It doesn’t take 3-D trickery to see everything coming at you from a mile away in “The Final Destination,” the silly and predictable fourth installment in the lucrative thriller series about pretty young people attempting to cheat death. Director David R. Ellis and writer Eric Bress, who previously collaborated on “Final Destination 2,” unimaginatively rehash the earlier films’ basic premise: Someone foresees a gruesome group death that may or may not play out in reality if the order of the originally envisioned victims can be disrupted.
Though this latest entry has an OK sense of humor, moves swiftly enough and sports an effective opening sequence of racetrack destruction that puts its Fusion 3-D technology to good use, it mostly comes off as a particularly flimsy excuse to string together a bunch of gory killings.
It’s at the doomed speedway that good guy Nick (Bobby Campo) inexplicably has a premonition in which he and his girlfriend, Lori (Shantel VanSanten), their best friends, Janet (Haley Webb) and cavalier stud Hunt (Nick Zano), along with various other spectators, are killed as the result of a horrific race car crash. Unhinged by his grisly prophecy, Nick persuades the crowd to make a hasty exit just seconds before the hell he imagined actually breaks loose, saving the lives of most everyone around him.
But later, when Nick’s fatal visions continue and the folks from the speedway start dying in the order he first predicted, the race is on to save all those on Nick’s mental list before they prematurely meet their “final destinations” via a series of outlandish, Rube Goldberg-esque accidents. Can one town really have so many public structures that are literally coming apart at the seams?
Aside from an unnerving ride through a self-serve carwash, the rest of these death or near-death scenes are unmemorable and squeeze out few thrills from the 3-D process. As for the movie’s characters, they’re strictly one-dimensional.
‘The Final Destination’
MPAA rating: R for strong violent/gruesome accidents, language and a scene of sexuality
Running time: 1 hour, 22 minutes
Playing: In general release