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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saw 3D - The Final Chapter, Finally

Saw 3D - The Final Chapter = 1 and 1/2 out of 5 Stars
Gibson: She's as crazy as a bag of cats.
So to get this out of the way, this movie is pretty terrible, but gets a bonus half of a star because the film was in fact shot in 3D (as opposed to converted) and did feature saws. Anyway, seven years later after the flawed, but only acceptable film in this series, Saw once again opens on Halloween weekend, but this time adding a whole new dimension. While I am aware that the gore-hounds will once again enjoy this film for the most part, the same problems and reasons for why I dislike this series exist:  Ridiculous logic, plot, and characters, along with a lack of suspense, instead replaced by ample ways for you to feel dirty afterward. But hey, at least this should be the final Saw we see.


Who needs a recap? Picking up after the events of Saw IV, we find that the new Jigsaw, Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), is still up to continuing the original's legacy, setting up all sorts of crazy traps. The main person involved in this new series of horrible mazes is Bobby (Sean Patrick Flanery), a man who claims to have been a victim of Jigsaw in the past, but survived his game and has now written a book about his experience. I think many will know where this is going, and soon enough for Bobby, he finds himself trying to escape a new set of traps, while rescuing those he cares about, who are also stuck in his situation.

Meanwhile, Hoffman has some old scores of his own to settle. He is seeking revenge on the old Jigsaw’s wife, Jill (Betsy Russell), who tried to murder Hoffman in the previous film.  He decides to do so in the most inventive and convoluted way possible, involving his former police partner, more trap victims, a junkyard, lots of surveillance, etc. It's nice to know that these Jigsaw killers are putting all of the amazing talents they have to good use. So the traps are set, the pawns are in play, and there may be a few surprises left to keep you occupied with your bloody time.





Again, I understand that there is an audience for this series, which appreciates what these movies try to do, much more than me; however, beyond the problems I have with this movie from a horror film standpoint; I can even point out problems with the film as a Saw movie. Since the film was shot in 3D (which requires nicer and heavier cameras), the film is very bright and pretty, basically ripping away the dirt and grittiness that the Saw series has been known for. Everything looks way too polished, and none of the clever editing feels quite right. Also, as a series that is built around clever story twists, this was the most predictable of all the Saw films. It goes out of its way to tie a lot of plot points together, but judging by what you learn in the early portions of the film, it is not too hard to figure out what may occur or which characters will play an important role later on.

Now beyond those issues, the other things that make this movie terrible are pretty much all logic related. I am not even talking about the traps, I just do not care about these scenes, they do their job with keeping the gore and blood pumping, whole the audience squirms.  I am referring to all the scenes involving the cops and people outside Jigsaw’s game. Basically a bunch of morons run around the crime scenes with their badges and guns, always two steps behind, despite thinking they are cleverer than they are.



The story is ludicrous and the traps feel tired. Everything is basically a game of connect-the-dots, as the film stitches together reasons that all these people would interact, while horrible things happen to them. And Jigsaw has become very petty. The first trap makes three people suffer because a girl was cheating on her boyfriend with his friend...yawn. I would have hoped that since that trap was set out in public, the stakes could have raised to somewhere interesting, but nope, not the case. We never learn any connection to why those particular people were chosen, and are thrust into the rest of the silly story, which makes sure to stay indoors, with the games located in the forgotten, grimy, soundproof warehouses all over the city.




A major factor that should have probably gotten some fans excited was having both Tobin Bell once again return as the original Jigsaw via flashbacks and the announcement of Cary Elwes returning as the now one-footed Dr. Gordon. Unfortunately, neither of these characters has more than a couple minutes on screen. Bell in particular intrigues me, because he is given top billing in the cast, but literally delivers a monologue and is gone. It's nice to see Elwes again, but...well I don't want to spoil anything.

So this film is not good. For being the most expensive Saw film (due to its use of 3D, complete with gore and blades thrown at the audiences faces), it certainly feels kind of lazy (which may have to do with director Kevin Greutert being forced to make this film instead of Paranormal Activity 2, due to contractual obligation). Saw fans may get a kick out of some moments here or there, but even they could agree that they are glad this is the final chapter. I may have been enjoying myself on a silly level while watching the film (anyone would be hard-pressed not to laugh at a cop explaining to a woman the definition of a safe room by repeating the words “safe room” over and over), but it is certainly not one I'd recommend.
"Jigsaw": Game Over
Myself: I hope so

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