Finally saw all the 'Saw' films prior to seeing 'Jigsaw' (as part of my wanting to see as many 2017 films as possible this year, during a quieter and less intensive period). Heard a lot about the films, good and bad, but wanted to see them for myself to know what to expect.
The films as an overall series are a very mixed bag. The original 'Saw' had a great premise and while it was problematic it was still pretty good and one of the best in the series. 'Saw II' had its own problems but it was still one of the few follow-ups to be just as good and have what made the first click as well as it did. However, whereas there was the sense that the novelty was still there with 'Saw II', in 'Saw III' it's the opposite, not just gone but almost done to death. It just goes over the top in some elements and forgets what elements were instrumental in the series' appeal.
'Saw III' is not unwatchable by all means. Credit is due for providing origins for Jigsaw, one of those characters where his modus operandi, impulse and justification sets him apart from most characters of his type, and his enthusiastic helper. The music score is suitably eerie.
Acting-wise, the film is also performed surprisingly quite well, especially a suitably tortured Angus McFadyen and a bone-chilling Tobin Bell, if there is one thing that hasn't lost impact and continued to not do so it's Bell. Donnie Wahlberg continues to show that he is a vast improvement over Cary Elwes, but he doesn't have much to do here.
On the other hand, a big problem with 'Saw III' is that it isn't that disturbing or puzzling. There aren't the truly ingenious traps, just as imaginative demises or the devilishly clever twists seen previously (primarily the twist ending of the first). They are instead replaced by rambling exposition, a flashback-within-flashback framework that just confuses the story and the viewer and a distastefully overblown over-reliance on violence and gore. It was just overkill, and actually made the film exhausting and almost unintentionally funny in places.
Will admit that the script was not a strength in either of the first two films, but even they weren't this flat or insultingly contrived. At least too they had clever and intriguing moments and were easy to follow, this cannot be said for the script for 'Saw III'. The story is basically a retread that's both overdone and anaemic and has little sense of unease or suspense, the exposition/flashback-heavy structure and the very flawed execution of it hurting it severely. It also multiplies any credibility lapses and ridiculousness of before by a hundred and doesn't really go to anywhere much until the climactic moments, which felt so unresolved it was almost like a cheat.
Missed the effectively claustrophobic look of the first 'Saw' and the more elaborate and no less creepy one for the second film. Here the production values just look rushed and amateurish, especially in the editing. Bahar Soomekh does her best as Lynn, though believing her as a surgeon is a bit of a stretch. The direction doesn't seem as assured and the film really could have done with being 15-20 minutes shorter.
In conclusion, okay for 'Saw' series completests but neither disturbing or puzzling. 4/10 Bethany Cox
Action / Horror / Mystery
Action / Horror / Mystery
Jeff is an anguished man, who grieves and misses his young son that was killed by a driver in a car accident. He has become obsessed for revenge against the man and reckless with his wife and daughter. When Dr. Lynn Denlon, who has troubles with her marriage, is abducted by the deranged Jigsaw's apprentice Amanda, she is brought to a gruesome warehouse to keep John Kramer alive in spite of having a terminal brain tumor. Amanda puts a necklace gadget full of explosives around Dr. Lynn's neck connected to John Kramer's life support system, and tells her that if he dies the device will explode. Meanwhile, Jeff is submitted to a sick game of forgiveness with surprising dark consequences.
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September 11, 2011 at 01:31 PM