I have no idea who Death’s agent is. But, after watching this painfully mediocore sequel to the hit original 2000 movie, because it’s about time he get a new one – fast. Because another film in which he plays an “invisible malignent force” that is constantly enveloping humanity in a lethal embrace taunting us with until our appointed time, would ruin his image.
The plot, if one can call it that, revolves around a giril named Kimberley Corman (A.J Cook) who saves several people from dying in a truly impressive freeway accident. She then finds out that death doesn’t give up that easily, and kills the survivors in increasingly spectacular ways. But in the lag time between deaths we are subjected to either Kim, Clear Rivers (Ali Larter, the only major actor to return for the sequel) giving the same philosphical lecture about how “saving those people caused a ripple in deaths plan” over and over again until the audience can practically say it with them by the end of the movie. It gets to the point in the middle of the film where it feels less like a movie then an adapation of the term paper screenwriter Jeffrey Reddick’s (who wrote the original Final Destination) wrote for his Intro to Philosohy class. We supposedly spend the entire semester writing these papers why should we spend our hard earned money watching them?
The saving grace of this film, besides its sick and occasionally ironic (one of the victims was reading Stephen King’s Bag of Bones) sense of humor, is how the deaths become more and more extravagant as the film progresses as if Reddick and director David R. Ellis were trying to constantly oneup themselves. While many of the CGI effects came off as cheesy such as when this one guy gets cut in half or the somewhat exaggerated explosions, they are none the less, impressive to watch. In fact, almost all the deaths occur with the same not so subtle irony that the film makers are always saying will ultimately save their lives. Such as a character successfully fleeing his burning apartment only to die on the fire escape, or people dying violently with the help of devices that are supposed to save lives. Each coupled with cheers yelled that got progressively louder as the body count increased, which was neither as gory or as scary as one might have presupposed. Apparently one doesn’t loose a lot of blood when one is say cut in half. In fact the audience was one of the most entertaining parts of the film, particularly in the irony that some of their conversations were more entertaining then what the characters on screen were saying (especially after the umpteenth repeat of the “ripple in deaths plan” speech).
Whether or not it is worth a whole 7 dollars to atttend is up you. If you’re expecting Chicago or The Hours you’ll be sorely disappointed, but if your going in there looking for a half decent escape from studying for Thursdays’s mid-term then why not. Just as long you don’t decide to you send your old term papers to Hollywood at the end of the semester.
Jonathan Twiggar can be reached at J.Twiggar@umiami.edu.