Final Destination 2 (2003) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

One thumb up, one down, which reflected the rest of the world as well. Scoop sided more with the critics, who despised it. Tuna sided with the people, who liked generally it. The polarization is summed up by the Yahoo scores: Critics C, Members B+.

Scoop's comments in white

Back in 2000, Final Destination was kind of a surprise mini-hit at the U.S. box office, with a $53 million domestic gate. Critics didn't generally care for it, but I sorta enjoyed the youth-targeted entry in the horror/slasher genre. It had a modicum of ingenuity, maintained an ominous tone, and managed to pull off some creative deaths which seemed to come jarringly out of nowhere. Oh, sure, it used the same old basic formula, but at least it handled everything pretty well.

In that first film, a teenager pulled his friends off a plane based on a premonition that they would all die. The plane did blow up, but ol' Mr Death was mighty ticked off at being cheated, so he eventually caught up with them and killed them in the same order in which they would have died if they had stayed in their seats.

That Death has always been a sore loser! He makes John McEnroe look as gracious and white-bread noble as Lou Gehrig. Hell, he's still hacked off about losing that chess game in The Seventh Seal.

This year's sequel takes place on the anniversary of that plane crash. In the latest development, a young girl has a premonition of a massive pile-up on the interstate highway, so she uses her car to prevent her friends and some others from using the on-ramp. The pile-up does occur, so she saves many lives, but Mr. Death is still being a poor sport in the sequel, and he starts immediately to kill off the people who were spared unduly.

Um ... assuming that makes sense to you so far, it pretty much stops making sense there. The girl with the premonition goes to a mental institution to visit the one girl who survived the airplane incident in the original movie. (Ali Larter, who appears in both films and should have a better career than this.) Together, the girls go to visit that Candyman dude with the really low voice, who is apparently in this movie because his own horror series has run out of sequels. He's supposed to be an expert in death, and they hope he will offer them some advice on how to beat the curse. He mutters some profoundly spooky stuff which makes little sense but sounds important, so the survivors mull it over for the rest of the film. He tells them that "only a new life can defeat death".

Does that mean they have to make babies? Does that mean they need to update their old version of the Parker Brothers' game of Life? Who knows? Before the survivors can figure out the precise meaning of Candyman's advice, they come up with several misinterpretations of the cryptic remarks, and most of them end up dying in grotesque fashion - their bowels chopped out and their nostrils raped and ... well, for the details, consult the Sir Robin song in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, except that these people ARE afraid to be killed in nasty ways.


Early in the film, Odessa Munroe, as a "biker chick", flashes her enormous artificial breasts.

There is an out-of-focus topless woman in the deleted scenes.

DVD info from Amazon

good DVD

  • Two versions of the film, full screen and 1.85 widescreen anamorphic.

  • full-length commentary

  • fully finished deleted scenes with optional commentary

  • 30 minute "making of" documentary

Will any survive? You have to watch it to see.

The sequel does not have the talented Devon Sawa. It has none of the jarring surprise engendered by the Rube Goldberg deaths that marked the first film. It also has very little of the macabre wit that powered the original, the only real exception occurring in the very last ten seconds of the film. Mostly it just has scenes which depict the explicit dismemberment, piercing, decapitation, and fricasseeing of various humans, and the distribution of their remains in unpleasant places. It includes many gruesome details.

Although the original was a popular film with young audiences at home and abroad, most critics hated it. I rather enjoyed that first one in a guilty pleasure sense, but I didn't consider the sequel worth watching at all.


Final Destination 2 (2003) is a sequel to a film I somehow missed. Had I read the critical reviews, I might have passed, as they average around 1 1/2 stars, although I didn't see one convincing argument for the low rating. IMDB readers have it at 6.4 of 10, and it grossed $46.5M US against a $25M budget, so I wasn't the only one who enjoyed this film. The premise, like the original, is that you can cheat death. When a girl with a premonition saves several people from death in a massive traffic accident, death needs to kill them anyway.

The tie-in to the first film is that each of these people had their loves saved by someone in the first film while they were still alive and shouldn't have been - not the worst premise for a horror film ever, and death is certainly a formidable foe. What made this film for me was great special effects, varied pacing, and excellent suspense. It had me on the edge of my seat for much of the running time, and the improbable methods of death often surprised me. Given that the genre demands an identifiable group, terror and suspense, they did a lot within those limitations to innovate.

The Critics Vote

  • Super-panel consensus: one and a half stars. Ebert 1.5/4, Berardinelli 1.5/4.

  • General UK consensus: two stars. Mail 6/10, Telegraph 6/10, Independent 4/10, Guardian 6/10, Times 2/10, Sun 4/10, Express 6/10, BBC 3/5

The People Vote ...

  • Box Office Mojo. This is turning into a tidy little genre franchise. This one grossed $46 million on a $25 million budget. The original grossed $53 million, and its budget was $23 million.

Miscellany ...


The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this film is a C- (Scoop) or C (Tuna). Scoop says. "This is slickly and professionally assembled, but nowhere near as entertaining as the original. If you hate the original, you must skip this. I like the original, and still didn't like this one, but the 6.3 at IMDb indicates that it has a loyal cult following, so C- is the right score based on our criteria." Tuna says, "This should appeal to all fans of the genre, and is hence a C."

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