Friday, October 29, 2010

Review - Saw 3D

Despite Jigsaw being dead, his games live on. This time a self-proclaimed Jigsaw survivor is thrown into a whole new game. While a group of Jigsaw survivors gather together to seek out who has taken on his legacy.

We are led to believe that "Saw 3D" will be the final chapter of the franchise. While the latest installment does close the door on the Jigsaw legacy, there is still a glimmer of light left open for more films. That said, if Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures do decide to continue it will feel desperately forced.

Judging the 7th film in the franchise as a sole movie would warrant a terrible review. The film itself is mainly a waste of time. It houses a bunch of needless new characters and doesn't spend enough time cleaning up the mess made by the previous 3 installments. The Saw franchise can be seen as two trilogies and a then this movie. The first 3 films are very about Jigsaw's legacy and purpose. Where the second 3 films are very much about Hoffman's vendettas and breaking Jigsaw's methodology. This final chapter as Lionsgate has coined it, tries to close the door on the franchise. The downside is you have to sit through about 50 minutes of wasted story to get to a moderately enjoyable finale.

Without giving away too much of the story, "Saw 3D" does come full circle. The film houses a solid wrap-up /reveal. The crowd I saw it with were actually far more impressed than I. I even heard one patron remark the ending was "perfect." Now, I would hardly say Saw 3D is perfect, but it does have a satisfying ending. Writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan did a feasible job with closing out the franchise and wrapping up most of the loose ends. Sadly though, the script feels like the ending is where they started and the rest was just added for filler purposes. Seriously the first act and second acts of this film are terrible and yawn inspiring.

The film is essentially a carbon copy of Saw VI. We follow self-proclaimed survivor Bobby Dagen played by Sean Patrick Flanery as he moves through a game with multiple victims who he must decide their fate just like the insurance rep William Easton did in the last film. Meanwhile you have Internal Affairs detective Gibson played by Chad Donella trying to put the pieces together and track down whoever has taken on the moniker of Jigsaw just like Detective Erickson did in VI. The problem is, majority of this storyline is not useful or needed to wrap up the legacy of Jigsaw and his apprentices.

The acting throughout "Saw 3D" is atrocious. Seriously, the only actors that have even a shred of ability are barely used. Tobin Bell electrifies his minimal scenes as usual, while Chad Donella and Sean Patrick Flanery wreak of daytime soap opera. Costas Madylor who plays Hoffman has grown on me over the course of the last four films, but he still comes across terribly stiff. Betsy Russell who plays Jigsaw's wife also just does nothing to help the poor acting along. I will give some credit to the host of victims in the 7th film. Most of the people trapped do a solid job of evoking fear and terror before they fall to their deaths.

Unfortunately I walked away from "Saw 3D" wishing it was just simply Saw VII. The 3D is wasted. Most of the 3D is sight gags and gimmicks and come across feeling cheap. None of the 3D is over powering and the stereoscopic isn't disturbing like some other 3D films have been, but it ends up being an after thought. The best part of the 3D was the actual maze portions of the film, not when objects were being propelled at our faces. I really liked the depth and fear that was created as Bobby Dagen moves from trap to trap or victim to victim. Outside of that, the 3D was useless and unnecessary.