Alex Browning

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Alex Browning
Final Destination character
Alexander Browning, FD.jpg
Devon Sawa as Alex Browning
First appearance Final Destination
Last appearance Final Destination 5
Created by Jeffrey Reddick
Portrayed by Devon Sawa
Information
Full name Alexander Theodore Browning
Nickname(s) Alex (by everyone)
Gender Male
Occupation Former high school student
(at Mt. Abraham High)
Family Ken Browning
(father)
Barbara Browning
(mother)
Significant other(s) Clear Rivers
(girlfriend; deceased)
Location Mt. Abraham, New York
Status Deceased
Cause of death Bludgeoned by falling brick (off-screen)

Alexander Theodore "Alex" Browning is a fictional character in the Final Destination series, portrayed by Devon Sawa. Alex serves as the protagonist of Final Destination.[1] He is a senior student of Mt. Abraham High and one of the students aboard Volée Airlines Flight 180.[2] He is the sixth survivor of Flight 180 to die.[3]

Character arc[edit]

Background[edit]

Alex Browning was born on September 25, 1982 in the fictional town of Mt. Abraham, New York to Ken and Barbara Browning.[4] He has been friends with siblings Tod and George Waggner since childhood and had been his classmates through high school since then.[4] He is studying at Mt. Abraham High and is the rival of Carter Horton. He frequently fights with Carter whenever they're together and often can't control his actions. He is one of the students qualified to travel to Paris, France for the school's annual field trip.[2]

Final Destination[edit]

In the first film of the series, Alex and the senior class of Mt. Abraham High School board Volée Airlines Flight 180, which is bound for departure from JFK International for Paris, France. While on board, Alex has an ominous vision of the plane exploding in mid-air. After warning everyone about it, he and some of his schoolmates are removed from the plane. While waiting at the airport, Alex witnesses the plane explode as he predicted. FBI Agent Schreck and Agent Weine interview the survivors afterwards and believe that Alex was responsible for blowing up Flight 180. While attending the memorial for the victims, Alex notices both agents carefully observing him and develops a relationship with Clear Rivers. Tod and Terry Chaney die afterwards and the Waggner household's anger towards Alex grows further. With the help of Clear, Alex encounters William Bludworth, a mortician who knows more about Death than anyone else. Later that night, Alex realizes that Death is claiming back their lives which should have been lost on the plane, and is attacking them according to the order of their deaths on the plane. Alex and Clear attempt to save the remaining survivors, but fail in their attempts, with the exception of Carter. Knowing he is next to die, Alex suddenly realizes that he had exchanged seats in his original premonition, thus Clear will die before him. Finding Clear at her car trapped by live wires, Alex sacrifices himself by touching the wires to let her escape. It is revealed later on that Alex survived the electrocution. Now in Paris, the films ends with Carter saving Alex from a falling neon sign, but the sign swings back and kills Carter instead.[5]

However, in Final Destination 2, Clear exposes to Kimberly Corman that Alex died by being bludgeoned on the head by a dislodged brick from a nearby building.[3] This was, however, not the original idea for this death; another version of the script had Alex, still killed off-screen, be killed by a ceiling fan.[6] This death, however, was not his original planned death either for a third version of the script (the very original script) had Alex be killed by a flesh eating virus.[7] He was briefly mentioned in Final Destination 3 and appeared in Final Destination 5.

Alternate ending[edit]

In the alternate ending of the film, Alex and Clear had made love on the beach before meeting Carter and Billy Hitchcock at their school, resulting in Clear's pregnancy. Later on, Alex dies of the electrocution while attempting to save Clear from the car and livewires. Nine months later, Clear gives birth to Alexander "Alex" Chance Browning and reunites with Carter, safe in the knowledge that they have finally defeated Death.[8][9]

Casting[edit]

"There's not a lot of good stuff, you know, for my age. You get a lot of scripts and all but their teen ensembles and they're just "crap". And then I got Flight 180..... I mean, it's just awesome."

Devon Sawa on how he was amazed by the script of Final Destination.[10][11]

The role of Alex Browning was the challenging part for the writers, since they wanted Alex to show a variety of differing emotions throughout the film. The role of Alex, the last one cast, went to Canadian actor Devon Sawa, who previously starred in the 1999 film Idle Hands. Sawa commented that when "[he] read the script on a plane, it just freaked him out" and "[he] went down and met Glen and Jim and [he] thought they were amazing and already had some great ideas".[11][12] However, writers Glen Morgan and James Wong were still not sure about casting him, so asked him to perform again and reviewed his previous work. Morgan was amazed by his performance in Idle Hands and Sawa was hired. Sawa described his role as "in the beginning, [Alex] was kinda loopy and cotter, and you know, probably not the most popular guy in school. I think he might have been a dork, you know, doing their stuff and they had their own thing going and they're after the two beautiful girls in school, but there's no chance of that happening. I guess after the plane goes down, his world completely changes."[10][11] Perry was amazed by Sawa's vulnerability in acting, describing him as "a very distinctive actor". "He's very loose and he's kind of a cut-up when he's not on camera; but the moment the camera's on, I'd never seen anybody to completely slide right through the moment." Perry added.[10] The character's surname was based by writer Jeffrey Reddick to American director Tod Browning, who directed both horror classics Dracula and Freaks. Besides Alex, Wong also chose the name of Alex's best friend, Tod Waggner, as a reference to the director's first name.[13]

