- This article is about the first film in the series. For information about the series as a whole, see Final Destination (series). For the 2009 film, see The Final Destination.
High school student Alex Browning is going on a field trip to Paris with his friends and classmates. He is feeling nervous before the flight, sensing that something bad is going to happen. Nontheless, he gets on the Boeing 747, but as it takes off, there is a lot of turbulence and the engines fail, rupturing the fuel tanks and causing a catastrophic explosion, resulting in the deaths of everyone on board, including himself.
His 'death' snaps him back into reality, and after the events from his 'dream' begin to repeat themselves he realizes he just had a premonition. He frantically tries to warn the other passengers, but his warnings fall on deaf ears. While attempting to get off the plane, a scuffle ensues, and five other students either leave or are forced off the plane, one teacher also accompanies them. Whilst they sit in the airport trying to calm Alex down, they witness the plane explode just as Alex predicted, leaving the survivors devastated. FBI agents Weine and Schreck interview the people who were removed from the plane, and become suspicious of Alex.
A month later, Alex's best friend Tod Waggner is strangled in his bathtub but his death is deemed a suicide. When Alex and Clear Rivers visit his body at a funeral home, they encounter mysterious mortician William Bludworth, who tells them that they have ruined Death's design, and now Death itself is killing the survivors who were meant to die on the plane. Terry Chaney falls victim the next day when she is hit by a bus. After watching a news report on the cause of the explosion, Alex deduces that the survivors are dying in the order they would have died on the plane. He realizes that Valerie Lewton his teacher is the next on death's list, and he rushes to save her. Thinking Alex is to no good, Ms. Lewton calls the FBI agents who take Alex to the police station for questioning. They eventually release him, but he arrives to late to save Ms. Lewton who is killed when a kitchen knife impales her in the chest, and her house explodes shortly after.Alex reunites with the rest of the survivors Clear, Carter Horton and Billy Hitchcock to discuss what they are going to do. Carter learns he is next, but can't take it anymore and stalls his car on train tracks in an attempt to kill himself. He changes his mind at the last second, but his seat-belt gets stuck. Alex is forced to take action, and saves Carter at the last second.
The train smashes the car, and Billy is partially decapitated by flying shrapnel from the wreckage. Alex realizes that since he intervened Death skipped Carter and moved on to Billy. Alex goes into hiding from the police, when he realizes that he is the last in line, and he rushes to save Clear, while being chased by agents.
Six months later, Alex, Clear, and Carter arrive in Paris to celebrate their survival. While discussing their experience Alex explains that never skipped him. Suddenly a freak incident involving a bus causes a giant neon sign to swing off its hinges down towards Alex. Carter manages to push Alex out of the way at the last second. Alex says that Death skipped him, and when Carter asks Alex who is next on Death's list, the neon sign swings back down towards Carter. The screen fades to black and a loud smash is heard, leaving Alex and Clear as the last two survivors of Flight 180.
|Alex Browning||Devon Sawa|
|Clear Rivers||Ali Larter|
|Carter Horton||Kerr Smith|
|Valerie Lewton||Kristen Cloke|
|Agent Weine||Daniel Roebuck|
|Agent Schreck||Roger Guenveur Smith|
|Tod Waggner||Chad E. Donella|
|Billy Hitchcock||Seann William Scott|
|Mr. Bludworth||Tony Todd|
|Terry Chaney||Amanda Detmer|
|George Waggner||Brendan Fehr|
|Larry Murnau||Forbes Angus|
|Christa Marsh||Lisa Marie Caruk|
|Blake Dreyer||Christine Chatelain|
|Barbara Browning||Barbara Tyson|
|Ken Browning||Robert Wisden|
|Mrs. Waggner||P. Lynn Johnson|
|Mr. Waggner||Larry Gilman|
|Hare Krishna||Guy Fauchon|
|Flight Attendant||Randy Stone|
|TV News Anchor||Marrett Green|
|Howard Siegel||Fred Keating|
|Student Singer||Pete Atherton|
|Ticket Clerk||Nicole Robert|
Alternate EndingIn the alternate ending, Alex and Clear have sex on the beach, resulting in Clear's pregnancy. Later, when Alex rescues Clear, the wire electrocutes him and burns him to death.
Nine months later, she gives birth to a baby boy named Alex, named after his deceased father, saving her and Carter from Death. At the end, Clear carries Alex Jr. and reunites with Carter at the Flight 180 memorial. Clear states that they only won the chance of a "full life". A gust of wind, blows a leaf off a tree and the leaf covers the camera and then the credits roll.
- The filmmakers originally had an ending in which Alex grabs the cable that lies on Clear's car, Alex catches fire and dies. Then Clear gets her baby and Carter survives. The test audience didn't like this, so the filmmakers shot another ending in which Alex is decapitated by a crashing police helicopter. But again, the test audience didn't like the fact that Alex dies, so they shot the finish with the billboard, which took 6 days to film and cost nearly $2,000,000.
