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Final Destination 2: infinifilm

If the first Final Destination (2000) was a film that meditates on the strange nature of freak accidents while trying not to pander — with its concession to the horror fans being that it shows people dying in bizarrely intricate, Rube Golberg-inspired ways — then its sequel is a deeply pandering collection of bizarrely intricate Rube Golberg-inspired deaths and an attempt to explain how the same exact thing can happen to different people. The movie ends up being the sort of Grand Gungiol theatrics that haven't been displayed this heavily since the early '80s and is — as connoisseur Joe Bob Briggs would say — "Red Meat City." FD2 (2003) follows Kim Corman (A.J. Cook) as she's about to go on vacation with her friends, but while driving she has a vision of a horrible traffic accident which kills her, her friends, and an assortment of other people in various nasty ways. Kim realizes (like the main character in the first film) that it's about to happen and she can prevent it, but in doing so, she upsets death's grand schema — and death is none too pleased. So Kim connects with the other survivors and blank-faced state trooper Thomas Burke (Michael Landes) to try to figure out a way to beat "Death's Design," and do so with the help of the help of Clear Rivers (Ali Larter — Devon Sawa must have asked for too much money; he gets killed off-screen), the only returning character from the first film, and who also gets to over-explain why what's happening is happening. Basically, Final Destination 2 is divided between people talking gobedlygook about fate and death and chance, and then the expertly delivered, overly-elaborate death scenes that work as black comedy. In fact, one gets the sense the filmmakers know it's such an untenable movie that they simply seem to focus on each killing, which becomes even funnier as they get more and more gruesome. As such, the standouts in the cast are the best victims, especially the drug-addled Rory (Jonathan Cherry), who gets a zinger of a scene where he makes his last request, and the bitchy Kat (Keegan Connor Tracy), while the deaths are as ketchup-drenched as they are preposterous; one spectacular demise revolves around a dentist's office and — we're not making this up — pigeons. It's the perfect sort of splatter send-up that is great for drunken gathering of people with high thresholds for the ensanguinated. New Line's Infinifilm release of Final Destination 2 presents the film in both anamorphic (1.85:1) and full-frame transfers with DTS-ES, Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dolby 2.0 Surround tracks. Extras include a fact-track, the Infinifilm pop-ups that take you to all sorts of bonus footage (much — though not all — of which is repeated in the featurettes), and an audio commentary by director David Elllis, producer Craig Perry, and screenwriters Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber. In the supplement section there are five deleted scenes (with optional audio commentary), two music videos, trailers for both Destination films and a bonus trailer, and the three featurettes: "The Terror Gauge" (14 min.) showing people's fear levels being tracked while they watch the film, "Cheating Death" (18 min.), which talks to people who's had near death experiences, and "Bits and Pieces" (31 min.), which interviews the filmmakers and historians David De Valle, Drew McWeeny, and Gore Godfather Herschell Gordon Lewis. Keep-case.

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