Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Will Ferrell will put on the dunce cap once again. According to Deadline, TriStar has purchased The Yank, in which he'll play a mild-mannered insurance courier who finds himself in the middle of a heist to steal the crown jewels. Since the large majority of us don't stumble our way into the middle of gigantic, illicit conspiracies, it's safe to say that Ferrell's latest character won't be the brightest bulb in the box. In fact, Ferrell has made a career of playing dim-witted dunderheads. Even his ostensibly smart characters are clearly lacking a couple thousand brain cells. But which is the dumbest dope that Ferrell has ever played? We've decided to rank all of Ferrell's idiots in ascending order of stupidity.
Megamind (Megamind) Megamind is actually a genius, albeit an evil one, so he gets the top spot. However, he is a dope when he comes to relationships.
Harold Crick (Stranger Than Fiction)Sacrificing your life in the name of great art is quite an academic pursuit, so cheers.
Det. Allen Gamble (The Other Guys) Under a slightly frumpy and dopey exterior is actually the mind of a pretty gifted detective. In any case, you have to be doing something smart to attract Eva Mendez.
Buddy (Elf) Buddy isn't stupid as he is just lost in a world that isn't constantly running in full-on Christmas mode. The North Pole is a long sleigh ride away from Manhattan.
Chazz Michael Michaels (Blades of Glory)It does take some smarts to weasel your way back into a sport you were banned from. Too bad the tapes of him figure skating with Jon Heder will exist on the internet forever. That's quite the oversight.
Dr. Rick Marshall (Land of the Lost)Marshall is actually a gifted scientist, but for all of his fancy book learning, he does lack an incredible amount of common sense.
Phil Weston (Kicking and Screaming)Getting that wrapped up in pee-wee soccer, the least worthy pee-wee sport there is, is almost criminally stupid.
Cam Brady (The Campaign) Cam Brady nearly makes real politicians seem smart...nearly.
Jackie Moon (Semi-Pro)In Jackie Moon's world, wrestling a bear is a good way of promoting your failing basketball franchise.
Mustafa (Austin Powers) He's quite the survivor ("I've been very badly burned"), but if you can only take three questions before spilling clandestine info, then you're the worst henchman possible.
Ricky Bobby (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby)Sweet baby Jesus is Ricky Bobby dumb. He's the epitome of every Nascar stereotype every conceived.
Steve Butabi (A Night at the Roxbury) These club-addicted idiots have nothing rattling around their heads beyond velour suits and Haddaway's "What is Love."
Brennan Huff (Step Brothers)Brennan is probably the biggest and most spoiled man-child ever produced by the Ferrell and McKay tag team.
Ron Burgundy (Anchorman)Ron is pretty close to the top. Fortunately enough for him, though, the rest of the world surrounding him is nearly as stupid as he is.
Frank "The Tank" Rickard (Old School)Frank the Tank is definitively the stupidest person Will Ferrell has ever played. He somehow manages to shoot himself with a rhino tranquilizer just in time to ruin a kid's birthday party.
Though ostensibly successful 2009’s The Final Destination represented to many a horror franchise on its last hackneyed legs. Rote uninspired and humorless it scored a (modest) hit only by virtue of the novelty -- and added ticket price -- of its 3D transfer. Two years later Final Destination 5 arrives with a slightly tweaked formula a beefed-up storyline actors you might actually recognize and genuine honest-to-goodness 3D. It’s still schlock mind you -- but artful schlock and a marked improvement over the preceding entry.
The story begins in familiar fashion with a cursory introduction to the characters followed by a grisly premonition that sees them perish wholesale. An assortment of cubicle-dwellers at a paper factory are being bused to a corporate retreat when one of them Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto perpetually bug-eyed) dreams of a massive bridge collapse in which he and his co-workers are impaled beheaded bisected crushed by cars singed by tar -- however many ways a suspension bridge can kill a person the film’s opening set-piece explores it gruesome detail. Sam awakens duly horrified and demands the bus be evacuated. Seconds later the employees watch in horror from the sidelines as Sam’s vision comes to fruition.
You know what happens next. One-by-one death stalks the survivors who meet their fate in a series of elaborately-staged incidents. Some are relatively straightforward; others involve fiendish head-fakes and red herrings. The range of victims is older and more colorful than in previous Final Destination films in which death preyed exclusively on attractive nubile teenagers but the end result is invariably the same. (Not to give anything away but those considering acupuncture or laser eye surgery would be wise to avoid the film entirely.) As death’s scheme becomes achingly evident Sam his lachrymose girlfriend Molly (Emma Bell) and his increasingly unhinged buddy Peter (Miles Fisher) become increasingly desperate. Enter the ever-ominous Tony Todd returning to the franchise after (wisely) taking the previous film off offering a potential way out. But is it genuine or just another of death’s cruel tricks?
Director Steven Quale a James Cameron protege hired principally for his 3D expertise takes full advantage of the added dimension delivering some of the most vivid and immersive 3D sequences in recent memory. Unlike The Final Destination which seemed little more than a amalgam of crude one-liners Final Destination 5 feels like a real movie one with a discernible plot an element of suspense and a handful characters who are more than just punchlines. Most of the actors are surprisingly competent save for Fisher a credible doppelganger for Tom Cruise (he parodied him 2008’s Superhero Movie) who imbues every line with couch-jumping intensity.
Final Destination 5 ends with a twist that while genuinely unexpected feels like a Hail Mary for a franchise that can’t forestall its inexorable descent into stale irrelevance despite the best of efforts from Quale. Its trademark formula has simply lost its potency -- a problem no amount of cosmetic upgrades however welcome can fix. That the film is bracketed by two pointless and time-consuming montages -- the first an animated sequence that hurtles various hazardous objects at the audience the second a greatest hits compilation of memorable kills from previous Final Destination films -- is a telltale sign that the saga’s creativity is on life support. Perhaps it’s time to pull the plug.