Final Destination 2

Horror fans have a new goldmine with the Final Destination franchise. Not because the franchise is very good, but because the concept offers up a potentially never-ending supply of sequels, each one with deaths more gruesome than the last. The premise is simple; some people avoid dying in accident. They were supposed to die, so now, "death" comes after them since they should be dead. What makes Final Destination 2 amusing is that writers J. Mackye Gruber, Eric Bress, and Jeffrey Reddick (Return to Cabin by the Lake, Final Destination) come up with some pretty creative ways to kill people. The scenarios are so complex that they are worthy of Rube Goldberg.

The movie begins with Kimberly Corman (A.J. Cook, Out Cold, Wishmaster 3) having a premonition of a horrifying accident on the highway. Director David Richard Ellis (Homeward Bound II) did a good job of staging an intense action sequence, but from that point on Final Destination 2 loses most of its steam. Kimberly refuses to get on the freeway, pissing off everybody on the on-ramp behind her. They aren't pissed after the accident occurs. After this, everybody goes their respective ways and the deaths begin in earnest. Kimberly remembers the events of the first movie, and tracks down Clear Rivers (Ali Larter, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, American Outlaws), the only survivor. Rivers is holed up voluntarily in a mental institution, and eventually decides to help. The rest of the movie is a bunch of mostly nameless attractive actors running around trying (usually unsuccessfully) to stay alive.

The deaths are the only point in watching Final Destination 2. Everybody knows that the majority of the nameless cast will suffer some horrible death, it is only a matter of how and when. To their credit, Gruber, Bress, and Reddick come up with some pretty inventive ways. They have a sense of humor and also throw out a bunch of red herrings, to keep viewers guessing as to when people will actually die. However, every time Larter and Cook speak, Final Destination 2 slows to a crawl. The filmmakers obviously know they have a franchise on their hands, and part of their duty is to expand on the prior movie in order to pave the way for more sequels. Still, with every repetition of the phrase "Death's design," Rivers and Corman look increasingly ridiculous. There is very little going on upstairs in this movie, but it is enjoyable on its own terms.

Haro Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 40 minutes, Rated R for strong violence/gruesome accidents, languge, drug content, and some nudity.

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