- 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.
Final Destination was released in 2000 and is the first of five films in the Final Destination series. The events of this film occured after the events in Final Destination 5.
Alex Browning, a teenage high school student, is going on a field trip to Paris with his friends and classmates. He is feeling nervous before the flight (Flight 180) after getting numerous feelings that something bad is going to happen. He gets on the Boeing 747, and as it takes off, there is a lot of turbulence and the engines fail, rupturing the fuel tanks and causing a catastrophic explosion, which leads to him and all his friends dying.
His 'death' snaps him back into reality, where he realizes he has just had a premonition of the death of all his classmates, and other passengers. He frantically tries to get off the plane, this starts a scuffle in the isle. This leads to seven teenagers being thrown off the 747, 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. The survivors are devastated, and FBI agents Weine and Schreck interview the people who were removed from the plane, and are particularly interested with Alex's vision.
A month later, his best friend Tod Waggner is strangled in his bathtub but his death is deemed as being suicide. When Alex and Clear Rivers go to see his body, mysterious mortician William Bludworth tells them that Death is intervening to kill everyone who was meant to die on the plane. Terry Chaney falls victim the next day when she is hit by a bus. Alex gets the idea that death had a design, and worked out the order the others were going to die. He works out that Valerie Lewton his teacher is the next to die, he goes to try and save her, but is too late after she is killed when a kitchen knife falls and impales her and then blown up when her house explodes.He and the rest of the survivors Clear, Carter Horton and Billy Hitchcock discuss what they are going to do. Carter can't take anymore of this, and stalls his car on some train tracks in an attempt to kill himself, but changes his mind at the last second, but his seat-belt is stuck. Alex is forced to take action, and saves Carter at the last second. The train hits the car, destroying it. Billy is then killed after a remain from the car is whipped up by the train, and decapitates him from the jaw up. Alex goes into hiding from the police, when he realizes he is the last in line, and to save Clear and Carter, he must sacrifice himself, as this would mess up deaths design. He does this but doesn't die.
Six months later, Alex, Clear, and Carter arrive in Paris talking about their experience about Flight 180 and how they defeated Death. Shortly thereafter, a freak incident involving a bus causes a giant neon sign to swing off a hinge down towards Alex. Carter manages to intervene and pushes Alex to the ground, with the sign swinging down past the two of them. Carter then stands up and turns to Alex who is still on the ground. As Carter asks Alex who is next on Death's list, the neon sign swings back on its momentum towards where Carter is standing. The screen fades to black and a loud whack 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 Todd 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 Todd 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.
- Todd 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 Stage from 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 speaking, 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 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.