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  Final Destination 5 Cheating Death
Year: 2011
Director: Steven Quale
Stars: Nicholas D'Agosto, Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, Ellen Wroe, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, P.J. Byrne, Arlen Escarpeta, David Koechner, Courtney B. Vance, Tony Todd, Brent Stait, Roman Podhora, Jasmin Dring, Barclay Hope, Chasty Ballesteros, Mike Dopud
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Sam Lawton (Nicholas D'Agosto) works for a paper producing company in their offices, though his real wish is to become a chef. He holds down another job in a restaurant in the evenings, and for today's gathering of his fellow office workers he has prepared some delicious snacks, not that he gets much appreciation for them, and to make matters worse his girlfriend Molly (Emma Bell) has just told him she wants to break up with him. The reason the workers are snacking is that they are just about to embark on a team-building exercise where they go on a course together, and that means travelling over a suspension bridge...

If you see that title and hear the location the cast are headed for, then you'll have more than an inkling of what was in store, for this was the fifth instalment of the Final Destination franchise, carrying on the tradition of horror movie series that just never seemed able to end which stretched back to Universal's chillers of the nineteen-thirties and forties, but had come into its own once the eighties arrived and spawned a wide selection of horrors where the same damn thing would happen over and over again. Seriously, you'd think by the point these reached their fifth instalment the authorities should have been alerted.

Anyway, Part 5 of this lot had a twist which would explain why that was not the case, though it purported to be a variation on the formula that had grown so overfamiliar - yet lucrative - over the ten years or so the series had been running. Why mess with what was packing them in at the cinemas? And as it turned out, this Final Destination (never was a franchise more ironically titled - or redundantly titled, for that matter) was pretty much business as usual, as if you didn't get the novelty deaths you'd be feeling shortchanged, so that the supposed freshening up of the storyline only occurred during what was more or less the finale of the movie, a punchline coda apart.

All of these movies featured the characters cottoning on to the fact that they have cheated death, and that Death had a capital "D" since it was a living entity which did not like to miss any one of those on its list. Sam was the man getting the premonition of a disaster responsible for killing a lot of people, this time a suspension bridge collapse, and he manages to get at least some of his colleagues out of the bus and to safety before the calamity plays out in real life. Then again, by this point you may be wondering who it was exactly furnishing the Sams of the plots with the foresight to know doom was impending, and if he, she or it was working in conjunction with Death.

Was something helping Death with the monotony of harvesting souls, or was it the Grim Reaper itself which was toying with the characters, working out various sequences to off them in a more novelty-based variety than simply going peacefully in their sleeps. Anyway, once off the bridge Sam and company realise what's up thanks to, well, thanks to them beginning to die in unlikely fashion, but also because of a meeting with the series mascot Tony Todd as the mysterious coroner who appears to know more than he lets on, though he does essentially let on that their maker is about to be met. After about an hour of this, which is fair enough as you know what you would be getting and this was only too content to supply it, one potential victim twigs that if someone under this curse actually kills someone else instead, then they will get their remaining years and that curse is lifted. Yup, and the band played believe it if you like - if nothing else, Final Destination illustrated one thing will never be avoided. Music by Brian Tyler.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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