Wednesday, 3 November 2010
WARNING: Major Saw 3D Spoilers follow. Don't read if you're going to see it. Either that or read and then don't bother going to see it!
So I ended up going to see Saw 3D on Monday night. The 7th (Not 14th as Jose Franco thought) and hopefully last in the Saw franchise. I can't really recommend it. There's plenty of gore and a very inventive trap at the used car yard (featuring the lead singer of Linkin Park confusingly enough) but by way of story there's pretty much nothing. I didn't find the plotting as dense as the concurrent Saw 3 and 4 but it's still needlessly confusing. For me it all went wrong when they lost Jigsaw (Yes I know he was in the sequels in flashbacks but he isn't the guiding force). Hoffman just isn't as interesting a villain. The whole 'testing' aspect of it goes out the window and it all becomes just sadistic punishment and revenge. Plus when the bad guys are so infinitely superior to the good guys you know there's basically zero chance of them escaping the traps and in that pretty much any kind of tension is lost. The final third of the film just goes completely off the rails as Hoffman goes on a stabbing spree like some kind of cheap Michael Myers (Which after Halloween H20 is difficult to do). It all finishes with a twist that would have been welcome about six films ago.
There are a few good points. The character of Officer Gibson gives us someone we can genuinely root for (I enjoyed his manic repetition) though he is dispatched with quickly and in a fairly lame fashion. There also seem to be a few decent ideas in the story that just aren't developed enough. For once the opening trap takes place in view of the general public rather than in a dingy hospital / warehouse. I thought that by following this through there could have been an interesting through line on the public perception of gore these days. After 7 Saw films have we lost our disgust at the violence and become at best desensitized slack jawed gawkers and at worst willing participants? I also think more could have been made of the (genuine) Jigsaw survivor groups. Given this is the last chapter this would have provided more of a satisfying final judgement of Jigsaw's legacy.
I eagerly anticipate the forthcoming Scream 4 and hope it will consider the legacy of these films. Maybe sending us on a path to gore combined with characters and story rather than blood for blood's sake.
New issue of Gallery is out featuring Due Date, Movies 4 Men and the Jersey Amnesty International Film Festival. Check it out.