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A.J.'s Rating: Zero (and let's hope this one's really final!)
Final Destination 2
Directed By:  David R. Ellis
Written By:  Jeffrey Reddick (characters) / J. Mackye Gruber, Eric Bress, Jeffrey Reddick (story) /
J. Mackye Gruber, Eric Bress (screenplay)
Starring:  Ali Larter, A.J. Cook, Michael Landes, Terrence 'T.C.' Carson, Keegan Connor Tracy
Rated:  R (strong violent/gruesome accidents, language, drug content and some nudity)
Running Time:  100 Min.
  Just in case you're wondering, Final Destination 2 is a sequel.  That's what that number at the end of the title is for.  It does not mean that there is more than one final destination.  That would just be silly, and not very final at all.
     The earlier movie was simply called Final Destination.  See?  No number after that one.  I enjoyed the first Final Destination quite a bit.  My taste in horror runs toward the satirical, and I figure there's no sense in getting scared out of your wits if you can't laugh too!  Finding that elusive balance between fearsome and funny is one of the most difficult feats for a horror movie to attempt.  Successful examples include Scream, An American Werewolf in London, and the Evil Dead series. 
    The makers of Final Destination realized that their story was likewise best presented tongue-in-cheek.  After all, the idea that Death's plan can be foreseen and evaded by teenagers, forcing the Grim Reaper to devise needlessly elaborate alternate fates for them in order to restore some sort of predestined balance, is ludicrous to begin with!  And hasn't Death ever heard of a 'heart attack'?  That would make the job much easier!  Of course, that would also have made Final Destination only twenty minutes long and not much fun to watch.  At least it would have saved us all from a lousy sequel!  Oh, well.  Maybe Death is just a big fan of Rube Goldberg.  Wait!  Maybe Death is Rube Goldberg!  Nah, if that were true, then everyone would die only in bizarre, drawn out freak accidents involving bowling balls, pulleys, springs, dominoes and other such wacky items.
    There's an extremely fine line between satire and stupid, and Final Destination 2 staggers right across it.  The overall concept is actually pretty good, with an interesting attempt to connect Final Destination 2 to events of the first film.  Unfortunately, everything surrounding this idea is manhandled miserably.  FD2 makes the fatal slip of taking the first movie entirely too seriously.  Big mistake!  Also, fans familiar with the earlier film won't be very frightened or surprised, since this one uses all the same gimmicks.  Can you say 'predictable'?  In addition, the first Final Destination had a cool Twilight Zone vibe going for it, but not this time around.  FD2 isn't even funny, at least not intentionally.  Worst of all, the ending doesn't make any sense, no matter how you look at it.  Are they holding onto a desperate hope for a third Final Destination?  Don't make me laugh now, it's far too late!
    It may interest you to know that I, myself, have had an eerie glimpse into Death's grand design... Final Destination 2 is certain to die at the box-office.  That's the plan, so don't go meddling with it by paying to see this dud, or mark my words, you'll be sorry!
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Review published
February 6, 2003
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