Saw 3-D

Posted: November 29, 2010 in Movies
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Since 2004 a Saw movie has been released since October. The initial entries were popular, but the later entries were less critically received and made less at the box office. Saw VII, or Saw 3-D, is the last entry in the franchise, which finishes the story and ties loose ends. 

It opens with the first trap to ever take place in public. It was a good sequence but seemed to have nothing to do with the rest of the story.

This final entry introduces a new character named Bobby Dagen who made up a story about escaping from a Jigsaw trap. He apparently had plastic surgery on his chest to give himself scars. He made up this story to get a book deal and is now a self-help guru/celebrity. Bobby now does talk show circuit, book signings, attends Jigsaw survivor seminars and is working on a DVD.

Soon enough the current Jigsaw killer captures him and his publicity crew, who all know his lies. His wife doesn’t know, and is also captured. There’s a great flashback scene where the original Jigsaw killer John Kramer confronts Bobby at a book signing and calls him out on his lies. One has to wonder why Kramer didn’t take care of this while he was alive.

The rest of the plot involves the conflict between Kramer’s wife Jill Tuck, who is in police custody, and police officer Mark Hoffman, who has been the new Jigsaw killer for the last six films.  Jill knows what Mark is doing and seeks police protection as Mark wants her dead.

Cary Elwes, who played Dr. Lawrence Gordan in the first film, returns and confronts Bobby at the Jigsaw support group, suspecting his story is false. Elwes is underused in this movie, I would have liked to have seen him more. As usual the 3-D effects didn’t add much.

Saw 3-D wraps up the series by tieing up any loose ends and gives the series a definitive conclusion. A few survivors from past entries appear, and the story ends in a way that it could be continued, but is a strong enough ending on its own. Still there’s no point in watching it if you haven’t seen at least some previous entries. 7/10.

In closing, the Saw series had a good run. It’s one of the few film series which I’ve seen all of them in theaters. The first one, as most series go, was the best, and is a modern classic. Saw II was entertaining, and SAW III was maybe the most cringe inducing. After that it lost steam. The next few entries all took place around the same time as each other, and it was hard to believe that someone could set up all that stuff in such a short time. Never in the series did something go wrong in a trap. There was never a time when a trap malfunctioned or killed someone too soon/by accident.

However, even in its weaker entries it maintained its tone. It’s amazing to think that the original killer actually dies in the third movie, and the series continued on to 4 more sequels, with John Kramer appearing in new flashback scenes of each one. It’s still a stronger series overall than some of the more beloved 80s franchises like Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street. Also it’s one of the few series that had a definitive definite ending (excluding film series based off of a book series like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings).  Most of the time a film series ends because the later entries don’t succeed as well and they just decide to not do anymore, or rights get transferred and the property descends to development hell.  So the Saw series can be considered a success for having such a strong beginning and a definitive ending. And with that, Jigsaw, I bid thee farewell.

Live or die, the choice is yours.

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