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A.J. Cook, Andrew Downing, Michael Landes, Ali Larter, Tony Todd

Directed by: David Ellis
Written by: Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber

US: 31/01/03 UK: 07/02/03

Driving with a group of friends to Daytona Beach, Kimberly has a sudden premonition that saves them all from a catastrophic freeway pileup … or so it seems. Ali Larter returns from the first film as Clear Rivers, the lone survivor of the Flight 180 airplane crash, whom Kimberly goes to see once death starts coming after her friends. It’s a rollercoaster ride of fear and fate as Kimberly races to save her friends and herself from the implacable jaws of death.
Seeing rich, young, good-looking actors meeting grisly ends is always a hoot.

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This follow-up to one of the more witty and effective teen thrillers in memory is quite literally more of the same. In a good way. It's exactly one year after the events of Flight 180, in which a group of teens cheated death by getting of an ill-fated airplane, only to have death catch up with them later. This time our heroine is Kimberly (Cook), who has a premonition of a horrific highway pile-up and ends up saving the lives of a disparate group of people. Then she starts to make the connections with the earlier event, and working with a cop (Landes) she contacts the only survivor (Larter) from the first film and they try to stop death before it gets them all.

As with the original, this movie continually surprises us with inventive and unexpected set pieces leading to another horrible fatality. The genius of the concept is that there's no creepy villain lurking around the edges of the story; everyone dies in a freak accident as death tries to correct his mistakes. And the filmmakers have a great time setting us up for the most grisly freak accidents possible. Some of them are elaborate and nearly endless strings of coincidences and strange goings on, while others are so sudden they take our breath away. All of it leaves us laughing, not frightened. The cast is efficient and beautiful, and just about what you expect from this genre. Todd is even back as the wisdom-spouting mortician who seems to have some sort of hotline to Death. The film lacks some of deranged glee that the original had (where are the John Denver songs?), but it's still entertaining and outrageously irreverent. And since there's probably no end of ideas for even more elaborate death scenarios, this is a franchise that's likely to run and run. As long as just one person survives at the end.



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