Final Destination 2
Animated by a series of ingenious chain-reaction schemes culminating in human dismemberment, the Final Destination series compels viewers to consider the paralyzing and thrilling idea that existence is merely a series of booby traps set between us and the grave. The second entry of the series, Final Destination 2 (2003), screens at Anthology tonight as part of their “Infradestruction! (aka When Infrastructure Attacks)” series in which the concrete and asphalt of modern society rise against their creators. FD2 plays a fantastic game of one-upmanship with itself, making for one of the better entries in the robust series, currently under reboot consideration after five films that span the first decade of the twenty-first century.
Driving to Daytona Beach for spring break, Kimberly (A.J. Cook) receives a premonition of a highway pileup that ends in the deaths of her and her friends. The vision introduces us to a series of one-note characters whose fates hang in the film’s balance: there’s the cokehead, the pregnant woman, the lottery winner, the career gal and a teenage son at odds with his wine mom. Each will meet an exquisitely grisly end ripped straight from the margins of a burnout’s Algebra I notebook, all thanks to Kimberly, who cheats death out of its due. As returning audiences familiar with the franchise know, death is first and foremost a planner and responds poorly to spontaneity. Kimberly snaps out of her premonition with just enough time to prevent the accident, thereby saving a dozen lives and unbalancing death’s ledger.
Restricted in its havoc-making powers, FD’s incorporeal death can only seize upon coincidences or set small objects in motion that will snowball with increasingly larger effects. So rendered, death resembles a Greek deity: vain, capricious, curiously limited. Final Destination 2 and its siblings literally visualize what most of us often feel without articulating: The universe is against us. We usually disavow such narcissism, but the Final Destination franchise’s trademarked brand of screwball existential catharsis temporarily relieves the burden.
Sat Apr 13 19Anthology Film Archives9:15pm
Tue Apr 16 19Anthology Film Archives6:30pm
Fri Apr 19 19Anthology Film Archives9:30pm