RV!: Final Destination (2000) Dir: James Wong Date Released: March 2000 Date Seen: June 18th, 2009 Rating: 3.25/5
In some parallel universe, where being deadly afraid of everything and nothing is how children are instructed on how to live their lives, James Wong's Final Destination is being taught in Driver's Ed. As a cautionary tale for adolescents that think they're going to live forever, the characters in it are so delightfully paranoid that watching them get picked off one-by-one becomes weirdly transfixing even in the face of laughably horrid dialogue and gaping plot holes.
The kids in Final Destination are wound so tight that they're not even punished because they want to have fun but rather because they think they're invincible, a thought straight out of a corny video about how just a couple of beers can lead to MURDER. There's zero parental supervision for the film's teenage protagonists, all of whom cheat Death after they miss their flight to Paris. Still, because they all jumped ship in a panic after Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) warns them that the plane will explode, they must be punished.
All of them have an unmistakably cocky air about them, even Clear Rivers (Ali Larter), the most introverted of wallflowers--"Gives me a rush. Doing something I'm not supposed to," she says as she breaks into the morgue. As they dodge faulty household appliances and stray buses, the one thought buzzing about in their heads is, to quote Alex, "I don't have a narcissistic deity complex;" I'm just a teen. Death to all high schoolers!
Note: Kudos to the casting director that chose Tony Todd to deliver a charmingly hammy soliloquy about "death's sadistic design." His Vincent Price-esque over-acting is unmistakable and in the case of this film, indispensable. That scene almost makes me forgive the decision to cast Sawa, whose ineffectual squirming in this film just makes me want to slap him.