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Final Destination 5 (2011)
Final Destination 5 is a 2011 American supernatural horror film written by Eric Heisserer and directed by Steven Quale. It is the fifth installment in the Final Destination film franchise. It stars Nicholas D'Agosto, Emma Bell, PJ Byrne, Miles Fisher, Arlen Escarpeta, David Koechner, and Tony Todd. The motion picture's world premiere was August 4, 2011 at the Fantasia Festival in Montreal, Canada. It was released in Real D 3D and digital IMAX 3D. Sam Lawton (Nicholas D'Agosto), is on his way to a company retreat with his coworkers. While crossing the North Bay Bridge, Sam suffers a premonition that the bridge will collapse, killing everyone and himself. Panicked, he persuades his girlfriend Molly Harper (Emma Bell), his friends Peter Freidkin (Miles Fisher) and Nathan Sears (Arlen Escarpeta), Peter's girlfriend Candice Hooper (Ellen Wroe), his boss Dennis Lapman (David Koechner), Candice's rival Olivia Castle (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) and coworker Isaac Palmer (P.J. Byrne) to leave the bridge before it collapses. Following the memorial service, local coroner William Bludworth (Tony Todd) mysteriously warns the survivors that they cheated Death.
After they survive a horrific bridge collapse, the so-called "Lucky Eight" of a local corporate manufacturing interest become convinced that Death itself is out to take back what it has been cheated out of. For wannabe chef Sam (Nicholas D'Agosto), his on-again, off again girlfriend Molly (Emma Bell), co-workers Peter (Miles Fisher), Candice (Ellen Wroe), Olivia (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood), Isaac (P.J. Byrne), and Nathan (Arlen Escarpeta), as well as their boss Dennis (David Koechner), it appears they are destined to die, one by one. According to a mysterious coroner named Bludworth (Tony Todd), the only way they can escape their fate is to take the life of another. As they begin to perish in more and more peculiar ways, a Federal Agent (Courtney B. Vance) tries to establish some kind of pattern. Of course, when dealing with something as diabolical as the Grim Reaper, all bets are off.
Lacking the spark and spunk of previous installments, Final Destination 5 -- supplanting the supposed finale from two years ago tagged The Final Destination -- is a so-so pseudo slasher. Taking the slice and dice dynamic and modifying it via a supernatural stalker, the results are basically the same as when Jason Voorhees gets a wild hair up his hockey mask. Each film starts with a set-piece (airplane crash, traffic accident, amusement park tragedy, NASCAR pile-up) and the near flawless treatment of the suspension bridge collapse prepares us for something special. But then the script, by Eric Heisserer (A Nightmare on Elm Street remake, the upcoming Thing prequel), keeps trying to get us to care, to worry if Sam and Molly will get back together or if Peter will ever get over the death of his beloved...and nothing hinders suspense more than meaningless melodrama.
Luckily, the killings here are top notch. They do the typical Destination thing -- making us believe one item will do the deadly deed (a random screw, an eye surgeon's laser) before changing up and going all Rube Goldberg on our expectations. Brains fly. Guts explode. Heads are crushed, and torsos are eviscerated. By the time we get to the twist ending (and it's a good one), we've once again experienced a madman's imagination's worth of wounds. Quale's lack of experience can't undermine the fun,. Even the unnecessary 3D fails to put a damper on our brazen cinematic bloodlust.
Since it delivers what we expect in the manner in which we expect it, Final Destination 5 succeeds. It's no classic, and one can easily see the studio continuing to milk this material as long as there are screenwriters capable of concocting crazier and crazier deaths. A word to the wise -- next time, nix all the unnecessary character development and personal backstory. We fans just want to see gore...and when we get it, the flaws in Final Destination 5 are all but forgotten.