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FINAL DESTINATION - DVD Movie
Installment #4 in the premonition-laden Final Destination series this one called simply The Final Destination comes on like a poker-faced send-up of the previous episodes, featuring a collection of hilariously over-the-top deaths and the usual array of Rube Goldberg set-ups--except this time the chain reactions rarely result in mayhem. Fate, it seems, is more random than that. We open at a racetrack, where vapid teen Bobby Campo has a vision of slaughter involving cars crashing and bleachers crumbling. When he hustles girlfriend Shantal VanSanten and their friends out of the grandstands before the real conflagration, it doesn't take long to figure out that their time is going to come, and soon. Which they would have known if they'd watched the first three Final Destination movies. From there, it's just waiting around for the killings, which this time utilize a car wash, a beauty parlor, and a tow truck run amok. Perhaps the gruesomeness of the deaths this time is explained by the cheapjack production gotta grab 'em with something and surely the many jabbing, jutting implements are there because the film was released to some theaters in 3-D. As for the death that occurs in a swimming-pool drain, it seems somebody read Chuck Palahniuk's notorious story "Guts," or at least had an ear for urban legends. The bland characters and tin-ear dialogue don't help anything, even if the climactic sequence in a movie theater showing a 3-D film suggests a lurking sense of self-awareness. Moral: there may be three dimensions, but there's only one destination. --Robert Horton