Friday, October 29, 2010

The Red Eye Report's 2010 October Horrorthon #29: "Saw 3D"

Jill Tuck (Betsy Russell) has had enough. She barely put up with ex-husband John (Tobin Bell) being the notorious Jigsaw, but with Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) bent on continuing the game, it's Jill's duty to slam shut this book of blood herself. Unfortunately, Hoffman survived his own trap at the end of Saw VI, and with a fresh scar on his mug, he's after Jill and playing for keeps. In the meantime, former Jigsaw victim Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery) has made a fortune helping others like him come to terms with life after their horrible experiences. But Bobby has a secret that's gotten him into trouble, as he's kidnapped and forced to endure a whole gauntlet of torturous obstacles that ensure Jigsaw's final hours be the goriest of all.

Saw 3D claims it's the last of the series, and ready or not, I'm sure as hell done. It's time for any series to close up shop with the big draw is that you don't have to watch it anymore. Of course, this is hypothetical -- they said the same thing about The Final Destination, but the next one's in production -- so the almighty dollar will ultimately dictate how many more Saws we'll need to slog through. But it sucks that Saw 3D is in such a big hurry to wrap itself up to begin with. Four years ago, I would have been ravenous for another of Jigsaw's twisted tales, but at this point, even the filmmakers feel like they're sick of the routine. Saw 3D displays the most cavalier attitude towards killing off characters that we've seen yet, hoping to Etch-a-Sketch away all its loose ends instead of providing a halfway respectable resolution.

Maybe if Saw 3D actually emphasized Jigsaw's deranged moral code -- you know, the thing that was so fascinating that we got a zillion sequels because of it -- then it might've brought the entire series full circle. But no, this fully bought into the spectacle that viewers have come to expect from the franchise and left whatever was thought-provoking about it behind. There's no love in these frames, just an empty ordeal that hasn't the self-awareness that made The Final Destination a blast when it wasn't even trying to be funny. If anything, the most grotesque death scenes have been saved for last -- heads are crushed, jaws are ripped off, and flesh is peeled before the bloodthirsty public, with the added touch of having all this fly at them in the third dimension. But strangely, the amped-up violence actually makes this feel less like a legit Saw sequel and more like a cash-in, a la Captivity. The fact that Tobin Bell is barely around doesn't help, and while Cary Elwes' character from the 2004 original pops up, the way he's used here is exactly as cheap and unimaginative as I'd feared.

Depending on how you've regarded the series to date, Saw 3D will play to either your dismay or delight. Some will be bummed to see this genre war horse take its final bows (maybe), while this supposedly last chapter will have been a long time coming for others. But even if the box office gods decree that Jigsaw live to slice and dice another day, Saw 3D is a bust on its lonesome, a follow-up that throws in the towel well before its blades whir to a stop.

1 comment:

  1. We are happy to announce the arrival of Cinema Mama, the most comprehensive and academic website to understand the Indian Cinema, especially Telugu Cinema