From the dawn of humanity, human beings have feared death, the invisible enemy which cannot be defeated. We’ve dreamt myths about where, why, and how death operates, and created entire religions centered upon life, death, and what happens when death finally catches up to us. In Final Destination, a group of teenagers learn the hard way that death isn’t always slow and gentle as they fight to avoid the inescapable.
Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) and his classmates are supposed to meet death on a plane to Paris, France, but after a shockingly vivid premonition (which begins to play out in real time) comes to him before takeoff, Alex tries to encourage as many of his friends as he can to deplane immediately. After a fight breaks out between Alex and Carter (Kerr Smith), several of them are kicked off of the plane, and with the exception of his girlfriend, Clear Waters (Ali Larter), no one believes Alex and everyone who was booted from the plane is furious with him. This anger is replaced by shock and fear when Alex’s premonition is quickly proven correct and the flabbergasted students watch as the plane that they should have been on explodes shortly after takeoff.
In between mourning for their friends who died on the plane and dealing with survivor’s guilt, the seven students (and one of their teachers) are also haunted by a tension and anxiety which is soon revealed to be death itself haunting them, trying to deal with loose ends who should have died on that airplane. In trying to run from, trick, or outsmart death, Alex and his surviving classmates learn the hard way that you cannot escape the inevitable and that death is everyone’s Final Destination.
From the moment we’re born, we begin to die. It sounds pretty morbid, but it’s true. Though most people assume that they will die in old age, the young die every day, and Final Destination is a thoroughly entertaining reminder that your time can be cut short at any moment. With a cast overflowing with late 90s/early 00s teen royalty, a great soundtrack, and enough box office success to launch a franchise, Final Destination takes something that we are all afraid of, something just around the corner, and brings it uncomfortably closer.
I give this one 3.5 stars.