A great return can, at times, trump a great send-off, or at least every reboot at least hopes so, and sometimes far down the line of an established property, these miracles can certainly happen. In 2011, just three years after taking the final bow in The Final Destination, the fatalistic franchise got a second wind, to face Death once again in Final Destination 5.
The company Sam Lawton works for is out enjoying a corporate retreat, while riding on the coach to the event, Sam foresees a destructive admonition about a bridge collapsing, killing him and his co-workers, Sam, however, uses this upper hand to save the intended victims. Nevertheless, soon after being saved, they each fall victim to freak accidents. It seems like, once again, that Death is balancing the scales, one way or the other. Can Sam and the rest of the survivors keep their wits when faced with an omnipotent threat?
The rules have changed once again, with this film adding an escape clause meaning that if you kill someone you gain their life force/remaining time, don’t ask how that works, what’s important is that this information adds an almost game-like moralistic choice to the events, “do I kill to save my own life, if so who?” But for those who find these quandaries a hindrance, there’s an ample amount of blood, guts, explosions and gore that more than makes up for it.
There’s a reason why Death is back, and that reason is subtlety woven into the film throughout and makes a dramatic disclosure for the conclusion. Without going into too many details, the film has this secret laid out in plain sight from choices of music to other subtle diegetic and non-diegetic touches and it makes a more impressive revelation on each re-watch. The special effects have seen an improvement over the past Final Destinations, that helps in making some of the deaths look especially painful, and even more engrossing. Especially considering how five movies in, there’s still ample amount of ways to kill a person with everyday objects.
With a profusion of twist and turns, that are well set up, and an abundance of Final Destination 5 is a welcome return, and if (any) subsequent sequels do follow from this movie they will have a tough act to follow. But as a second attempt at a finale, Final Destination wraps up the franchise nicely without doing too much to mess with the overall canon. It just goes to show that even with Death on your tail, some things should never say die.
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