In an effort to clean out my DVR and make room for endless episodes of reality television (not to mention the Olympics), I am currently in the process of watching the 40* films that I recorded from the beginning of March to the end of June. The 13th film on my DVR was Final Destiny, which originally aired on the Lifetime movie network on April 3rd.
This will be a quick one. Usually, I try to come up with at least 500 words for every movie that I review but it’s going to be a struggle as far as Final Destiny is concerned. There’s really just not much to say about this particular film.
According to the imdb, Final Destiny was originally entitled Brace For Impact and I assume that the title was changed in an effort to fool viewers into thinking that Final Destiny had something to do with the Final Destination films. Well, Final Destiny does start out with a scenario that could be lifted from one of those films. Sofia Gilchrest (Kerry Condon) gets on an airplane with her brother, Shane (Ian Lake). Right before the plane is scheduled to take off, Sofia gets the feeling that something bad is going to happen. She freaks out and she’s kicked off the plane. The plane then takes off and crashes, killing her brother.
Unfortunately, that’s about all that this film has in common with Final Destination. The plane crash does not lead to a series of increasingly macabre accidents as death attempts to correct itself by killing Sofia. Tony Todd never shows up to talk about destiny. There’s no humor, which is a shame because Final Destiny could have used some humor.
(The only humor comes from the fact that, beyond ripping off a more successful franchise, Final Destiny makes absolutely no sense as a title! That said, Brace For Impact was kind of a crappy title too…)
Instead, Final Destiny turns into a plodding procedural. It turns out that Sofia is a flight crash investigator, which means that she now gets to investigate the crash that her killed brother. Or, at least, it would if not for the fact that all of Sofia’s colleagues are totally corrupt and have no faith in her abilities. It turns out that, in the past, Sofia has been too quick to assume that every plane crash was the result of a conspiracy. Plus, she is such a careful investigator that it sometimes takes her years to determine why a plane crashed. The government wants quick answers but Sofia would rather be right than be fast!
But here’s the problem with the movie: Sofia is a totally unlikable character. That’s a bold statement to make about someone who is investigating the death of her brother but, even with that added layer of motivation, Sofia still comes across as being shrill, self-centered, and generally unpleasant.
It also doesn’t help that the cause of the crash is pretty obvious from the start. About an hour into the movie, Sofia figures out that it was the act of domestic terrorists and then she spends the rest of the movie telling everyone that it was the work of domestic terrorists and then, at the end of the movie, she’s like, “Yep, domestic terrorism,” and that’s pretty much it.
There, of course, are a few subplots but none of the subplots are that interesting. Sofia’s mother is shocked to discover that Shane was gay. Sofia’s best friend is discriminated against because of his religion. Sofia is angry because she didn’t get a promotion. It’s all really predictable and it doesn’t add up too much.
In the end, Final Destiny didn’t even feel like a movie. It felt like a pilot for a TV show that nobody would want to watch. If ever a film needed Tony Todd to show up and start talking about life and death, it was this one.
*Yes, I know that I originally said I would have to watch 36 films to clean out my DVR but I recorded 4 more films since making that statement. So now, it’s 40 films but I’m still hoping to be finished with the series by the end of next week.