Plot: Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto) is not loving life at the moment, as he is about to take part in a lame business retreat, but he was also just dumped, mere minutes before the bus left for the excursion. As Sam and his coworkers sit in traffic held in place by construction on a suspension bridge, a chain of events unfold that sees a torrent of death unleashed, as the bridge collapses. But Sam’s vision was just that and after he snaps out of it, he panics and rushes to get off the bridge, with several of his colleagues and others behind him, despite their objections. When the bridge does indeed collapse and countless lives are lost, the focus shifts to how Sam knew. While the investigation into the collapse begins, those who survived start to experience odd events and some are even killed under odd circumstances. Has Sam’s vision caused a rift in death’s design and if so, can anyone survive death’s vengeance and it seeks to right the course?
Entertainment Value: By this fifth installment, the Final Destination series had a well established formula and while Final Destination 5 doesn’t break from that formula, it is a fun ride and a step up from the previous movie. I still think the second and third films are the highlights of the franchise, but Final Destination 5 is solid fun and offers some interesting death sequences. The narrative is mostly business as usual, but a nice twist or two is thrown in this time around and I appreciated that, as a little of the series’ puzzle is revealed at least. I do wish the characters were more colorful or interesting in this one, as most of the ones are forgettable and while it is fun to watch them die, I miss the dialed up b movie elements here. The pace is fine and we move from one death to the next at a nice clip, but I would have liked more humor or horror elements, instead we have a kind of middle ground that never builds much steam. Either embrace the campiness or drive for more visceral horror threads, but here neither is achieved and that’s a main reason it fails to capture the fun of some of the earlier sequels. But Final Destination 5 has some moments and while not as wild as some of the others in the franchise, it puts on a decent show and is worth a look.
No nakedness. This installment drops the mild sleaze found in some of the previous movies, so not even a quick topless shot this time around. This movie raises the ante on the kills after a rather lackluster effort in the fourth film, giving us a nice assortment of splashy, fairly inventive deaths. I appreciated that despite this movie being shot for 3D like the fourth, the film doesn’t put the gimmick ahead of crafting cool kills, so I’m glad that mistake was corrected here. Some of the violence includes acupuncture trauma, foot trauma, an involuntary contortionist routine, long fall impalement, a gentleman gets the hook, an eyeball makes a run for freedom, and a wonderful sequence that involves lasers gone wild. Now most of the gore is low end CGI as in previous volumes of the series, but some of the kills look passable and at this point, even passable CGI is a welcome surprise in this genre. The dialogue is mostly basic, but Tony Todd returns with some spooky wisdom and as usual David Koechner is able to squeeze some humor out of his lines. But the b movie, colorful performances aren’t really in the mix this time, which I missed. Not a lot of general craziness either, aside from a few of the better kills, again a byproduct of the lowered focus on b movie style campiness.
Overall Insanity: 2/10