Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Final Destination 5 (2011)

Final Destination 5 is a 2011 American supernatural horror film written by Eric Heisserer and directed by Steven Quale. It is the fifth installment in the Final Destination film franchise and stars Nicholas D'Agosto, Emma Bell, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Miles Fisher, Arlen Escarpeta, David Koechner, and Tony Todd. It is mostly considered to be the best Final Destination film of the franchise.

The motion picture's world premiere was August 4, 2011 at the Fantasia Festival in Montreal, Canada. It was released in Real D 3D and digital IMAX 3D.

The Plot

Sam Lawton (Nicholas D'Agosto), is on his way to a company retreat with his coworkers. While crossing the North Bay Bridge, Sam suffers a premonition that the bridge will collapse, killing everyone and himself. Panicked, he persuades his girlfriend Molly Harper (Emma Bell), his friends Peter Freidkin (Miles Fisher) and Nathan Sears (Arlen Escarpeta), Peter's girlfriend Candice Hooper (Ellen Wroe), his boss Dennis Lapman (David Koechner), Candice's rival Olivia Castle (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) and coworker Isaac Palmer (P.J. Byrne) to leave the bridge before it collapses. Following the memorial service, local coroner William Bludworth (Tony Todd) mysteriously warns the survivors that they cheated Death. They ignore his warnings and move on with their lives.

Later, Candice goes to gymnastics practice with Peter, but a chain reaction causes her to fall off the highbars and snap her spine. The next day, Isaac is killed when his head is crushed by a falling Buddha statue during an acupuncture session at a Chinese spa. Bludworth, who has been present for both deaths so far, tells the remaining survivors that if they wish to cheat Death, they must kill someone who was never meant to die on the bridge, and thereby claim their remaining lifespan. Sam and Molly suspect that Olivia, who has gone for laser eye surgery, is next and that she's in danger. They arrive at the clinic but are too late to see her fall to her death from a window onto a car's windshield. Later, after Sam and Molly studied Death's design, they notice that Nathan is next on Death's list.

Meanwhile, Nathan, who has returned to the plant, accidentally kills his antagonistic co-worker Roy Carson (Brent Stait) during an argument between the two when he shoves him in the path of a lifting hook, impaling his head. Nathan relays this information to the remaining survivors, who suggest that it means Nathan was successfully able to claim Roy's remaining lifespan and thus was skipped over. When Dennis arrives to question Nathan about the incident, he is suddenly killed when a stray wrench is launched by a belt sander and penetrated through his head.

That evening, Sam's mentor allows him to become an apprentice in Paris. He allows Sam to have the restaurant to himself for a date with Molly. Peter, who has now been driven paranoid and insane by Candice's death, interrupts the date in order to inform them that he nearly pushed a stranger in front of a truck after convincing himself that he would be able to kill someone else in order to take their lifespan; subsequently, he has decided to kill Molly and take her remaining lifespan for himself. After Peter draws a gun and fires shots, Sam and Molly both escape to the restaurant's kitchen. Nearby outside, Agent Block (Courtney B. Vance) overhears the shots and enters the restaurant. He arrives during the confrontation, but is shot and killed by Peter. Believing he is now safe from Death for taking Block's lifespan, he decides to kill both Molly and Sam to remove any witnesses. After some struggling, Sam kills Peter with a meat spit before he can harm Molly.

Two weeks later, Sam and Molly are boarding a plane to Paris. As they are taking their seats, a fight breaks out between two passengers, revealed to be Carter Horton and Alex Browning, resulting in their removal from the plane with the other passengers. The plane that Sam and Molly are boarding is revealed to be Flight 180, as it is revealed in Sam's ticket that it happens in May 13, 2000. In mid-air, the plane starts to break apart. Realizing they are too late to save themselves, both are killed in the resulting accident.

Meanwhile, at Roy's memorial, Nathan learns from a co-worker that Roy's autopsy had revealed that Roy had a brain aneurysm that doctors said could have killed him in a matter of days. As Nathan realizes that he actually didn't save himself, the landing gear from Flight 180 crashes through the roof of the building and crushes him.


The film received generally positive reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 61% of 125 critics have given the film a positive review, with an average rating of 5.8 out of 10, making it the first and as of yet only installment of the series to garner a "fresh" certification. It's currently the highest rated film in the series on the site. The site's consensus is, "It's still only for the gore-thirsty faithful, but Final Destination 5 represents a surprising return to form for the franchise". On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a score of 50 based on 24 reviews. The film was criticized for failing to bring anything new to the franchise, weak character development, and average dialogue. Though the reception to acting has been largely mixed, most positive reviews praised the film for being an improvement over the previous installment in the series, The Final Destination. Reviews also praised the use of 3D, the visual effects, the inventive death scenes, the return of suspense as opposed to a campy feel, and for both the premonition disaster sequence and the ending.

