Final Destination 2 (2003)

Final-Destination-2

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Relatively the Same

How does one define the term Hollywood Sequel? Well, a Hollywood sequel is something I would like to define as a movie made just to produce some income based on the popularity of the original film. They aren’t usually planned by the original creators of the first movie, but they typically don’t care if the sequels are made as long as they don’t work on it. The Final Destination films are totally among this list, but I am not sure I would call its first sequel, Final Destination 2 a Hollywood sequel, but it does exhibit a frightening amount of similarities to one, that’s for sure.

Exactly like in the first film, a woman named Kimberly (A.J. Cook) gains the premonition of a disastrous freak accident. This time the initial accident that kills everyone was a terrible highway pileup. So once the vision clears, she blocks off a small portion of the highway, saving that small portion from death, and guess what she gone and done? She set death after them, only this time, death’s design comes back in reverse, killing the people originally set to die last…first and so forth. Kimberly enlists the help of the only survivor of the first film, Clear (Ali Larter) to find out how to live. After making a trip to Death’s manifestation (Tony Todd), he makes it clear that “only new life can defeat hate”. Whatever that means.

This film is exactly like its predecessor except for the different varied forms in which the survivors wind up getting killed and the pattern in which they die. This time around, it’s not the original order death intended for them to die…but rather the reversed order. So you may be asking yourself…why? What meaning could be behind this method? Well…don’t hold your breath, because the answer to that, while offered, isn’t really that revealing or satisfactory. In the end, what you have is still people dying one by one by freak acts of nature while a bunch of kids try to cheat it. That part is primarily the same thing.

The only thing really changed this time around was the introduction to “only new life can defeat death” and the mysterious connection that all of the survivors actually have to the original set of survivors from the first film. The prospect that only new life can defeat death makes the survivors strive to make sure a pregnancy goes through, but that might not actually be what the phrase meant. Also, I won’t spoil the connection of the survivors to the first film, but that’s really what saves the movie and makes you wonder about future films in the series.

The involvement of Ali Larter and Tony Todd helped tremendously in making the movie still feel like a real sequel rather than Hollywood, but the fact that the entire movie was practically the same thing makes the audience feel cheated, regardless of how interesting the deaths were done. Yes, they were still done in an interesting, improbable but possible way. Yes, they were creative. However, a movie can’t solely rely on that. The story has to improve too. It did a little, but I’m just hoping the third film will integrate a better story.

My biggest worry is that each movie will continue adding elements to the deaths that are more impossible, like only one of the deaths in this one. I’ll give you a brief idea: guy in hospital. Air shuts off, cart is pulled to a specific area, etc. This just felt like a ghost or poltergeist moving the objects, not something that could in the most unfortunate of cases happen. So for only one of the death scenes, I was not convinced, which hurt this film.

Final Destination 2 was an interesting film and had some good ideas, but I don’t believe they were 100% ready to go through with the movie yet.

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4 thoughts on “Final Destination 2 (2003)

  1. The first of the series is clearly the best it has to offer, though this one is the next best thing. Personally, I think from the next installment on, the series just repeatedly transfers the entire plot to a new set of characters we don’t care about. The manner of death being the only thing differentiating one from the other, and the only source of (morbid) entertainment. I do look forward to reading your opinion on this as you progress through the franchise.

    I also loved your reviews of the Saw series. One thing that the Saw collection has going for it is that it never devolves into shameless self-parody the way so many horror franchises eventually do. I don’t think the FD franchise quite suffers that fate, either. It’s more like regurgitation. It can be a twistedly fun regurgitation, but regurgitation nonetheless.

    • Thanks for your input, Wendell. I try my best not to prejudge a series before I watch it. Too many people see these films and decide how it’ll be before they see it. That’s not what I’m about. I understand the repeat of gore and what not, but what I do, or try to do, is take away that repetition and tell you what’s beneath it all. What’s the story – does it expand, get any more interesting, any worse, and why. Again thanks for the comment!

  2. Pingback: Final Destination 3 (2006) | Dave Examines Movies

  3. Pingback: The Final Destination Collection (2000-2011) | Dave Examines Movies

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