a critiQal film review Final Destination 2 (2003)

Plot: On a road trip, Kimberly (Cook) sees a horrible pile-up ...before it happens. She freaks out, and pauses long enough for the accident to occur without her...and the people behind her on the on-ramp. And wouldn’t you know it - it’s the one year anniversary of the Flight 180 explosion. There is only one survivor left from that - Clear Rivers (Larter), who has voluntarily committed herself to a padded room at a psychiatry ward. Now Kim must convince Clear to emerge, and help her and the people she saved...

Reviewed
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  • ...while the deaths continue to be inventive, this sequel just won't grip the viewer like the first film did.

After the surprise success of the first film, Final Destination 2 was something I definitely wanted to see. There were only a couple of problems with it.

For one, there are only two returning cast members (Larter, Todd). And secondly, since this looked to be the same type of plot as the first, would I really want to sit through a re-hash of something I’ve already seen? I waited until it hit DVD, then threw in my couple of bucks, and sat down to check it out.

The lack of returning stars in Final Destination 2 is unfortunate, since Devon Sawa, especially, was a huge plus in the first film. It was nice to see Ali Larter back again, except she didn’t really do much in this film. Sure, her character is stronger than in the first, but she isn’t as much a main character.

She’s more of a Jamie Lee Curtis in a Halloween (1978) movie type – you know, the conquering hero returns type of thing. Since she is the veteran of the first film, she does know how to move around the film with ease, and seems to feel more at ease in the role than she did in the first.

A.J. Cook and Michael Landes both do decent jobs as Kimberly and a cop, respectively, in Final Destination 2. They seem to bow down a little to Ali, since she is the veteran, and mostly take their cues from her. They do get a chance to act alone as well, and help the movie along nicely.

Tony Todd also returns as a mysterious graveyard worker, and doesn’t get to shine as much as he did in the first film. C’mon Tony – when’s the next Candyman coming along, huh?

Remember way back when every action film was compared to Die Hard (1988) (examples: Under Siege (1992)Die Hard (1988) on a battleship; Passenger 57 (1992)Die Hard (1988) on a plane, etc.)?

This could be similar – the first film was Final Destination (2000) based on a plane accident, the second is Final Destination (2000) based on a car wreck. It’s not a whole lot different from the first film, which is exactly what the viewer wants. There are only so many things you can change between a first film and a second and still keep the viewer in mind that it is a sequel.

Since they changed most of the cast, it was probably a good idea that they kept the main plot remarkably similar. Besides, wasn’t the first one most memorable for the death scenes, anyway? I mean, who can forget the bus slamming into one of the characters – wow!

The death scenes are still very inventive in Final Destination 2, especially the first one of the film. Watching the character escape from so many deaths makes the film so much more gripping – especially if you know he is finally going to get it in the end.

None of the scenes were as surprising as the memorable bus scene from the original, having much more build-up to them, but they still managed to do alright – especially the pane of glass crushing one of the victims. They did drop a little bit in originality, however, as the viewer has seen some of these deaths before in other films. Still, not a bad way to carry on the tradition the first film started.

All in all, Final Destination 2 is not too bad a sequel. Sure, it could have been better, but I’m not complaining too much. It was worth the couple of bucks to rent it.

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