plane crash, there is a spectacular motorway pile up. The one who has the premonitions is Kimberly (AJ Cook), a sensible Californian girl who lives with her "cool" dad. The group who avoids the crash, after she warns them, are a disparate lot - a black teacher on a motorbike (TC Carson), a cocaine sniffing slacker (Jonathan Cherry), a stressed business woman (Keegan Connor Tracy), a young guy who has won the lottery (David Paetkau).There's also a rookie cop (Michael Landes) who takes a personal interest and the only member of the first movie to survive (Ali Larter) who is so paranoid that she insists on being locked up in a padded cell.
These people are on Death's waiting list. They might have tricked fate once, but there are no second chances in the Book of Destiny, except... A familiar figure in a crematorium (Tony Todd), last seen as Candyman, says, "Only new life can cheat death," and they remember there was pregnant woman in a white van who avoided the crash, too. If her baby is born alive, maybe one of them will survive.
The producers took a risk with first time director James Wong on Final Destination and it worked well. They take a risk again with ex-stuntman David Ellis on the sequel and it's an unmitigated success. In a film, such as this, that depends on the quality of its stunts and the clever use of special effects, he proves himself to be a master of the gruesome accident.
The story takes a little time to digest, but New York writing team, Eric Bress and J Mackye Gruber, should be congratulated for taking the craft of the sequel seriously. As you leave the cinema, they make you aware of how many ways you might die on the road home.Reviewed on: 05 Feb 2003