When the original creators of a successful franchise come back for a third entry, it's usually a good thing -- with Final Destination 3, the series takes a preposterous turn for the worse that manages to make the celebrated second film look even more masterful by comparison. If Hollywood ever made an adaptation of Milton Bradley's old board game Mousetrap, then it'd look a lot like this flick. A few of the glorified death scenes reach such a level of absurdity that one almost wishes that the film would get on with the kill and be done with it already. That said, there are a few fantastic moments buried within the junk that are more than worth a few rewinds when the picture hits audience's living rooms (namely, the weight room and tanning bed scenes). It's here that the blood-tinged movie gets the mixture of shock and hilarity right, whereas some of the other kills push the boundaries of the whole domino effect too far even for this series. The fact that the filmmakers tie Abraham Lincoln and 9/11 to the film's mythology is jaw-dropping (and more than a touch tasteless), but proves the fact that they seemed more concerned with ushering in the plot than the visceral fun. Even the opening roller coaster scene doesn't live up to expectations, with so many shaky camera tricks and frantic visuals that it becomes a let down after so much déjà vu junk was crammed into the five minutes leading up to it. Final Destination 3 might still be good for a few good chuckles, but it's not what it could have been -- which might be the thing that will haunt it until its final days.
by Jeremy Wheeler review