Saw 3-D

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Remo D
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Saw 3-D

Post by Remo D » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:17 pm

Well, I'm glad I didn't see THIS one for Halloween...

If you want a refresher, look up my review of SAW VI here or in Video Watchdog. I'll wait.

SAW 3-D was exactly what I was afraid of... a hasty, gratuitous tack-on to something that would have been just fine if they'd left it where it was. And in the rush to regain the profit margin they lost the last time out (which they did, by the way, no surprise there), they fatally compromised the main theme of the series (which, in my opinion, usually had a lot more to offer than the nasty torture traps).

Well, for everyone who's been asking "What happened to Dr. Gordon?" ever since the very first entry, you get your answer--and I'll bet you'll be sorry you asked. His flashback DOES get off to a good start with some cringe-inducing self-cauterization... but the next time we see him, he's delivering some sarcastic Judd Nelson applause to an alleged "Jigsaw" survivor making the support group rounds betwen stops on a successful book tour. And despite Dr. Gordon's embarrassingly-delivered compliments, Mr. Dimwit just says "Naw, he's okay--he's been hanging around this group from the beginning!"

So, this guy (quickly unmasked as a liar) survived a Jigsaw trap? Really? Who verified any of this? Did he show the police the trap he escaped and hand over the requisite recording? How DID he get those scars, anyway? Don't bother trying to find out--ask yourself where the hell GORDON's been all this time. He's been appearing openly--does his family know he's alive? Do the police? Why was he never part of the ongoing investigation, either as a missing person or a survivor interviewee? This isn't spoiler stuff--this is all out there in the beginning, but you KNOW it means that Gordon's bound to be involved later on in SOME fashion or another... this movie has NO surprises.

Okay. We know from VI that Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) survived the "jaw" trap and that he's hopping mad at Jill Tuck (Betsy Russell). But at some point or another on the vengeance trail, he managed to set up the pre-credits trap in a big city storefront without anybody noticing. AND he's got a gauntlet ready for the phony survivor (Sean Patrick Flanery). But still, he's got to go after Jill... lucky for the movie that they're both familiar with previously unmentioned Internal Affairs officer Gibson (Chad Donella)... Hoffman has quite a bit of history with him, in fact. Not that any of this seriously builds on any of the characters.

Look, suspension of disbelief is fine. If you want to enjoy the SAW movies at all, you've got to accept that Jigsaw, Hoffman, etc. have limitless resources and countless unseen henchmen... in short, you HAVE to believe that they CAN set up all the stuff that they set up. So I'm not going to carp about this even now.

And you have the right to expect several excruciatingly clever traps (one of the reasons SAW V failed to thrill the viewers was its lack of imagination in that department). On that count, SAW 3-D does, at least, deliver on occasion. There's a nifty scene with a group of skinheads (one of them's a cameo from a Linkin Park lead) in an auto body shop, and there's a VERY nasty sequence
involving a fishhook. Okay, that much "works." And while I won't go into TOO much detail, I also appreciated a sequence that echoed my belief in how certain notorious scenes in A MAN CALLED HORSE and CANNIBAL FEROX really WOULD happen...

The 3-D isn't bad, either, though it was scarcely necessary. At least it's genuine 3-D (with converted flashbacks, of course). So you get your instruments of death and various bits of viscera flung in your face throughout. I can't imagine I'll miss the effect terribly on DVD, though (though I guess they're stuck with that title no matter what).

But let's get back to "suspension of disbelief." We've established that everyone CAN do certain things and that they WILL do certain things. And nobody who complains about that should still be sticking around for the seventh film in a series! Yet I still have a serious problem with the central gauntlet here... never mind that there's yet another batch of characters that Jigsaw (NOT Hoffman) was apparently familiar with but never said anything about before. The problem is that in the mad rush to come up with a seventh chapter, the filmmakers have finally betrayed Jigsaw's previously consistent code of honor. Yes, Jigsaw has been known to threaten family members in the past, but he always seemed to know that the "innocent" (in HIS logic, remember) wouldn't be made to suffer--the true ordeals were reserved for those who (in HIS reasoning) abused the gift of life.

But now, we're expected to believe that Jigsaw (again, NOT Hoffman--flashbacks make it clear that this was yet another part of the ORIGINAL innovator's plan) arranged to put a woman who even HE acknowledged was innocent in the path of a truly horrific and painful death... (SCROLL DOWN TO AVOID SPOILER)

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...in the form of a trap that he KNEW that the would-be-rescuer would fail to breach!

So much for Jigsaw justice.

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So. Stupidity (and overacting) with Gordon. Cat and mouse with Hoffman and Jill which could have been quickly and easily resolved in VI. A gratuitous 'extra' mission for Jigsaw which betrays his entire rationale and breaks his own previously unbending rules. Look, I thought SAW V was a clunker, but at least it still "fit." This one just doesn't.

As for it being the "final chapter?" Well, it may or may not be that. But it's too late for me to care anymore. This time they BLEW it.


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