Final Destination

Bomb Rating: 

Director James Wong basically expands the "who's in the closet" gimmick to the "what object is going to come out of nowhere and splatter that teenager's face all over the place" gimmick.

I like to think of any surprise in "Final Destination" as a prize at the bottom of the Cracker Jack box. Initially, you might be awed by the secret decoder ring, but when you start thinking about it, you realize some teenage factory worker in China got paid three cents an hour to produce the thing, the ring isn't that cool after all, and the Cracker Jacks themselves have all the nutritional value of radioactive sewage.

In "Final Destination," the Cracker Jacks are the story and the decoder rings are the scenes in which various teeny-boppers get killed. The story, boiled down, is hardly different from any of the other slasher flicks Hollywood has so copiously shat out lately. The plot is this: Kids die. In this case, Alex (Devon Sawa) has a vision of his plane crashing, disembarks with some of his friends at the last second, and the plane really does explode. Having cheated death, Alex and his friends are hunted down by the mystical spook, one by one.

Director James Wong basically expands the "who's in the closet" gimmick to the "what object is going to come out of nowhere and splatter that teenager's face all over the place" gimmick. The best thing in the movie is a girl getting hit by a bus. This is curious, because that was also the best thing about "Meet Joe Black," and I'll take Brad Pitt getting plastered by a bus over some no-name girl any day. I mean really, she didn't even have the horror-film decency to take a nude shower first.

Naturally, nobody believes Alex when he tells them about his vision except for one cute girl named Clear (Ali Larter), who has no parents and no friends, but does happen to be an expert welder. Isn't it always that way with the hotties? Oh, you're gorgeous, but don't have any friends or parents -- and you can weld! Maybe it's a coincidence, but I just noticed that "Wong" rhymes with "bong."

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