Nick (Bobby Campo) has opted to spend the day watching cars race with his friends, including girlfriend Lori (Shantel VanSanten), although her pal Janet (Haley Webb) would rather have visited the cinema. Her boyfriend Hunt (Nick Zano) on the other hand is very keen to be there, mainly because he relishes seeing crashes at the track, but so far he has been disappointed. However, Nick begins to wonder if the seating area they are in is entirely safe, as there seem to be cracks forming around them, and when one of the cars does indeed crash...
If you'd seen one of the previous three Final Destination efforts then you'd know exactly what was going to happen, which was a problem here as the producers had evidently hit upon what they believed to be a winning formula but that did not offer much leeway for the characters to do anything but travel along the tracks the script had set out for them. So it all happened much as it had before: the premonition of the big accident, in this case a disaster at the race track, followed by the accident actually occurring with the lead characters escaping with their lives, and then death itself catching up with them.
You could argue that for a movie so intent on having its characters try and utterly fail to cheat fate it was all too fitting that the way this played out would be so predictable, but at least before some imagination had gone into the setpieces, whereas here it was strictly, whoops, something's fallen over for the umpteenth time and triggered the accident. It could be the non-inclusion of the series mascot Tony Todd for the first time since the franchise began jinxed it - this was after all a very superstitious series in its modern fashion - but the fact remained this was a big success at the box office where it was presented in 3D.
Whether anyone who went to see it back then really remembers much about it now would be more debatable, as even with the more novel deaths the sense of been there, done that hung heavily over proceedings. Back at the plot, Nick and company avoid their demise at the track but thereafter he gets these further premonitions which fool him into thinking he can do something to prevent them happening. Prior to this you could get the impression the writers were making up their own rules, so anything could happen (although what did happen were novelty deaths), but with part four - the numeral missing because they wrongly claimed this was the last one - there was a grinding lack of surprise.
Even when you were meant to be surprised, with such previous gags as the sudden destruction of oblivious character by motor vehicle replayed here to far less effect. Some thought had gone into the others, but the sole one to stand out was where someone gets their guts sucked out by a swimming pool drain, which had the neat air of an urban myth; otherwise, it was more things falling over, apparently nudged by an unseen hand. In a rather desperate move, the central premise of seeing the disaster before it happens which kicked off each of the movies was reused for the climax, less audacious and more the product of a scarcity of real originality, though setting this in a cinema showing a 3D flick was evidence of some degree of wit, even if it's not all that amusing. So The Final Destination puttered along, bumping people off, hitting its marks and underwhelming in the way an idea which was played out can. Nevertheless, a fifth instalment appeared a couple of years later. Music by Brian Tyler.