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By Susannah Breslin | March 20, 2000

For all those movie-goers tired of scary teen scream flicks filled with hot babes and studly dudes, New Line Cinema’s “Final Destination” seeks to revolutionize the genre. By taking out all the scary parts and putting in some of the ugliest young actors working today, New Line finally proves it can kill off unattractive teenagers with toilet water less scarily than any other studio in Hollywood.
The ideal way to see “Final Destination” is to find a good movie playing in the same mega-plex that starts approximately 10 minutes afterwards. (It also helps if the movie-goer is under 18, possibly going to get some sex-action in the theater, and is typically frightened by clowns). This allows one to see the quite good first few minutes of “Final Destination,” and then go watch a film one might not feel angry and resentful about having paid more than a thin dime to see.
The movie opens with the uber-pimpled Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) on his way to visit France with his rowdy French class mates. Luckily for a few, Alex turns inexplicably Psychic Network before take-off and has a vision of the plane crashing that is quite phenomenal in all its spooky spasmodicness. Alex and a few of his buds disembark and stand around yacking in the airport when the plane suddenly explodes just like he said. What with planes dropping out of the sky like flies lately, the opener’s depiction of what happens in the messy minutes of descent before all passengers get the blessed act of dying foisted upon them is scarily riveting.
From then on, it’s wack-a-mole with teens as death and its supposed “design” ascertained by Alex–anyone who dares to cheat death gets killed in the most ludicrous and moronic way possible–make for one of the most boring depictions of teenage slaughter known to mankind. Sadly, the boys who brought you “The X Files,” director James Wong and writer Glen Morgan, are the embarrassing duo who brought this baby to you; “Final Destination” is like “The X Files” without anything about “The X Files” that’s good.
Lately, the cinema’s been chock full o’ films deconstructing death. From “The Sixth Sense” to “The Blair Witch Project,” Hollywood’s been replacing navel-gazing with death ruminating. What’s it really like to be about to die or be dead or to actually die? “Final Destination” makes the same attempt, but forgets that when it comes to ugly teens, nobody really cares if they bite it.

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