Final Destination James Wong
Published Apr 01, 2000Final Destination is the latest addition to the endless stream of teen horror flicks. It has a fairly interesting premise and starts out quite promisingly, but quickly gets mired in convoluted plot lines and bad, obvious dialogue. A high school class embarks on a trip to Paris, when one student has a premonition of the plane crashing. After he tries to warn everyone on board, chaos erupts and several students and a teacher end up being removed from the plane, only to watch it go down in flames moments after takeoff. These survivors then begin dying off, each more fantastically than the last, supposedly marked for death after subverting their destiny. The opening moments are quite effective - building tension by creepy omens commonly found in airports ("terminals" and the like), through to the eerie premonition and the subsequent fallout. It plays on common fears of flying and the now-familiar media attention surrounding plane crashes. Unfortunately, from there the film begins to rapidly deteriorate, as characters come up with needlessly complex explanations about the path of death pursuing them, espouse some cheesy philosophical thoughts on death and destiny, and finally devise a half-baked plan to cheat death again in order to save themselves. The cast, mainly culled from various recent teen movies and TV shows (Idle Hands, Varsity Blues, American Pie, Dawson's Creek), don't do such a bad job, given the material they have to work with. The real culprits are co-screenwriters Glen Morgan and James Wong (who also directs), who took the story by Jeffery Reddick and ran with it - in the wrong direction.