Final Destination (2000) – movie review

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kristen Cloke, Amanda Detmer
Director: James Wong

Planning a plane trip soon? Then you had better book a hypnosis course in why you shouldn’t be scared of flying right now, because there is no way you won’t have second thoughts after watching this movie.

The night before a senior class vacation to Paris, Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) starts to experience coincidences that relate to the flight he is due to take the next day with his high school French class, on his first trip abroad away from his parents. The next day comes and he nervously boards the aircraft, takes his seat and waits for take off.

The scenes that follow are Alex’s premonition of the aircraft exploding in mid-air immediately after take-off and feature a special effects viewpoint from inside the plane, of the aircraft being ripped apart by the explosion that is frighteningly disturbing to watch.

Alex awakes from his dream state in a panic, now convinced that what he has seen is about to happen and tries to warn his friends and fellow passengers. Panic turns to confrontation with a fight breaking out that results in Alex and a number of his classmates being thrown off the plane.

Back in departure lounge, arguing about the time to the next flight, and the first day they will miss of their vacation, we see the plane take-off and explode in mid-air. Everyone turns to Alex. How did he know? Is he responsible? Still under suspicion by the FBI, Alex returns home and he and the handful of his French class who were thrown off the plane return to their lives and their families.

Except now the fun starts, as Alex continues to have premonitions. Everyone who was thrown off the plane because of Alex, was meant to die, and the only way to survive, is by believing Alex.

FINAL DESTINATION is a cross between the X-FILES TV series and SCREAM. It is no surprise that Glen Morgan and James Wong, writers of many X-FILES and MILLENNIUM shows co-wrote this movie with Jeffrey Reddick, and James Wong even directed it! There is even a familiar face, Kristen Cloke (MILLENNIUM and SPACE ABOVE AND BEYOND) as a school teacher.

With a young supporting cast the movie is well acted, very creepy, and with some genuine scares, in particular one that involves a bus, but I won’t spoil it, as the preview audience of experienced media people actually applauded after they had recovered from jumping out of their seats.

FINAL DESTINATION is a thoroughly enjoyable movie, it is not a cheap scare movie and it is not intentionally gory although there are some gory bits in it.

This is high quality entertainment of the type we have come to expect from the likes of James Wong and Glen Morgan and the fact it resembles an extended episode of ‘The X-Files’ is no bad thing.

Rules for watching FINAL DESTINATION:-

Do not hold drinks or popcorn as you will throw them over your friends when jumping out of your seat
Do not choose this as an in-flight movie
Watch out for buses

6 out of 6 stars