Reception[edit]

His performance earned Sawa a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor,[14] and a nomination from Blockbuster Entertainment Awards for Favorite Actor in Horror (Internet Only).[15] Moreover, Sawa's performance of Alex received generally positive reviews among critics. Stephen Holden of the New York Times commented that "The disaster and Alex's premonitions set up a heavy-handed fable about death and teenage illusions of invulnerability.",[16] while Jami Bernard of the New York Daily News noted that "Sawa is solid as an Everyteen saddled with a rare and unwelcome gift".[17] David Nusair of Reel Film Reviews remarked "Sawa's personable turn as the hero is matched by a uniformly effective supporting cast rife with familiar faces (i.e. Seann William Scott, Brendan Fehr, Tony Todd, etc)...";[18] while Joe Leydon of Variety pointed out that "Sawa is credible as the second-sighted Alex --- unlike many other actors cast a teen protagonists, he actually looks like he might still be attending high school --- but the supporting players are an uneven bunch."[13] Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle praised Sawa and Ali Larter's pairing, observing that "Larter and Sawa, who becomes more scruffy and wild-eyed as the film progresses, make an appealing pair."[19] Dustin Putman of TheMovieBoy.com praised Sawa's performance, saying:

Devon Sawa, a rising star who put his physical comedy skills to good use in 1999's underseen slasher-comedy, "Idle Hands," is even more of a charismatic presence here. The conflicting emotions he feels for his survival, which he comes to believe he wasn't meant to do, as well as the loss of the other passengers, is superbly and subtly acted on his part. One scene, in which he is watching a news report on the crash and slowly begins to break down is especially realistic and powerful.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yahoo!, Yahoo! Movies. "Final Destination Cast List in Yahoo! Movies UK and Ireland". Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Yahoo!, Yahoo! Movies. "Final Destination Movie Info in Yahoo! Movies UK and Ireland". Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  3. ^ a b David R. Ellis (director). Final Destination 2 in IMDb (Motion picture). New York, United States: New Line Cinema. Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Rhodes, Natasha (January 2006). Final Destination. New York City: Black Flame. ISBN 1-84416-317-2. 
  5. ^ James Wong (director). Final Destination in IMDb (Motion picture). New York, United States: New Line Cinema. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  6. ^ The original script, as seen here http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Final-Destination-2.html, had Alex be killed by a falling ceiling fan which impaled him in the head
  7. ^ As seen here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0309593/trivia, Alex was supposed to be killed by a flesh eating virus in the original script
  8. ^ IMSDb. "Final Destination Script at IMSDb". Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  9. ^ James Wong (director). Final Destination (New Line Platinum Series) (DVD). New York City, United States: New Line Cinema. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c James Wong (director). Final Destination: A Look at Test Screening (Videotape / DVD). New York City, United States: New Line Cinema. 
  11. ^ a b c James Wong (director). Final Destination (New Line Platinum Series) (DVD). New York City, United States: New Line Cinema. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  12. ^ DevonSawa.org, Starshine. "Starshine Devon Sawa - Auditions". Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Leydon, Joe (March 19, 2000). "Review: 'Final Destination – Tepid Teen Thriller'". Variety. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  14. ^ Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, Saturn Awards. "Past Saturn Awards Winners for Best Performance by a Younger Actor". Archived from the original on 12 May 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  15. ^ IMDb, Blockbuster Entertainment Awards. "2001 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  16. ^ Holden, Stephen (March 17, 2000). "Lucky Teenagers Skip a Doomed Flight Only to Meet Their Match on the Ground". New York Times. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  17. ^ Bernard, Jami (March 17, 2000). "'Destination' Takes Teen on Downward Spiral". New York Daily News. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  18. ^ Nusair, David (September 28, 2009). "The Final Destination Series Review". Reel Film Review. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  19. ^ LaSalle, Mick (March 17, 2000). "Death, Teens Engage In Immortal Combat `Final Destination' a playful, stylish thriller". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  20. ^ Putman, Dustin (March 18, 2000). "Dustin Putman's Review - Final Destination [2000]". TheMovieBoy.com. Retrieved 26 October 2010.