Can You Cheat Death?
|Directed by||James Wong|
|Produced by|| Glen Morgan,|
|Written by|| James Wong,|
|Starring|| Devon Sawa,|
|Music by||Shirley Walker|
|Editing by||James Coblentz|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Release date(s)||March 17, 2000|
|Running time||98 minutes|
|Followed by||Final Destination 2|
Final Destination is a 2000 supernatural-thriller-horror film, about a group of teenagers who cheat death by avoiding a plane crash when one of them, has a premonition of their deaths. Soon after their escape, they begin dying one-by-one in mysterious freak accidents. The script was originally written by Jeffrey Reddick as a spec script for The X-Files. Director James Wong worked as a writer, producer and director on that series. The film is distributed by New Line Cinema.
The DVD was released on September 26, 2000. The film was the first in the Final Destination series, which has since produced three sequels and a series of books.
Final Destination takes place on Long Island. Locations such as Jones Beach and John F. Kennedy International Airport are shown. Nassau County is mentioned. However, Vancouver International Airport stood in for JFK.
PlotAlex Browning (Devon Sawa) is going on a high school graduation trip to Paris with his fellow students. Before Volée Air Flight 180's take-off, Alex has a premonition that the flight will explode in mid-air, killing everybody on board. Alex then finds himself back on the plane while it is still boarding. When events from his vision begin to repeat themselves in reality, he panics and attempts to stop the flight before take-off. The resulting commotion leads to a handful of passengers being left behind, including Alex, orphan Clear Rivers (Ali Larter), Alex's best friend Tod Waggner (Chad Donella), teacher Valerie Lewton (Kristen Cloke), Alex's rival Carter Horton (Kerr Smith), Carter's girlfriend Terry Chaney (Amanda Detmer), and student Billy Hitchcock (Sean William Scott). After they are all forced off the plane, none of the passengers believes that Alex's vision will come true until the airliner takes off and explodes in mid-air, killing everyone who was on board. The survivors are devastated, and two FBI agents interview the people taken off the plane, and are particularly interested with Alex's vision.
One month later, Tod is strangled in his shower, and his death is deemed a suicide. When Alex and Clear go to see his body, mysterious mortician William Bludworth (Tony Todd) tells them that Death is intervening to kill everyone who was meant to die on the plane. Terry falls victim the next day when she is hit by a bus. After watching a news report detailing the cause of the explosion of Flight 180 Alex comes to the conclusion that Death is killing the survivors in the order they would have died in the explosion on the plane. He determines that Ms. Lewton is next on Death's list. He rushes to her house but arrives too late to save her from being impaled in the chest with a knife.
Alex contacts the remaining survivors, Billy, Clear and Carter, to tell them what he thinks is happening. As they are riding in Carter's car, Alex has another vision of a train and a seat-belt ripping. Frustrated with not having control over his death, Carter attempts to drive head-on into a fuel tanker but the car seemingly by itself turns and avoids the collision, Carter then stops his car on a train crossing, wanting to kill himself before Death does. At the last moment however he changes his mind but cannot exit his car as his seat-belt is jammed. Alex rushes to help Carter from his car, and as he foresaw, Carter's seat-belt rips and he is freed a second before the train destroys the car, thus cheating Death. However Billy is gruesomely decapitated from the jaw up by a piece of the cars shrapnel thrown by the train wheels.
Alex believes that because he intervened in Carter's death he has saved Carter, Death skipped Carter and went on to Billy. Later he remembers in his original premonition he was asked to switch seats on the plane, and realizes that Clear is actually the next to die. Alex rushes to Clear's house to find her trapped in her car surrounded by fire. She is unable to escape her vehicle, which is about to explode, as a damaged electrical cable is precariously flipping around outside. Alex saves her by picking up the live cable, however he is electrocuted. Clear and the police rush to Alex's aid as the screen fades to white.
Six months later, Alex, Clear, and Carter are in Paris talking about their experience about Flight 180, and celebrating that it is all over and they are finally in Paris. Shortly thereafter, a freak incident involving a bus causes a giant neon sign to swing off a hinge down towards Alex. Carter manages to intervene and pushes Alex to the ground, with the sign swinging down past the two of them. Carter then stands up and turns to Alex who is still on the ground. Carter asks Alex who is next on Death's list. The sign then swings back down on its momentum towards where Carter is standing and a loud whack is heard, leaving Alex and Clear as the last two survivors of Flight 180.
- Devon Sawa as Alex Browning
- Ali Larter as Clear Rivers
- Kerr Smith as Carter Horton
- Kristen Cloke as Ms. Valerie Lewton
- Seann William Scott as Billy Hitchcock
- Chad Donella as Tod Waggner
- Amanda Detmer as Terry Chaney
- Daniel Roebuck as Agent Weine
- Guenveur Smith as Agent Schreck
- Tony Todd as William Bludworth
The film opened at No. 3 at the North American box office making $10,015,822 USD in its opening weekend. The film remained at the third position the following week before falling to No. 7 the week after.
Final Destination received mixed but mainly negative reviews, with an overall 29% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 85 reviews (60 negative, 25 positive). James Berardinelli gave the film 1 out of 4 stars, heavily criticizing all aspects of the film, concluding "the deserved final destination for this movie is a reserved plot in the cinematic graveyard, but, based on the projected box office take, I have a sinking feeling it may cheat that fate." Ben Falk from the BBC gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, stating that while the film was "not exactly ground-breaking" it did have a "constant sense of humour and some clever twists". Roger Ebert from the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, stating "Final Destination will no doubt be a hit and inspire the obligatory sequels. Like the original Scream, this movie is too good to be the end of the road. I have visions of my own."
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
- "Main Title" – 3:01
- "Night Wind" – 1:05
- "September 25, 9:25 PM" – 0:46
- "Volee Airlines" – 0:29
- "Flight 180" – 0:54
- "Bad Dream, Part 1" – 1:27
- "Bad Dream, Part 2" – 0:39
- "Out of Flight 180" – 1:00
- "The Crash" – 0:37
- "Aftermath" – 1:50
- "Solitude" – 1:30
- "The First" – 3:14
- "Fuselage" – 0:11
- "Todd's Death" – 1:53
- "Too Late" – 1:19
- "Commemoration" – 1:20
- "The Morgue" – 2:36
- "Signs" – 0:45
- "The Drawing" – 0:57
- "Miss Lewton" – 2:18
- "Fire Signs" – 0:12
- "No Luck" – 0:25
- "Remember" – 1:04
- "The Train Accident" – 1:52
- "Preparation" – 3:20
- "Clears Home" – 0:36
- "Alex's Revelation" – 8:10
- "Six Months Later" – 0:43
- "Non-Stop Ending" – 1:39
- "End Credits" – 2:01
Songs featured in the motion picture
- "Rocky Mountain High" - Performed by John Denver
- "Hundred Grand" - Performed by Pete Atherton
- "Into the Void" - Performed by Nine Inch Nails
- "All the Candles in the World" - Performed by Jane Siberry
- "And When I Die" - Performed by Joe 90
- "Rocky Mountain High" (French version) - Performed by Alessandro Juliani
Final Destination received an R rating in the United States for violence and terror, and for language. In the United Kingdom, it received a 15 rating. In Ireland, it received an 18 for violence, horror, and language. In Australia, it received a MA-15 rating which is for mature audiences 15 years and over.
- Final Destination at the Internet Movie Database
- Final Destination at AllMovie
- Final Destination at Rotten Tomatoes
- Final Destination (film) at Wikipedia
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