Posted by: John Gholson
Directed by David R. Ellis, 2009
Written by Eric Bress
Does the “The” added before the title, in lieu of a number four, mean that this series is dead now? FINAL DESTINATION had the efficient idea of cutting out the middle man from slasher films, just offing its teenybopper cast members through awful, gory accidents, and skipping the whole killer thing, but the films have gotten progressively lazy.
The first attempted to tell a compelling story, the second one used the art of misdirection for maximum shock value, but the third one poorly telegraphed every death scene, and, with this fourth and latest installment, we’ve reached the point of self-parody. Yes, the instantly forgettable cast of vanilla zeroes will escape some catastrophe in the first ten minutes of the film, then spend all of their time between each character’s death scene trying to figure out the order in which everyone will die.
THE FINAL DESTINATION manages to completely sever itself from the tale of Flight 180 (despite some in-jokes), but it hardly matters, as it forges no new ground. Nick O’Bannon (Bobby Campo) attends a stock car race with his immensely unlikeable best friends, where he witnesses their tragic deaths in a premonition involving a crumbling stadium, condescending NASCAR fan cliches, and Krista Allen putting tampons in kids’ ears. It’s the sorriest opening for an installment in this series by far–poorly staged, and executed with some of the worst CG I’ve seen in a recent feature film.