After the success of Final Destination in 2000 (read our review here), a sequel was inevitable. So in 2003 we got Final Destination 2. Directed by David R. Ellis and starring Ali Larter, A.J. Cook & Michael Landes, this sequel would be the beginning of the franchises obsession with shock moments over competent story telling.
Kimberley Corman (Cook) and her friends are off to Daytona Beach for spring break but while waiting to merge onto the motorway (or highway) she has a premonition. A lot of fans of the series cite this premonition set-piece as their favourite & it is easy to see why.
A load of huge logs fall off a truck causing a massive pile up that has visual flair & extremely graphic deaths. It’s an impressive looking spectacle that requires you to suspend your sense of disbelief to realistically enjoy.
When Kimberley’s premonition ends she finds she hasn’t moved off the entry point yet. She freaks out & positions her car blocking the road stopping anyone else getting on. The cars behind are filled with most of the people she saw killed in the pile-up & they are all pretty pissed off with her. As deputy Marshal Thomas Burke (Landes) talks to her the pile-up happens ahead. Kimberley’s friends, who remained in the car, are then killed when an out of control truck rams them.
We know how this goes now. Death doesn’t like being cheated so the survivors who Kimberley saved all start dying in accidents. Some of the most inventive & hilarious (in a morbid way) of the series. Kimberley begins to see signs & warnings but is always too late. None of the other survivors initially believe her. However, after a few too many coincidences they all get on board with trying to avoid their fate.
To flesh out the film & tie it into the first movie it is revealed that Clear Rivers (Larter) is the only survivor from that movie & now lives in a padded cell for her own protection. If you are wondering what happened to Alex it is revealed in a newspaper article that he died via an errant brick to the face. I suspect Death got tired of him constantly dodging his fate so just threw a brick at him. It worked.
Kimberley & Thomas go to try & get Clear’s help who is less than keen about facing off against the Grim Reaper again. She does however send her to William Bludworth (Tony Todd) who is as cryptic as ever. He tells them that only ‘new life’ can defeat Death & it turns out that one of the people Kimberley saved is pregnant.
This leads Kimberley & Thomas to believe that if they can ensure the baby is born that will mean Death’s game will be foiled. Two guesses how that turns out?
Final Destination 2 is a flawed film. One that goes for the bigger & better sequel goal but gets bogged down by a plot-hole ridden story & the early obsession with over the top kills. By time this movie ends you’ll be completely desensitised to the graphic imagery the movie throws at you. Here, the character count goes up purely so we can have more deaths. No big deal but most of the characters are so bland that you just won’t care what happens to them in the slightest.
The acting ranges & while no-one stinks up the screen very few put in anything particularly memorable. The biggest issue there relates to the two leads, Kimberly & Thomas who lack chemistry. Together, their scenes drag down a movie that really does get far too messy with its story telling.
To try & dig itself out of this hole we now get the added plot device of Kimberley having premonitions of characters deaths too! How convenient! If that wasn’t enough she also gets to see what actually happened when she gets a particularly important plot point wrong.
There is very little tension here as the film series already feels played out & far too predictable by the halfway point of this sequel. There might be plenty for the gore hounds to enjoy but not a lot else.
Final Destination 2