Film review: Final Destination

Published: Friday, April 7 2000 4:25 p.m. MDT

It's unclear what "Final Destination" is trying to say exactly, but if there's a moral, it has to be this — John Denver music will kill you.

Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) is on his way to Paris with his high school French class when he receives an eerie premonition that the plane is going to explode. Frantic, he begins yelling to everybody to get off the plane, and he is subsequently ejected, along with a handful of other students and one teacher.

While some in this group are angry with him for cheating them out of the trip, they soon learn that they have actually cheated death. While arguing, they look out the window of the terminal and see the plane explode.

From there, Alex begins to discover clues about when the people in this group are destined to die — because they didn't perish in the plane crash and that darn Grim Reaper hates to be double-crossed.

And for some unexplained reason, John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" is tied to the events of a person's dying — almost every time.

What we have here is a movie trying quite hard to achieve the mystery and allure of "The Sixth Sense," while completely lacking that film's subtlety. Instead, it falls into the land of thinly disguised B-movies, where the audience is treated to heads being lopped off, where blood is splattered on the faces of the unsuspecting and with such dialogue as, "Look, I'm not going Dahmer on you guys!" That's about as clever as it gets.

If ever there was a vehicle destined to be shown late at night on the USA Network, "Final Destination" is it.

The film also seems to overshoot the audience it's aiming for — those who aren't allowed to see rated R-rated movies. Using high school-age actors and actresses — mostly newcomers — the filmmakers can only hope enough underage kids sneak into their movie across the nation to bulk up its sales.

If, by some mistake, you end up in a theater and find yourself watching "Destination" this weekend, have fun with it. The dramatics only become more laughable the further the movie progresses. Then you won't feel entirely cheated out of your $6.50.

But you may find yourself quoting Mr. Denver a little later on in the night . . . "Hey, it's good to be back home again."

"Final Destination" is rated R for violence, profanity, nudity, bloody gore, toilet humor and plane-crash realism.

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