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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.39%
Worth A Look27.56%
Pretty Bad: 18.11%
Total Crap: 13.39%

12 reviews, 55 user ratings

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Final Destination 3
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by Erik Childress

"Death Takes A Holiday"
2 stars

You have to possess a rather morbid sense of humor to enjoy the Final Destination films; a club I am proud to admit myself a member of. The first was a clever twist on the slasher genre, placing fortunate teenagers who created death into a neither run-nor-hide scenario from the invisible Reaper with a panache for Rube Goldberg-type death rattles. The first sequel got even more elaborate and pricelessly ridiculous with its demises on top of raising the ante with arguably the greatest freeway pileup in film history. Death clearly must be getting tired of these kids having visions and mucking up his arriving manifest because for the third go-round he’s taken a cue from Indiana Jones, shooting first to get the opponent out of the way. It results in some fun payoffs, but very little in the way of suspense.

After the plane and roadside mishaps, Death now has his sights on a rollercoaster. A local amusement park, in some way rented out to high school seniors, introduces us to Death’s list. This may be the quickest of any film you’ve seen in which Death becomes your rooting interest in a span of about four minutes. There’s the pretty yearbook photographer, Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), her good friend and their two annoying boyfriends, a pair of obnoxious valley girl wannabes, Wendy’s bitchy younger sister, a jock in love with his own strength (who is such a jag his death doesn't come soon enough), the brooding goth jag and his girlfriend and a horndog we hope gets maimed before he even makes it to the coaster. I can’t imagine a single tear being shed for any of these idiots, except maybe of the joy variety in Darwin’s waiting room.

If you’ve seen either of the first two, few surprises are in store. There will be a spectacular catastrophe, foreseen by the heroine who causes a panic and saves some of the intended victims. Death will then come after them in the order they were to die unless the chain can be broken – which really just causes Death annoyance in having to doubleback by the end of the film.

This third chapter, which brings back on board its original creators (director James Wong & co-writer Glen Morgan), gets off on the wrong foot immediately by producing a less-than-spectacular disaster. The thought of a rollercoaster accident has given me many a nightmare (despite being an avid aficionado), but because of the extensive special effects involved and the velocity at which its happening it’s hard to really enjoy what’s occurring. The sloppy editing and lack of imagination leaves us with little more than any news story about the countless carnival accidents we’ve read about in any given Summer. Where’s the collapse of the tracks or a launch of the cars into a ferris wheel? If you need a return of Timothy Bottoms to extract some life from the disaster, well, that at least would have proved someone had their morbid thinking caps on. Worse still is the paradox that the worst parts of the foreseen crash is caused by one of the jackasses who got off the coaster. Doesn’t eliminating him from the equation put the physics back on the plus side?

No matter cause Wong & Morgan don’t do much elaborating on the death sequences. After the third body is completely crushed into salsa chunks, someone from the audience should be allowed to scream “SEEN IT” since it’s the only semblance of actual screaming in what was originally conceived as a horror film. Now its somewhere just above rooting for the kill scenes in Faces of Death. Terror has been replaced by nervous laughter and appreciative carnage. And that’s fine. Jettisoned is a complete lack of sympathy for any of the characters. Even Wendy becomes such a Debbie Downer that we’d rather see her off’ed then make one more futile attempt to warn the others of the signs brought to them within the photos she took at the carnival. As the one bit of ingenuity in the film, these photos take a disturbing turn when images of the Twin Towers are utilized as proof of Wendy’s theory. Yeah, I’m sure that tragedy would have been prevented if someone had just seen the SHADOW OF THE PLANE on the building before it hit. Toss in another snide reference to Princess Diana’s crash and all of a sudden the film just isn’t as funny.

Those may sound like prudish complaints but the film had already lost much of its appeal without them. After part two upped the body count and director David R. Ellis (also of the very entertaining Cellular) kept a brisk pace having fun DePalma-style with the death knells, its sad to see Mr. Reaper get so lazy. Sure, reaping burns many calories and everyone deserves a break but if he’s sloppy enough not to cover his trail so that anyone with internet access can sniff out his master plan, maybe its time to just retire. On the other hand if he would like a death counselor, colleague Peter Sobczynski and myself have been bantering about carnival fatalities for several weeks in advance of this film. I wouldn’t dream of spoiling his ideas, but some of mine included: Death by Dart Balloon Game, Asphyxiation by Corn Dog, Out-of-control Gravitron, someone’s head falls onto the mallet game, Tilt-a-Whirl accident where a guy goes flying and winds up getting his head stuck in the basketball hoop where no circular object this side a radius of 2 inches can hit and finally following Harry Knowles into the port-o-potty. Even if you like Final Destination 3, it’s hard to argue that these aren’t more interesting or horrible ways to die than featured in the movie.

