A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie is very gory and that death is a meaningless event held up for entertainment value. Many of the accidents involve everyday items, which might lead some audience members to view their surroundings in a much different way. Several college age kids use drugs in a casual, off-hand manner that the other characters appear to accept. Parents in this movie seem unwilling to discuss possible peril with their children and are powerless to help their teens survive.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
If you saw the first Final Destination, or even just the preview for this sequel, then you are familiar with the plot. A group of people know that they are going to die; what they do not know is how this untimely event is going to take place. It is for this "how" that the audience, eyes darting around the screen to pick out possibly lethal traps, stays riveted for most of the movie's 100 minute running time. As with the first movie, the premise is that we cannot escape death when our turn has come, so if we were meant to die in an accident but somehow skip this fate, then we are due another visit from death to correct the omission. In this case, strangers on the merge to the highway avoid death in the form of a fiery pile up due to the premonition of the pretty but uninteresting, Kimberly (A.J. Cook). While still congratulating themselves for not dying, the survivors begin to fall victim to a string of bizarre accidents. Kimberly seeks out the sole survivor from those fated to die in Final Destination, Clear Rivers (Ali Larter), who has some helpful things to say but cannot stop the body count from rising.
Is it any good?
Not bothering with everyday movie conventions like plot, acting, or logic, this wisp of a sequel found its competitive advantage in Final Destination and pursued it with gleeful abandon. The first movie took the time to follow teen horror flick conventions, to develop characters -as thin as they were - and to throw in some theories about why all these people were dying. In the second movie, all these time-fillers are skipped and the movie becomes a heaping helping of mind-boggling mayhem. FINAL DESTINATION 2 asks why it should bother with the parsley of plot, dialogue, or characters, when people just want a plateful of death.
In many ways, tunneling all of the sequel's energies into a smorgasbord of imaginative deaths works better than the heavy-handed "suspense" of the original film. The acting is mediocre at best. Do they solve the riddle in time? Few will care, considering that there is no reason to like any of the characters and the main thrill of the movie comes from the elaborate nature of the deadly accidents. If this movie is supposed to be a scary thriller, then it flies far of the mark. If, however, Final Destination 2 seeks to take us no further than bloody spectacle, then it does a fine job indeed.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the characters' different reactions to surviving the accident, and facing the continuing danger to themselves. One of the characters proclaims that he is the master of his own fate and that therefore he will not die. Parents might discuss this concept of fate and the role of our own actions to influence our futures.
- In theaters: January 31, 2003
- On DVD or streaming: July 22, 2003
- Cast: A.J. Cook, Ali Larter, Michael Landes
- Director: David R. Ellis
- Studio: New Line
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violent/gruesome accidents, language, drug content and some nudity
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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