Final Destination 3

UK release date: 10 February 2006

cast list

Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Ryan Merriman
Kris Lemche
Amanda Crew
Alexz Johnson
Texas Battle

directed by
James Wong

After the rebirth of the slasher movie with Scream in 1996, therecame a cavalcade of poor yet profitable imitations. But for those who didn’treally give a shit who did what last summer, there was one movie which stoodout. In 2000, the surprisingly well-reviewed sleeper hit FinalDestination may have suffered from the standard case of hammy acting andcheesy dialogue like its peers. But its conceit, that cheating death willmake it come back for you, was ingenious. Final Destination 2predictably followed and was more of the same fun, albeit with a lightertone.

With Final Destination 3, the original creators and have promised toprovide the ‘ride of your life’ (or at least that’s what the poster says).So the mayhem begins this time on an unruly roller coaster. Wendy (MaryElizabeth Winstead) has a funny feeling that something terrible is going tohappen. Forced onto a giant roller coaster by her friends she has aterrifying premonition that it’s going to crash and kill all of itspassengers. Leaving the ride, along with some other classmates, herpremonition becomes true. But soon after the accident, the people who gotoff realise that you can only cheat death once, before the guy with the sickle getsreally annoyed.

You’re either someone who avoids a movie like Final Destination3 like the plague, or someone who’ll appreciate the air-headed excitement that it canbring. I admit that I was a fan of the first two instalments as there’sjust something primal about watching poorly paid unknowns get inventivelysliced and diced. Yes, the dialogue still reeks of cheese and there isn’t acharacter amongst them to care about, but these movies live and, um, die by thequality of the kills. And this sick little puppy pays up.

Right from the opening roller coaster crash, the adrenaline kicks in.Capturing the fear and exhilaration that such rides can incite, it’s aheart-pumping spectacle. It may well do for roller coasters what theoriginal Destination did for planes. From then on, it’s guess who dies nextand all the more important, how they die. Thankfully, this Destination seemsto get rid of a lot of the clumsy exposition which plagued the first two.The makers have recognised the giddy fun of predicting what will happen towhom and they deliver a ton of gruesomely clever demises. Working on thesequel rules of bigger meaning better, everything is cranked up to 11 onthis one.

The film manages to keep its tongue firmly in its cheek throughout,which is refreshing. On the death following the initial accident, the songLove Rollercoaster plays while the characters seem to possess anincredible lack of grief or shock for the mayhem which surrounds them. So thekey is not to take this movie seriously. Instead, like me, you’ll hopefullyhave a lot of fun with it. Momentum is maintained through to thebitter end and there’s a ridiculous number of hand-over-mouth moments.

There’s no point really criticising a film like this for badcharacterisation or a lack of logic, because that’s taking it on a levelwhich even the filmmakers themselves don’t. I had tore-check what the main character was called when reviewing, but thedevious set-pieces and the sheer reckless abandon of the movie make it amemorably engaging genre offering.

Final Destination 3knows what it’s doing and doesn’t care how many rules it breaks. Oh – and justbefore you start passing this off as a trilogy, just wait for the finalscene.

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