We decided to see the 3-D version: I was slightly dubious, as the 3-D films I've watched in the past (complete with cardboard specs with their red-and-green acetate filter lenses) totally failed to work for me, probably because I have a "lazy" eye from an untreated squint.
The 3-D specs have been updated to black plastic, and the lenses are no longer red for one eye and green for the other. But, at first, I couldn't actually perceive the 3-D effect. "Can't you see the spike sticking out of the screen?" Angela asked me. I couldn't. I saw the spike, it just stayed firmly on the cinema screen.
I took the glasses off, and realised that this was not a good idea - the image was slightly out of focus, and every line seemed to be shadowed in a sort of double-vision effect. Watching this for a few minutes made me go cross-eyed and headachy, so I put the glasses back on.
There were several "ooh" and "ahhh" noises from the audience, and people could obviously see something coming at them out of the screen. It became quite irritating, because I just wasn't getting it. And then, gradually, I began to see the occasional item moving out towards me: not as many as my friend, but something. It was most noticeable when small bits of glowing ash floated out from the screen: that looked extremely convincing.
It's just as well that I began to see some of the special effects work, because otherwise I would have been bored witless.
The basic plot ran something like this: the hero and his friends are at a stock-car race track. The whole place is a disaster waiting to happen, with rotten beams and no health and safety requirements, so you just know that there is trouble ahead.
The hero is a nervous sort of chap, looking at all the "unsafe" stuff in a significant way... and then he has a premonition that a disaster will happen (only you don't know this is a premonition at first) and he persuades his friends to leave. Some other people leave too, ostensibly to argue with the hero. Most unconvincing: I mean, if you were at an event and some stranger started creating a fuss, and then left, you'd probably just thank your lucky stars that the idiot had gone, leaving you to watch the event in peace...
Anyway, the disaster happens. Suddenly, with little explanation, the hero and his girlfriend decide that people are dying in the order in which they would have died had they not escaped the original disaster. This really relied on people having watched the previous Final Destination films - I suddenly realised that I had actually seen the first one at this point: I'd forgotten about it. The hero and his girlfriend then decide that they can avoid dying if they succeed in breaking "the chain" and start going around trying to save everyone... and arriving just too late... but getting to view the increasingly gory deaths.
The deaths became more and more improbable, and seemed to be nothing more than a vehicle for chucking special 3-D effects in. When you have about ten or so people being bumped off one by one, it's pretty tedious.
I was extremely annoyed to find that there was one very unnecessary sex scene in the film: not only was it completely irrelevant to the plot, but it was extremely graphic, (actually pornographic) despite the film having a 15 rating. Given the amount of gore and violence, and the explicit sex scene, I'd have thought the film should have been rated 18. The Passion of the Christ had less gore and violence... and it didn't have the sex and nudity... obviously the Film Classification Board considers religion to be something from which young people need to be protected!
There were some funny moments: the main one being when the security guard, figuring that he's next in the chain, tries to kill himself in order to break that chain. He's found, trying to hang himself, by the hero: "I've been trying to kill myself all day!" he exclaims. "I swallowed pills, and I chucked them up. Then I tried to attach a hosepipe to the car exhaust, and got in the car. It kept stalling..."
That isn't enough to make the film worth seeing. Do yourself a favour: go and watch paint dry, or something...