Final Destination 2 (2003)

DVD Cover (New Line Studios)
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Ranked #914
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Connections: Final Destination

Kimberly has a premonition of an accident killing multiple people including her and her friends. She blocks the cars behind her on the ramp and as a police trooper arrives, the accident happens. Death is stalking this group of survivors. --IMDb
Review by Crispy
Added: August 17, 2011
I really enjoyed Final Destination, but with a premise like that, it's extremely hard to kick out a sequel without creating a solid rehash. Were they able to pull it off? Eh, sort of.

It's been exactly a year since the explosion of Flight 180, but that means nothing to Kimberly, who's off on a road trip with her friends. Shortly after getting onto Route 23, however, the trip suddenly comes to a grisly end, as the chains holding a trailer full of lumber breaks, spilling the huge logs all over the highway and killing everyone in the immediate vicinity. Snapping back at the stop sign to 23's entrance ramp, the frantic girl realizes she can save everyone's life, and does so by blocking the way with her car. One of these people is Sheriff Thomas Burke, who pulls Kimberly to safety just as a semi roars past and slams into her car, killing her friends. Naturally, her tale brings to mind last years fateful flight out of JFK, so she hunts down the only remaining survivor: Clear Rivers. Still on Death's list, Clear has been living in a self-imposed exile in a padded room, and wants absolutely nothing to do with Kimberly's little problem. Eventually though, conscience gets the best of her and she hunts the girl down to once again face Death in the face.

So does it measure up to the last movie? Well, yes and no. On a base level, most people just want to see people get ripped apart by chance encounters, and in that regard, it definitely stands toe to toe with the original. The kills here are a bit more creative, and more graphic to boot. Still, there's a lot to be said for the simplicity that the first movie had, especially, for example, in the Ms. Lewton scene. There was so many nonchalant motions preceding it that you didn't think twice about when she did it, and they all ended up being a huge factor in her death. There's nothing that subtle in part two, which I felt was a bit of a let down in its own right.

Perhaps the biggest complaint about this movie is that it's just a rehash of the original, and in some ways it is, but it's the same way that Friday the 13th movies are just a rehash of their preceding movies. Yes, the premise is exactly the same, but plot-wise they were able to keep things fresh with the relationship it has with the first movie. I'm not going to spoil exactly how they did this, but it's a simple connection that I felt really gave the movie its own legs to stand on, and was an interesting movement for the franchise as a whole.

A ball that this sequel did drop however was how Death's presence was removed. Sure, the big thing I raved about last time was being "hunted by nothing," but by adding ominous blowing wind and random shadows they were able to give the impression of an actual malevolent something that was hunting these kids. They've taken all of this out completely. Sure, the creativity of the kills themselves is the main reason we're tuning in here, but just the concept that Death itself had you directly in its sights really added something extra.

Like it's predecessor, Final Destination 2 is able to boast some more than acceptable acting in front of the camera. Ali Larter returns as Clear Rivers, and her somewhat jaded matter-of-factness is a nice foil to A.J. Cook's frightened disbelief as Kimberly. I guess Michael Landes was supposed to be the big romantic interest, but he was kind of a secondary character to the two women. On the tertiary level, T.C. Carson hit it out of the park in the sarcastic-skeptic-who-loses-his-shit-when-he-realizes-the-truth role, as did Keegan Connor Tracy as the cold business woman. And of course, Tony Todd gives another five minutes of greatness as that creepy mortician.

Basically, if you liked the first movie, you'll most likely enjoy this second helping as well. It's not quite as dark and gritty as the last movie, but still has some inventive kills on display for you morbid bastards and continues the story quite well. 7/10.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 08/17/2011, 03:22 PM
I very much enjoyed the first film. I thought the second was just plain awful. The third film is my favorite of the entire franchise. The fourth film was entertaining but very very flawed. The fifth film is absolute garbage. So I am the exception there - I don't think "Final Destination" works quite like the "Saw" films - I loved some of the films and hated the others based on quality. As for Part 2 - 3/10.
Edd #2: Edd - added 08/20/2011, 12:44 AM
I could care less for any kind of story. I just like seeing people die inventively.
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