Combustion, mutilation and decapitation are only slightly more painful than watching Final Destination 3. After a successful first instalment, writer/director James Wong returns to the helm and proves that this horror franchise really has nowhere left to go. Again fate pursues a class of cocky teenagers with pranks in the vein of Tom & Jerry - only bloodier and less scary. But the real tragedy is that promising young actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead must endure this torture.
She plays Wendy, a "control-freak" who has a vision of dying with her schoolmates in a roller-coaster crash. She ditches the ride and persuades some to leave with her, but most perish in an impressively staged, adrenalin-pumping sequence. Unfortunately, it’s the only highlight as the action rapidly descends into a monotonous series of absurd accidents, which, just as in the first two films, claim the lives of the survivors in the order they would have died in the crash. Of course Wendy is last in line.
"AN ORGY OF CHEERFUL CARNAGE"
Once more, Wong raises questions of fate and predestination and, while throwing in a tasteless reference to 9/11, fails to address them. It’s an orgy of cheerful carnage with no context or purpose and, worst of all, no suspense. Instead of inspiring fear, the lingering close-ups on misplaced tools and faulty electrical wiring, have the feeling of a cheesy public information video. Then again, a convincing sense of peril is hard to achieve with characters so weakly drawn. Ultimately you will be left with a pointed sense of your own mortality, but for all the wrong reasons. Life is too short...