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originally posted: 02/10/06 16:49:14
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User Comments

12/19/13 Monday Morning Hideous, horribly painful deaths will never go out of style! 5 stars
7/29/12 cr a guilty pleasure of the series. still a fun movie. 3 stars
3/10/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess Goofy fun 3 stars
1/11/09 Daniel Omer It has mediocre acting and gore, but the ending plain sucks. 2 stars
12/20/08 dominic thebestmovieeverandidontlie 5 stars
9/28/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome story! 5 stars
7/10/07 Total Crap Waste of my precious time. People who don't know wtf they're watching will like it. 1 stars
5/30/07 wouldntulyke2no its the best out of the 3 films but did have some plot holes 5 stars
5/12/07 Matt The best film in the t(h)rilogy. The 'choose thier fate' option on the DVD is ace. 5 stars
4/02/07 fools♫gold I guess it's good when you put it on mute. Doesn't even compare to the first two. 1/5 or 2/ 2 stars
2/11/07 AJ Muller Just a good fucking time, man. If you dug the first 2 well, here's more inventive deaths. 4 stars
2/04/07 x/x.W i l t e d.Rose.x/x The Best Final Destination. One Of My Fave Movies. Its Awesome Go See It__xx 5 stars
12/30/06 Sumixam all 3 are good, this is right up there 5 stars
12/18/06 Jeremy Movie sucked because it threw the second one out the window. 3 stars
11/02/06 Patsyc I loved the first one. The second one was good. This one was good but not quite as scary. 4 stars
10/30/06 Roger Wilks The deaths are ridiculous and sickening. The plot is senseless. SUCKS!!! 1 stars
10/25/06 Drew G Some pretty good deaths, but overall disappointing 2 stars
10/24/06 Sara It sucked because the ending was grap. 1 stars
10/06/06 Michael Coovert This plot has been played out; nothing compared to the first or second. 3 stars
10/01/06 Beau the most goriest one especially wen girls burn alive in tanning. great horror 4 stars
9/23/06 David Pollastrini good gore. 4 stars
9/19/06 Luckdeezy Pretty good...worth watching for sure 4 stars
9/14/06 Mara Frost not as good as the first 2, but still fun and original 4 stars
9/13/06 veronique ya need to like it 3 stars
9/13/06 Jorge Coronilla It wasn't that bad. 4 stars
9/13/06 Edward Connell Unforseen events make this movie interesting 5 stars
9/05/06 Indrid Cold The formula is wearing a little thin, but still more fun than most mainstream horror. 3 stars
8/25/06 Littlepurch Great gory deaths and although the middle sags, the fantastic start and end make up for it. 4 stars
8/13/06 Danny Respectable. Not as good as FD, but better than FD2. 4 stars
8/07/06 Tim The guy with the camera got off the ride the second time and he started the accident? 2 stars
8/05/06 Dan The DVD has a neat "choose their fate" option 4 stars
8/05/06 Stanley Thai Not as good as the first two. It's a decent movie wih decent kills and decent acting. 3 stars
8/02/06 Mark Louis Baumgart Decent and fun sequel. Unfortunately the ending violates the first rule of the series. 3 stars
7/29/06 action movie fan rehash of the first two--decent stpyr--overly gory though 4 stars
7/28/06 Alberto AGUIRRE My favorite film espesially the roller coaster scene. 5 stars
7/27/06 Lisa Death scenes worth a look and thena rewind!!! 3 stars
6/05/06 mary really scary 5 stars
4/28/06 BAH BAH 1 stars
4/10/06 alice Very amusing ! 4 stars
3/29/06 mick fantastic film would recommend 5 stars
3/17/06 Mason Token negro gets head crushed, what's not to like? 3 stars
3/14/06 James Bond Terrific 5 stars
3/09/06 Valerie It was alright, BUT i still think that the 1st and the 2nd ones were better 4 stars
3/01/06 Littlepurch Morgan & Wong clearly didn't want to be outdone by FD2, and make an hilarious comback here! 5 stars
2/27/06 Steven Lewis Go see it for the deaths! 4 stars
2/22/06 li' buddy really graphic good movie but same stuff as before i want mething new 4 stars
2/22/06 Jaime Moore A Great Flick much bearly better than the first two put togeather. 5 stars
2/19/06 Nic As good if not better than first 2 films... 4 stars
2/19/06 chris f totally awesome movie i loved it from start to finish 5 stars
2/14/06 Ole Man Bourbon The lead actress sucks something horrid. Typical movie for the franchise. 3 stars
2/14/06 jeff liked the scond one better but still good. 5 stars
2/12/06 Perry Mason I hate creative killing movies. This was just boring as hell. 2 stars
2/11/06 JC that movie was TOO Trill!..NEVER go Tanning again! 5 stars
2/11/06 rich Not bad for a new horror movie 4 stars
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  10-Feb-2006 (R)
  DVD: 25-Jul-2006



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