'Final Destination 5'
(Nicholas D'Agosto, Miles Fisher, Arlen Escarpeta, David Koechner, Courtney Vance, et al / R / 107 mins)
Overview: Death stalks a group of co-workers who avoid a grisly demise in a massive suspension bridge collapse after one of them experiences a terrifying premonition in the fifth installment of the popular Final Destination series. Series regular Tony Todd returns in this sequel starring David Koechner, Emma Bell, Nicholas D'Agosto, and Miles Fisher.
Verdict: Yeah, you know where this one is heading — it's a really bad bus trip for all the pretty ones on this deadly ride!
It is, however, a really bad bus trip for all the pretty ones who've been invited along for this deadly (metaphorically speaking) ride. I will say, the bus, and the bridge it must cross, does make for a pretty incredible wham-bam opening sequence.
In the not-so-grand tradition of "Final Destination," death is no laughing matter. Well, I take that back, it sometimes is, and "FD 5" is the funniest yet. But the real raison d'ętre for "FD" filmmakers, and there have been a few since it first drew blood in 2000, is to see just how many kills can be stacked up and how many body parts can be sliced and diced along the way.
This is the second time "FD" has come to us in 3-D and for that they couldn't have done better than bringing in Steven Quale to direct.
The opening also serves to introduce us to all the major players that Death has his eye on. Those bodies would be Nicholas D'Agosto, Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, P.J. Byrne, Arlen Escarpeta and Ellen Wroe, who all work at the same company. The film's grown-ups include David Koechner ("The Office") as the unlikable boss and Courtney B. Vance as the detective charged with investigating the deaths we all know are coming.
As always, Death is upper-case, a major player, even when he (I like to think of him as a he, though we don't really know, do we?) is just implied. Unless that guy in the dark coat named Bludworth (Tony Todd) who always shows up at the crime scene along with the ominous music is, nah, never mind.
The cliff-hanging questions raised by screenwriter Eric Heisserer (2010's remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street") are: Did Death actually take a holiday this time? Can someone defy fate? Can we make the "Caution" road signs any bigger? Can we make a smoking gun actually smoke?!