Final Destination 4 (2009)

Join us for a review of the fourth film in the Final Destination franchise. Final Destination 4 was the first film in the franchise to be released in 3D, worst rated on IMDB and was marketed as The Final Destination. (super harsh spoiler : it wasn’t)

This one kicks off with a real Talladega Nights vibe – there’s rock music and fast cars – It’s all very exciting, let me tell you. I’m expecting carnage in this setting. We’re 4 films into this franchise and I’m unexpectedly pumped for this film. It’s entirely down to this opener as i know for a fact i feel dead inside…..

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In a similar change of pace FD4 represents the only film to show both premonition and incident before the opening credits. This pre-credits introduction delivers a mixed selection of complaining teens and Pepsi product placement. It’s actually a great build up, but here I am once more, morbidly impatient for the next kill.

It’s not long before our pal Death turns up to blow over some oil containers and moving about some flyers. Death even goes as far as tossing some hair. The minx.

The incident is a stunning array of crashes, flames, explosions and debris. The deaths have switched gear here. I feel like the franchise has reached a campy new level. I’m saddened by this but glad it has found a rhythm and genre-specific-home. This is represented in the various deaths which are comical and fun, providing gore fans with decapitation, a lot of crushings, an engine through the torso and a bench through the head.

These opening credits are a high octane computer-animated recap of the series’ kills which was probably a lovely treat in 3D back in the day..

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Weirdly, the protagonist Nick is more believable and seemingly more rounded than most of the characters in the franchise. But in contrast it’s also worth noting that several characters in this film weren’t even named on screen and as such are referred to by defining features (such as “racist”, “racists wife” or “cowboy”).

Some of the animations look bit cheap and nasty but who are we to judge? Maybe that’s the way Nicks brain represents the premonitions.

Nice to see a car wash make it into Deaths design, a scenario that doesn’t feature enough in the genre – even if Death did resort to just dumping water into the car. In keeping with that theme, Death was a bit too on the nose when it knocked a cup of coffee over a newspaper article and only the text “through action they were saved” remained dry.

I didn’t spot any Apple products this time around, just the opening Pepsi placement and Nokia later in the film.

Theres something tongue and cheek about the character who spends all day trying to kill himself without success. Its handled as delicately as you might expect.

This film features a callback to my favourite death from FD1, this time with an ambulance instead of a bus, with wonderful timing.

Conclusions

The plot for Final Destination films is a formula by this stage. And if it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it. This one is more enjoyable than the previous 2 films in the franchise. I feel like it’s somehow dumber and more diluted but strangely more enjoyable. Even the kills in FD4 are satisfying and overall it feels like it flows a little smoother than previous entries.

To me this is a franchise hitting a new stride and hopefully it continues for the next film….

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