Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Problems with Final Destination 3

A script problem in Final Destination 3. During his sermon at a funeral, the minister says, "We are all equal in the eyes of death."

Student Ian McKinley (Chris Lemche, below) cynically replies that this is nonsense. That the recently deceased girls weren't even 18 years old, whereas Charles Manson made it to 70, Osama bin Laden is still alive, etc.

I sense that screenwriters Glen Morgan and James Wong agree with McKinley's position. Yet their dialog inadvertently supports the minister's position. Death takes the young and old, the innocent and guilty. Death does not judge us, or play favorites. Thus are we all "equal in the eyes of death."

I'm not sure if Morgan and Wong were aware that they wrote the minster as the accurate character, and McKinley as the one spouting nonsense. (Or maybe they did intend it that way, but I sense they intended the opposite of what they wrote).

Also, while watching Final Destination 3, I tried to determine its location. I guessed that it was set in the American northwest. Washington or Oregon, maybe. Then I saw a sign in the film that indicated that we were supposed to be in Pennsylvania. Oh, so that's what Pennsylvania looks like, I thought.

Then when we switched to the subway scene, I thought, I'll bet this is Canada. They often shoot "New York" subway scenes in Vancouver.

Sure enough, the end credits revealed that the film was shot in Vancouver. The northwest.

When will filmmakers realize that Canada does not look like everyplace in the U.S. Toronto does not look like New York. Vancouver does not look like Pennsylvania.

If you're going to shoot in Canada, set the story in Canada, and use Canada's unique locales (as David Cronenberg does so effectively), rather than trying to hide them so you can pretend it's someplace else.

Of course, Final Destination 3 is still enjoyable for its creative death scenes, especially the roller coaster opening.

I am surprised that New Line Cinema funded it. Isn't New Line owned by Time-Warner, which, being a huge corporation, owns some theme park interests? (Don't they all?) Didn't anyone consider that this film should hurt roller coaster attendance? (It certainly validates my avoidance of them!)

1 comment:

Clifford said...

Interesting take...haven't seen the movie yet, but that roller coaster scene must be impressive, as I've seen it mentioned a lot.

I love coasters. But every time I'm about to get on one, I think, this is it. The last long ride down the hill. Something will break and it'll be all over for me.

Yes, it's terror, pure terror I face when I ride a coaster, and when I get off, the relief is palpable.

So why do I like these things? The pop psychologist have had a field day explaining our need to stare down death, but I don't buy it, and I don't think any of them are closer to the truth than you or I. I just do. And you don't. Go figure.