Title: Final Destination 5
Director: Steven Quale
Screenwriters: Eric Heisserer, Jeffrey Reddick
Starring: Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Arlen Escarpeta
The Final Destination films are fundamentally anti-dramatic: death (or fate, or the balance of the universe, or what have you) gets everyone in the end, typically through elaborate Rube Goldberg-esque contrivances that result in gruesome dismemberment, or impalement, or, as in Final Destination 5, a huge Buddha statuette crushing a dude’s head. No one can do anything about it – the characters may think they’ve found a way to escape, but it never works, and the last shot is invariably a stinger that takes out the last survivor. There’s no one to root for and nothing to hope for; the only thing to do is enjoy the spectacle of the kills. Here, the series has typically delivered, engineering increasingly bizarre and hilarious exits for its characters/victims. But after five films consisting mostly of sinister establishing shots of screws unscrewing themselves, I’m ready to cry “no mas.” Have been since number three, to be honest.
Final Destination 5 tries to vary things a bit by suggesting that it’s possible to make someone take your place in death’s grasp by killing them. This sounds like it might solve the volition problem, and add a potentially compelling moral dimension a la The Box to boot, but of course it turns out to be a red herring. (It also gives the film a slasher climax, which is the last thing this franchise needed.) The kills are well done as usual (as if I needed confirmation that I was never, ever getting laser eye surgery), and the ending offers what may be the first genuine surprise this franchise has ever offered. But it turned out that I just don’t give a shit anymore.
— Eugene Novikov