The Final Destination (opens in SA on Friday October 2nd 2009)

Death by Killer Escalator is but one of the film's dubious delights...

Death by Killer Escalator is one of the film's dubious highlights...

An Active3D Movie Review

Rating (out of 5 stars): * *

One of a wide selection of poster taglines for the film reckons that “Death Saved the Best for 3-D”. Well, not really. Firstly, the previous chapter of this franchise was also shot in 3-D, but, because there were few suitably equipped theatres around the States (and the world) at the time of its release, it wasn’t very widely seen in this format. Most importantly, however, the tagline rings false as I’m prepared to bet that few punters would agree upon this being the best film in the quadrilogy.

As is the case with most movie franchises, the quality progressively tails off with each new sequel, and one’s ‘star rating’ tends to move in inverse proportion to the number the end of the title.

The film’s 3-D cinematography is good – let’s give credit where it’s due. Also, it isn’t often that we get to see a live-action 3-D movie these days. The opening scene, at a speedway race, packs a bunch of visceral thrills. The 3-D effect is rather laboured throughout the film, however, so you can look forward to having dangerous debris fly, bounce and shoot out at you… it’s a veritable assault course.

Them wuz the days! The guilty pleasures of wildly gratuitous '80s 3-D...

Them wuz the days! The guilty pleasures of wildly gratuitous '80s 3-D...

The Final Destination doesn’t, however, steal the in-your-eye trophies hoisted by the leaders of gratuitous 3-D: Comin’ at Ya (1981), Treasure of the Four Crowns (1983) and Friday the 13th 3-D (1982) – pretty much in that order. In a franchise of this nature, the fun invariably lies in the pivotal plot device of the original film. In the case of this series: teens cheat Death, so Death angrily pursues them, and dispatches the survivors, one by one, in a grisly fashion.

This, the latest (and hopefully, last) of the Final Destination films, adds absolutely nothing new to the oeuvre – such as it is. And, as I remember, it contains one joke – an in-joke which references the original film. If your idea of entertainment is seeing projectiles and sharp beams and girders blast through unsuspecting victims to poke bloodily in your face, then you’re in for a treat. Happily for me, the gore isn’t quite as nauseating and sustained as it was in that awful recent film, Scar 3-D. It’s still inappropriate viewing for young kids, however, or for people looking for something to (even delicately) engage their brain cells. Tat Wolfen

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