Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Failed Murder Mystery: Final Examination (2003)

Final Examination (2003)
Rating: 1/2
Starring: Kari Wuhrer, Brent Huff, Debbie Rochon

My grade for this Final Examination? Failed.

Shane Newman (Brent Huff), after successfully (but messily) busting a drug dealer, finds himself reassigned to Hawaii and solving a possible murder mystery involving a sorority girl who took her own life five years ago. It appears someone isn't too happy that the people possibly  very likely responsible for her death is out and being alive, so they're taking matters on their own hands and began killing them in the tamest ways possible.

Of course, Shane is there to uncover the mystery, but he'll be doing it in the most tedious and harrowing way possible, which is mostly snooping around, throw accusations, interrogate, all that "realistic" shit. I should not be seeing any issues with this but for a movie that runs nearly 100 minutes, the gag gets old pretty quick and the film does nothing to liven up the case. Not with its boring murders, mishandled mystery, bored-looking characters, and annoying cop-drama cliches.

It's really hard to call this a slasher with its primary focus being on the police procedural; in fact, Final Examination is more of a softcore thriller in the vein of Color of Night (1994) and Basic Instinct as one would notice the number of voluptuous nudity plastered just for the sake of it. Call me a hypocrite for saying that but I will tell you, while I do enjoy some skin, I expected at least some of these scenes would end up with victims missing a head or a limb. Unfortunately, we didn't get any killings as gruesome as that, which is a shame since the end product hardly lived up to the standards of any known erotic thrillers it attempted to mimic.

Instead, the film dragged what felt like an eternity with little to nothing interesting happening for most of its running time, actually making its multi-twist ending look like a desperate act to squeeze everything in the very last minute, hoping it isn't too late to save itself from being a bore-fest and, Surprise, surprise, it was too late.

It's movies like Final Examination that shows how tricky the sub-genre can be if you have no effin idea what you are doing. Mixing film genres is not a bad thing, but you got to be very creative and imaginative to pull it off. (like Dario Argento's Tenebre) This movie obviously have none of that so trash it!

1 female drives off an unfinished bridge, immolated in crash
1 female garroted, drowned in pool
1 female drowned
1 male found bloodied, dies from wounds
1 male shot to death
1 female knifed on the gut, shot to death
1 male shot to death
Total: 7

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