Friday, February 3, 2012

Death Comes for Seconds: Final Destination 2 (2003)

Final Destination 2 (2003)
rating: ***1/3
starring:  A.J. Cook, Ali Larter and Tony Todd

Highway to Hell, made literally
For a mini-classic, Final Destination had a lot going on for just one flick. Death hellbent on killing off those who are "lucky" enough to skip their due date is a film idea any horror lovers would like to see again and again; so Part 2 isn't inevitable, and soon rounds up a new set of teenage targets who may or may not be the lucky few who would get to their destination unscathed.

On route for a getaway at Daytona Beac, the teens came across with a horrifying car-pile that caused the deaths of many but one, one who had "seen" it all in an unexplained vision. Though failing to save her friends, Kimberly did managed to save seven from their upcoming doom, but Death's pissed off once again, and now a series of bizarre accidents soon follows and picks off the survivors one by one to tie the loose ends. Their only hope lies on Clear Rivers, the last survivor from the 180 Incident a year ago, who is willing to end the viscous cycle once and for all.

Death's too confusing? It wouldn't be once you
get "Clear"! haha...
After the awesome and nicely orchestrated car crash, the film is quick to pick up the pace to deliver us some more gruesome deaths with varying build and tools. The next deaths had us going from a small apartments to a dental check-up, with an escalating suspense as one situation lead for the worse, and the kills came by unsuspectingly from everyday objects that you never would expect can kill anyone. (or at least you suspected can. This is one of the many flick that proves how evol airbags are!) From then, it's one to two more deaths before the story decides to slow down for a breather. We learn how, aside from the appearance of Clear Rivers (who's bitter about the fact that her boyfriend, Alex Browning, is killed by a flying brick) and the return to visit local mortician Bludworth,  is all of this is connected with the first. I do find the connection to be a little concluding, but otherwise, for the time being, it did make sense a bit; either ways, Death soon catches up, and he's picking them off as quickly as possible.

Deaths comes for seconds, and this time, he's keeping
the score cards for a higher count
You can pretty much tell this entry, while attempting to stay focused on the serious and grim aura of the first, had mellowed down a bit and adds a few humor and camp for a more enjoyable popcorn muncher. Following the pattern of the first, it's still a howdunnit, with Goldsberg-esque set-pieces playing as the murder weapons of the unfortunate survivors, with a promisingly higher death toll. The gore is immense,with practical effects used more efficiently compared to CG,  and the kills had gone craftier, FD2 took the rule of the sequel and sacrificed some of its atmosphere for the blood. It works, but it killed some of the scares and tone of the film, instead brought more shocks and chuckles.

What I tell ya. EVIL!
As a sequel, it's doesn't really live any higher. It's predictable, in a sense of plot pattern and suffers a lot of cliches that markets this franchise, with only the orchestrated accidents and witty comebacks managing to save it. If it's any of a winning combination, FD2 has one leg on the grue and doom feeling of the first and one leg into the tirades of camp and torture that the next line of sequels would soon religiously follow with their own variations. It's nowhere a better entre' of its parent, Final Destination 2 still marked a thrilling gore ride that's just as entertaining as the first.

15 motorists got mangled in car pile-up
1 female and 2 males ran over by truck
1 male impaled on the eye with ladder
1 male seen dead from freak brick accident (photo)
1 male crushed by falling glass pane
1 female decapitated in elevator
1 female head pushed and impaled to a sharpened pipe
1 male dismembered by projected barb-wire fence
1 male, 1 female and 1 orderly decimated in freak explosion
1 boy blown apart in gas leak explosion
total: 28

(note: depending on taste, Kimberly and Thomas Burke is said to had died in a woodchipper accident in an alternate scene in Final Destination 3. Whether this is canonical or not is up to the viewer's personal taste)


  1. I love this series, and this is an excellent entry. My order is 1, 2&5 in second, 3, then 4. Well done, Mr. K!

    1. My rating for 5 is higher than the first, so it's 5,1,2,3 and then 4...