- At least one or two tragedies or accidents in each of the first three Final Destination films are based on real life events. In this movie, Flight 180 was based on Trans World Flight 800, which also crashed right after takeoff, leaving JFK for Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, and both were carrying a group of students going to Paris on a class trip.
- Something to watch for, especially considering John Denver died in a plane crash. Whenever someone's about to die, listen for the song "Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver to play. The obvious one is when Ms. Lewton is about to die and she plays her mother's John Denver record. Next, after Tod shaves and cuts himself, he plugs in the radio and you think he's going to get electrocuted. What do you suppose is playing for about 3 seconds? At the beginning, when Alex is having the nightmare, he and Tod go to the bathroom, guess what's playing on the loudspeaker. Also at the end, when they are in France, the man playing the guitar is singing "Rocky Mountain High" in French. Also John Denver made a song called Leaving On A Jet Plane, which may be a reference to Flight 180 and Denver's Death.
- When Alex's air ticket is torn at the checking desk before he boards 180 if you look at the ticket very closely there is a piece of text saying,'Your Final Flight'.
- In the airport after the plane explodes, it shows Terry with a terrified look on her face. Right behind her is a picture of a bus, which is the way she would die later in the movie. Also, at Ms. Lewton's house, when she is standing in front of her computer, behind her is a stained glass window with a picture of a knife, which is how she would later die.
- The sign that falls down at the end is "180", which was the number for their flight.
- Tod foreshadows his own death - in Alex's vision he mimes strangling himself (when he's trying to stop Alex changing seats), putting an imaginary rope around his own neck and pulling it tight...
- This is more of something to notice, but when the students are walking onto the airplane Alex looks at the scrapes on the door of the plane, then he looks down through the gap and a baggage car passes underneath. Look at the numbers on top of the car...they read 666, unless you want to be picky then its 999 which wouldn't mean anything.
- The German dub of Final Destination doesn't change Tod's name. "Tod" means "Death" in German.
- When Carter is driving to "take control" the train Alex sees out his window is number 747, which is the type of plane that blew up.
- In the very beginning of the movie you see many different shots of Alex's room, in one shot you see the shadow of a little figure hanging by the neck foreshadowing Tod's death.
- James Wong, the director for this movie, was also a writer/producer/director for the X-Files TV show. The script for this movie was based on an episode he wrote that was never used for the X-Files show.
- In terms of run time, this is the longest movie in the series so far.
- The movie shares the name with a fighting stage from the 1999 Nintendo game Super Smash Brothers.
- The Band "Within Temptation" wrote a song based on the premise of the series that shares the name with the movie.
- Flight 180 is referenced in the opening credits of Final Destination 5, having a plane explode during the opening credits, which is strange due to the fact that Flight 180 actually appears in FD5 (because it is a prequel).
- All of the main characters (with an exception of Clear and Tod) appear in unused archival footage used for the Flight 180 scene at the end of Final Destination 5.
- Chronologically, this would actually be the second film in the series.
- Final Destination is the only movie in the series where none of the survivors are African American.
- The working title for the film (and the series as well) was originally Flight 180, but was changed by the studio for being too similar to other airplane movies like Con Air or Air Force One.
- On an earlier script George Waggner,Blake Dreyer and Christa Marsh survived Flight 180 but the scriptwriters changed it instead they die on Flight 180
The poster features five characters. The characters are: Alex, Clear, Carter, Billy and Terry. The cast has half of their face as a skull. The background of the poster is lightning.
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports 33% of critics gave the film positive write-ups based on 93 reviews, with an average rating of 4.6/10, and a generally negative 32% approval rating from "top" critics based on 22 reviews.
The site's consensus of opinion is that "Despite a panel of X-Files' alums at the helm and a promising premise, flighty performances and poor execution keep Final Destination from ever taking off." At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film holds a mixed/average score of 36 based on 28 reviews, while IGN gives the film 2.5 stars out of 5.
The film premiered in 2,587 theaters across the United States and Canada on March 17, 2000, earning $10,015,822 on its opening weekend with an average of $3,871 per theater. Final Destination placed at #3 in the US box office on its opening weekend, behind biography film Erin Brockovich and the science fiction film Mission to Mars. The film remained at #3 on the next weekend before dropping to #7 on its third weekend.
The film continuously dropped on the next weekends until it was removed from the top-ten list on its eight weekend. The film lasted in theaters for 22 weekends, its last screening airing in 105 theaters and grossing $52,675, placing in #56. Final Destination grossed $53,331,147 in the United States and Canada on its total screening and earned $59,549,147 in other territories, having an overall gross of $112,880,294 internationally.