Film Reviews:

Final Destination 2

(David R. Ellis, US, 2002)

Final Destination 2: US posterDirector Ellis is better known as a second-unit director, handling action sequences on the likes of Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone - and on the evidence of this movie, it's where his talents lie. But I doubt anyone will be coming into this one looking for meaningful storylines or complex characterisation. They will want spectacular and gory deaths, and there are several here that deserve entry into the Hall of Fame for such things. Not least of which is the spectacular traffic accident that opens proceedings.

Of course, it's giving nothing away to say it's only a premonition, experienced by Kimberly Corman (A.J.Cook). She prevents the crash, but Death will not be denied, and is soon tidying up the loose ends with a series of implausible though undeniably creative accidents, while the survivors rush around, trying to find a convenient loophole.

If this sounds exactly like the first film, that's because it is. The Grim Reaper, though unseen, still remains the most interesting character - and has actually developed, in the sense that, this time, there's a terseness to the killings which suggest Death is irritated. Largely gone are the long, complex chains of events, in favour of sudden impacts - most notably, the sheet of glass, which is probably not far short of the "bus moment" from the first film, in terms of audience reaction.

Ali Larter, playing the sole survivor from the original, Clear Rivers, is about the only one who gets to bring any depth to her role - Tony Todd also briefly returns, offering more cryptic advice while shovelling corpses into his furnace. It's largely a case of "same day, different shit", and if you enjoyed the first, you will likely enjoy this one almost as much. Though how any film called Final Destination can have a sequel at all escapes me...

Jim McLennan

See also:

Final Destination
I Know What You Did Last Summer
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

A-Z of Film Reviews