It’s the classic conundrum, you have a film, it does well, and now you want to capture the magic again. How do you do so without robbing the film of the conclusion you gave it? Luckily for a universal concept like thwarting death, returning to the well is something you can do constantly. In 2003, The sequel projects what would happen when a fresh batch of survivors face-off against fresher odds in concurrently named Final Destination 2.
Celebrating Spring Break, Kimberly Corman plans a trip to sunny Florida with her friends. While driving, she foresees a horrific car pile-up, thus causing her to halt and creating a tailback. Fortunately, those caught in the tailback are saved from the grisly events she has foreseen, now a reality. When the rest of the survivors, however, start dying one-by-one. She finds some deadly serious similarities to this incident and a plane crash that happened a year ago. Now our new protagonists must team up with some familiar faces, as Death up the rules and the stakes of its twisted game.
Unlike other slasher spectacles that I have covered, you don’t have to be acquainted with the lore of the first Final Destination to get the full benefits of the second, it would help, but the film does a good job of filling you in. Fans will probably also enjoy the little flashes that both set-up and misdirect the audience about who is next and how they will meet their demise, as the film becomes more playful in its approach.
The kills in Final Destination 2 are starting to get a little more ambitious. Although the technology that might seem a little dated now, it still creates some impressive and visually elaborate slaughters. A shout out should also be given to the new characters who all feel like they’re on a spectrum of hope they survive to “I can’t wait to see this guy get skewered”. The return of Clear Rivers is also a nice and it feels a waste of words to talk about how effective a performance the Tony Todd’s mortician William Bludworth. But it’s the new characters like David Paetkau’s cocky lotto winner Evan Lewis, Michael Landes as Trooper Thomas Burke and of course lead actress A.J. Cook as Kimberly that all rightfully take the centre role.
While the new chapter ups the ante and new characters are at the forefront. Final Destination 2 still feels similar enough to the core conceit of Final Destination as to not alienate the fans, it also shows an eager willingness to adapt to be a fresh crowd-pleaser. A cheekier and slightly less serious instalment that remains utterly pleasing. Final Destination 2 is not the end like its name suggests, nor would you want it to be.
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