Final Destination 2
Grade: D+
Year: 2003
Director: David R. Ellis
Writer: Jeffrey Reddick
Genre: Horror
Rated: R

Warning: Much of the plot and death scenes, including who and how, are explained in this review.

If you recall from the first "Final Destination," a kid saved himself and a few others when he got a vision of the plane they were on, exploding into a massive fireball. After the lucky ones got off the plane, it took off and exploded into a massive fireball. But because the kids who got off were supposed to die, Death returned to finish the job.

"Final Destination 2" takes place one year after that tragic plane crash. Many references and one character from the first movie are in this one, so if you haven't see the original……well, it doesn't matter; at all.

For an American film, the death scenes in "FD2" are impressive. It will make a great DVD. High school kids will have a lot of fun replaying it over and over in slow motion. But the rest of the movie is so horrible, that the DVD should only contain the death scenes, anything else would be a waste of disk space.

When the movie opens, Kimberly Corman (A.J. Cook) is driving her friends around on the interstate. It's a scary interstate; every car is speeding by, every driver/passenger/bystander is under the influence of something, and for no reason at all, a woman in a passing vehicle lifts up her shirt, giving us the nudity that was absent in the first "FD." As all the cars along, a logging truck comes into focus. Now, if you're as much of a moviegoer as I am, then you know that whenever you see a vehicle transporting a pile of redwood logs, then you know something awful is about to happen.

Kim notices the driver of the truck drinking a beer, and complains about it to her passenger friends, one of them is sitting in the backseat smoking marijuana. Kim suddenly gets a horrible vision and stops at the end of the onramp. In her vision, a log falls from the truck and starts the massive highway pileup. In this vision, we see multiple corpses getting smashed, scorched, burned and disemboweled. When the vision is over, we see Kim in a frightened state, and many p*ssed off motorists behind her who are blocked by her car.

Officer Thomas Burke (Michael Landes) spots the jam and heads towards Kim's vehicle. The kid in the back is freaking out because he has a bag full of pot, and the guy in the car behind them is freaking out because he too is in possession of drugs, cocaine if I'm not mistaken. Officer Tom gets Kim to get out of her car, just in time before it becomes squashed like an aluminum can. The accident has occurred. Kim's vision became a reality, and now a "rift has been created in Death's design!" Laugh out loud if you must, the dialogue gets worse.

For some unexplained reason, the people who were saved from the crash get together and start their own A-team. But one unlucky soul doesn't make it to the first 'Justice League of America' meeting. Evan (David Paetkau), having just won the lottery, goes home to his apartment after the accident that would have killed him if it weren't for Kim's SUV roadblock. With him, is a brand new Macintosh purchased with the winnings. But Evan won't be enjoying his wealth much longer. The chain of events begin when he carelessly throws old spaghetti out the window. Yes, in this movie, even spaghetti can be fatal. Anyway, he puts something in the microwave and something on the stove. The microwave blows up and the stove catches on fire. He drops his gold ring down the garbage disposal and his hand gets stuck. By the time he gets free, the entire apartment is up in flames. He breaks through the window that was mysteriously slammed shut and gets on the fire escape. The ladder is stuck, he gets thrown to the ground, and must now suffer the consequences of throwing spaghetti out the window.

I will now describe the character list comprised of the rest of the victims who will delightfully be subjected to an obscure (but always funny) death. First there's Eugene (T.C. Carson), the skeptic of the bunch. He doesn't believe in the legend and isn't convinced that he's in trouble despite knowing that people have begun dying. Next comes Rory (Jonathan Cherry), the druggie who was in the vehicle directly behind Kim's. He's the pathetic one, and says the most memorable quote of the movie. "When I die (gives Kim his keys), get rid of all my drugs and pornography. I don't want my parents to see anything that would hurt them."

Kat (Keegan Connor Tracy) is the impatient and self-centered one. Would it be giving it away if I told you that she dies? Her drug of choice of Valium, but at least that drug is legal when prescribed (not to her in this case). Next come the Carpenters, a mother and son duo who pick the worst day of the year to visit the dentist. Unlike the rest of them, 15 year old Tim Carpenter isn't seen doing drugs or smoking cigarettes that do funny things when soaked in kerosene.

Two oldies return. Clear Rivers (Ali Larter) was the only survivor from the first film out of the bunch who was supposed to die. To stop death once and for all, she voluntarily locked herself up in a padded cell in a mental hospital so nothing can happen to her. Kim eventually finds her and convinces her to join the A-team to help stop Death. Finally, we've got William 'Bill' Bludworth (Tony Todd), the mortician whose purpose is to cremate the characters we've seen die, and to explain to the others how Death works, and how to stop him. Horror buffs will recognize Todd from "FD1" and the "Candyman" series, one of the few horror series that is indeed scary.

At a certain point in the film, the surviving teens, led by Clear, pay a visit to Bill Bludworth. Coincidentally, he is in the process of cremating Evan. This scene can easily be a commercial for a cemetery owner wanting to discourage potential customers from deciding to exit this world via cremation. Bill the mortician plays with Evan like a doll, and finally throws him into the fire. You'd think someone who had just won the lottery would have had enough money in his estate to afford a better resting place than a dungeon below the sewers.

Anyway, Death continues to claim his victims one by one. The remaining survivors try to come up with a plan to stop it. Their theory: If you were meant to die, then you owe death a life. This can be accomplished if a baby is born to a pregnant woman who should have died. But when our fearless teens learn that the pregnant woman in their sights was never supposed to die, one of them decides to 'fake' her own death by nearly drowning in a lake. Hopefully, the curse will be over once she is resuscitated. Ouch, to think that three people were responsible for writing the story.

At least the original Final Destination had some suspense. The sequel is just laughable. It's nothing more than a creative compilation of death scenes that may or may not have been done before. They include but are not limited to: elevator decapitations, pigeon attacks, construction spikes, oxygen tank explosions, and falling platforms.

Yet for some critics, tongue-in-cheek in horror works for them. But isn't there something wrong with having a good time watching people die onscreen? Isn't horror supposed to be frightening? There's nothing spectacular about this movie that you can't get from a videogame. Unless a cooked forearm falling onto a dinner plate from the sky is your idea of good times at the movies, stay clear of "Final Destination 2."

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