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An obsession with Death’s Grand Design for us mere mortals suffused the clever and sharp-witted FINAL DESTINATION [ 2000 ] directed with acumen and spirit by seasoned X-FILES filmmaker James Wong.
The new sequel FINAL DESTINATION 2 is far cruder and only vaguely concerned with the appealingly resonant philosophical basis of its predecessor. The potential to build upon the sophisticated theme of fate, clairvoyance, and ‘freak accidents’ in FD1 has been sadly squandered. Yet FD 2 is tense and involving thanks to its sheer non-stop breathless pace. Intensity it has in spades.The young survivors of Flight 180, which destroyed 40 pupils of Mount Abrahams H.S. and four of their teachers on a field-trip to Paris, in FD1, have foiled Death’s Grand Design and He is determined to scoop them all up methodically.
Precisely one year later at the start of FD2, a horrific multi-vehicle traffic pileup on Highway 23 is shown in a vivid premonition to Kimberley ( A.J.Cook ) and she survives the calamitous smashup caused by a logging truck’s breakdown, saving a half-dozen other motorists in the process. This prolonged sequence is the best thing in FD2, handled with expertise by former stunt-coordinator David R.Ellis.

The original premise of FINAL DESTINATION was smart – Death takes umbrage when His Master Plan goes askew and He goes back to His drawing board, to contrive even more diabolical ‘accidents’. A philosophical teen horror flick is a rare beast and the recent tragedies with the Space-Shuttle and the last of two B.C. avalanche catastrophes remind us that Death is out there causing His ‘freakish’ lethal events on a fiendishly regular daily basis.The ‘inevitability’ of every chance encounter with Death can, post-mortem, be "explained" by forensic pathologists, let alone by physicists. Our over-dependence upon a host of machines lends Death a generous range in his scheming. But the random nature of the universe will always defy a full rationale. The inner-workings of the universe, even without a malevolent personified Death, are never wholly rational. Stephen King’s 2002 novel FROM A BUICK 8 treats this issue in an astute manner, the author himself having fallen prey to a ‘freak’ collision with a motorist, one that left him seriously disabled. Us mere mortals will always bleat "Why Me?" and the survivors of a calamitous event will ponder "Why NOT Me?" And not one of us can provide an explanation.

Final Destination 2 is playing all over the USA and Canada this February 2003
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