224) Final Destination 2 (2003) Dir: David R. Ellis Date Released: January 2003 Date Seen: July 25th, 2009 Rating: 3.5/5
225) Final Destination 3 (2006) Dir: James Wong Date Released: February 2006 Date Seen: July 25th, 2009 Rating: 2.25/5
It's interesting to note that the Final Destination films have thus far bounced back-and-forth between two filmmakers. 1 & 3 were directed by James Wong and 2 & the soon-to-be-released 4 by David R. Ellis. The franchise's first sequels signal an ongoing tug-of-war going on between Ellis and Wong's respective approaches to this deliriously silly horror franchise about killing egotistical teens in exciting and new ways. It's also a rare instance where the progenitor of a horror franchise has been A) willing but also B) unable to successfully reclaim his own baby.
Ellis' sequel took the concept of Wong's original film and made it more fast, loose and intentionally comic. The deaths were more Raimi-ian than in the first film and consistently more elaborate. Wong's second entry in the franchise however tried to reinvent the series, insisting that it be taken more seriously than Ellis' film and falling flat on its face for it. By tweaking the concept of how the characters can anticipate and then cheat "Death's design" is even more silly in 3 than it is in 1--something about photos as opposed to looking at the flight manifest for where the teen should-be victims would have sat--and the best death scenes are lumped together at the beginning and end.
I'm eager to see what Ellis has in store with 4 (like 3, it will be in 3D!). The fact that he's returning, with a sequel definitively titled The Final Destination no less, suggests that some higher-up trusts him more than Wong to take the series out in zany style and with good reason.