north americaeurope
  in brief
final destination 2
  david r. ellis
  a.j. cook, michael landes, ali larter
the good: showcases many original and creative mays to die. more than it's fair share of thrills and suspense. great effects.
the bad: some confusing parts to the plot. lots of gore may be disturbing to some viewers.
we say:
in depth

'Final Destination 2' is a something of a surprise. The sequel to 2000's medicore 'Final Destination' is packed with more thrills, better effects, grisly creativity, and even some(what) better acting. Watching it is a very satisfying experience, and is gauranteed to have you jumping out of your seat at least a couple times.

The starting point for the first movie was the catastrophic crash of flight 180. The only survivors of that flight disembarked by accident, as one of them had a premonition of a plane crash. However, it seemed they didn't so much survive as just stave off death a little longer. One by one, they perished in freak accidents.

A year later, a young woman called Kimberly (A.J. Cook) is heading off for spring break with some of her friends, when she has a premonition of a devastating pile-up on the road ahead. Luckily we get to see it, because it's one meticulously crafted extravagance of a pile-up. Ellis has constructed organized mayhem on a scale which is almost unbelievable. There's some over-the-top gruesome deaths, plenty of blood, and eye-popping photography. Truly a masterpiece of action, it's realism is such that's it's almost difficult to watch.

Kimberly blocks the entrance onto the freeway, saving herself and people in the cars behind her. However, she's about to find out that all of them are living on borrowed time. To quote the movie, 'death has a plan', and you can't really opt out of it - it's a more of a forced participation thing. So cue a series of fantastical deaths and some muddled explanation of the plot, and you're set to enjoy 'Final Destination 2'.

The movie does a spectacular job of creating some of the most creative deaths to hit the screen in recent movies. The elaborate set ups and equally intricate false alarms are immensely enjoyable, and the movie pulls no punches in terms of gore when a messy death is called for. Which is pretty well all of them. Sometimes the build-up is forgone entirely, and the viewer is shocked to see a gruesome death come out of almost nowhere. You just never know when someone's going to get knocked off, who it's going to be, or how're it's going to happen. It's a perfect formula for some excellent surprises.

The movie doesn't take itself seriously enough to try any more than a token attempt to explain it's plot, which is an good thing. As simple as they keep it however, they do manage to muddle up the 'rules' of death, and sometimes find no need to explain convenient plot devices. The finale brings up some questions of causality, but a nice little tweak at the end stops everything from being wrapped up too nicely.

The acting is generally sufficient for a movie of this type. Larter manages to play her part without bringing any emotion to the screen, but Cook does a better than average job of playing the doe-eyed girl who's just about at her wit's end. Perhaps the worst acting comes from an overly dramatic undertaker who tries to be mysterious and frightening, but just comes across as irritating. Thankfully, we only have to suffer through him for a few moments. While the acting may not be spectacular, the real stars are of course the effects, with humans really just around when we need fresh meat for the grinder... which is thankfully pretty often. Expect to see decapitations, impalements, explosions, sheer blunt force, and plenty more. Everything is served up with a more than generous portion of blood and guts, very little left to the imagination here. It's truly a visual feast.

'Final Destination 2' stands as an excellent movie, and is a must see for horror fans who don't mind a abundant helping of thrills as opposed to out-and-out terror. It's an entertaining ride of a movie with a furious pace punctuated by suspense, magnificent special effects, and even a little bit of humor. 'Final Destination 2' sets a furious pace from the outset, and doesn't let up from the opening scene to the closing credits.


reviewed by dragonsworn staff
  in closing
it's seriously better than you would think. seriously. by no means aimed solely at horror fans, if you can stomach a bit (lot) of gore with your thrillers, then this is for you.