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On the way to a vacation, Kimberly Corman (AJ Cook) has a premonition of disaster – a terrible road accident that will kill her and her friends. Freaked out by this, she refuses to get on the freeway. Officer Thomas Burke (Michael Landes) stops to find out what’s going on. Just as he arrives on the scene, the pile-up happens just down the road. But just as Kimberly thinks she’s safe, a runaway truck bears down on them. The truck smashes into her friends, killing them instantly, but Kimberly is saved by Burke. The other people on the on-ramp are also spared the horrific crash. But now that Death has been cheated, it starts hunting down those who escaped its grisly design. Kimberly realises their only chance is to convince Clear Rivers (Ali Larter), the only remaining survivor of Flight 180, to help them work out Death’s design. 

Review by David Edwards:
In Final Destination, a group of people get off a doomed airliner before it crashes thanks to a premonition, only to be killed off one-by-one in a series of “freak” accidents. In Final Destination 2, a group of people avoid a freeway pile-up crashes thanks to a premonition, only to be killed off one-by-one in a series of “freak” accidents. So apart from a change of scenery, this is basically the same film as the original. It also shares the earlier film’s nasty predilection for despatching characters in increasingly gruesome killings. So, while this film pays lip service to ideas like “only new life can defeat death” (yeah, right!), it’s really little more than a gore-fest. Not that the preview audience seemed to mind, with each horrid impaling or decapitation drawing a series of loud “ohs” followed by nervous giggles. 

As you might imagine, there’s precious little here in the way of plot or character development. Director David R Ellis handles the action sequences, particularly the startling premonition of the pile-up, with assurance. But even these scenes become rather silly towards the end, as the body count climbs. AJ Cook seems to be maturing as an actress and her performance is as close as this film comes to a high point, even though she has some pretty lame material to deal with. Michael Landes, however, is wooden as Burke, and most of the subsidiary characters have little to do except become fodder for the special effects team. Ali Larter, who backs up from the original, handles herself fairly well, but even she ends up looking bored with this material. Final Destination 2 ends up as no more than a collection of action sequences in need of some semblance of a story. For all its action though, this disagreeable little film seems to have been designed for those who like to rubberneck at car crashes.

Special Features reviewed by Louise Keller:

The Special Access pass offers an in-depth audio commentary with the director, producer and screenwriters, deleted and alternate scenes, music videos and a feature called Bringing Death to Life, which talks about the splatter film and how to give audiences what they want.

Published September 18, 2003

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CAST: Ali Larter, A.J. Cook, Michael Landes, Terrence 'T.C.' Carson, Jonathan Cherry, Keegan Connor Tracy, Sarah Carter

DIRECTOR: David R. Ellis

SCRIPT: J. Mackye Gruber, Eric Bress (story - J. Mackye Gruber, Eric Bress, Jeffrey

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16 : 9 widescreen 1:85:1; Dolby digital EX 5.1 Dolby 2.0; DTS ES6.1

SPECIAL FEATURES: Filmmaker’s Commentary (director, producer, screenwriter); Bringing death to life documentary; deleted/alternate scenes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: September 24, 2003

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