Richard Roeper stated in his review "From the opening credits to the final kill this film displays a great use of 3-D." Todd Gilchrist of Boxoffice Magazine has declared the film in his review for being "the best 3D horror movie ever made." He described Final Destination 5 as "a clean, glossy thriller shot in native 3D (not post-conversion) that maximizes the technology without straining the audience's credulity or their constitutions." He also stated "Calling anything the 'best 3D horror film' has the ring of crowning the world's tallest midget, but Quale uses 3D almost shockingly well." In a review for, Linda Barnard has stated "this could be a case where the 3-D-shot movie is worth the extra few bucks to see".

The visual effects were praised for improving on the weak CGI from the previous installment. Betty Jo Tucker of ReelTalk Movie Reviews said in her review "The film boasts some of the best visual effects ever, especially the bridge-crumbling sequence at the beginning of the film." In his review of Final Destination 5, Roger Ebert said "...the special effects do an excellent job of beheading, incinerating, vivisecting, squishing and so on." "Final Destination 5 contain some of the most fun effects ever seen that purely enhance the thrills and bloody spills, rather than detract from them," stated Lisa Giles-Keddie from

The death scenes in the film have been praised as being suspenseful, creative and shocking. said the deaths "are absolutely brilliant when it comes to building suspense". "The suspense comes from the ingenious methods that the characters meet their end" stated another reviewer from Boxoffice magazine said in praise "viewers connect to both the relatable pain of everyday injury and the gory gratification of a well-constructed, larger-than-life set piece." has said "Admitted, there is a certain inventiveness to the way director Steven Quale stages the violence." San Francisco Chronicle said that the characters are "killed in gruesome and spectacular ways." The gymnastic set piece has been praised as "anxiety-filled", "a beautiful example of successful comic suspense", "Hitchcockian edge-of-your-seat suspense", and "inventively grotesque". stated in their review "The subsequent deaths are hit-or-miss, but they all show some creative spark. Quale sets them up like a cross between a joke and a magic trick, carefully establishing crucial details."

The opening bridge collapse has garnered considerable critical praise, with many stating it as being on par with the pile up sequence from Final Destination 2. It has been said to be "one of the single best sequences of any film all year" by Boxoffice magazine. stated that the opening bridge collapse sequence is "beautifully directed and choreographed". Eric D. Snider has stated in his review for that "The opening premonition is nerve-janglingly effective." The New York Post has called the bridge collapse sequence "spectacular", and Daily News has call it "terrifying". USA today has commented on the sequence "The effect is terrific and reminiscent of the bridge destruction from Mission: Impossible III." Betsy Sharkey, a Los Angeles Times film critic stated in her negative review "I will say, the bus, and the bridge it must cross, does make for a pretty incredible wham-bam opening sequence," she further adds "The big crumble is a stunner of an opener." In a review for, Kat Murphy said "the fifth chapter starts out with a slambang catastrophe", then stated that the bridge collapse is "Skillfully orchestrated," and "this sequence is actually enhanced by 3-D: Holes in the disintegrating bridge seem to pull the gaze down -- dizzyingly -- to the river below, and jagged camera angles on hanging railings and sliding debris muddle our sense of what's up, what's down." The Hollywood Reporter praised "This film’s opening sequence is undeniably spectacular." Aaron Hillis from The Village Voice called the bridge collapse "breathtakingly staged". The Advocate stated that "Director Steve Quale and writer Heisserer stage the bridge’s collapse in swift but exacting detail." The Austin Chronicle said the bridge collapse sequence is "spectacularly gruesome".

The Cast

Nicholas D'Agosto as Sam Lawton
 Emma Bell as Molly Harper
 Miles Fisher as Peter Friedkin
 Ellen Wroe as Candice Hooper
 Jacqueline MacInnes Wood as Olivia Castle
 P.J. Byrne as Isaac Palmer
 Arlen Escarpeta as Nathan
 David Koechner as Dennis
 Courtney B. Vance as Agent Jim Block
 Tony Todd as William Bludworth
 Brent Stait as Roy
 Roman Podhora as John
 Jasmin Dring as Cho
 Barclay Hope as Dr. Leonetti

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