a (short) review by the Azure-Winged Magpie
I Want to Play a Game
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WARNING: THIS SECTION CONTAINS NO SPOILERS
Hello hello and chatter chatter, you lot!
I think I speak for the both of us heading up The Corvid Review when I say that we love the first Saw film. Myself? I’ve watched a few of the other ones and I’m up to date with the BIGFAT story that the guys behind the films have built up.
And do I like it?
Well… it’s not like I really care.
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I mean… the whole Saw story is one huge mess. The films get dumber and dumber. What was a great idea for a one-off film got ruined (like everything in Hollywood does) by having sequel after sequel after sequel after sequel after sequel after sequel after sequel … and NOW YET ANOTHER SEQUEL! The central villain’s ‘lesson plan’ makes no sense if you really want to think of him as a kind of a good guy (like they want you to), I don’t think I can start talking about his horrible ‘apprenticeship’ skills without blowing a fuse, and the traps are just stupid most of the time.
BUT! These films have blood and guts and gore. So… I guess I had no choice. The film opened all sneaky-weaky around here parts. And just like that: one thing led to another and I put my butt in a seat at my local theatre. And this is what I thought:
JIGSAW: Gaming for the Dead
So, Jigsaw’s back.
And by Jigsaw, I mean the character. Yep. There. I said it.
A multi-stage game starts up in a barn (look up for the Lord Buckethead wannabes in it) and the usual hi-jinks ensue. The other main characters (the cops) get introduced (Hunt and Halloran, and two others: Logan and Eleanor) so that the film can pile on the characters for the meat-pack later on.
But how’s that possible?! We watched the dude die, didn’t we? We saw him get autopsied and all, didn’t we? Well, he’s definitely walking around again (although he’s not really in this one for too long), and he’s got a massive boner for getting people to confess their sins this time around.
Jigsaw looks and feels different from the other films in the franchise, and it could’ve been a pretty good-looking film at that. But man… the effects really go and ruin whatever’s pretty every now and then (I’m looking at you, you lasers). Replacing the gore and such with CGI is a horrible idea, and it should’ve been left well out of this. And I even felt the gore was a lot lighter than the last few Saw entries, even though its still there.
Now I’m not blaming the actors (although I probably should), the characters here are total and utter buffoons. People start suspecting each other (probably thanks to Hoffmann) for no reason, people show up with huge crushes on the original “case” and end up putting themselves in suspicion’s way. The people in the traps are annoying af, and the whole thing is just a big huge “been there, done that, got the t-shirt”.
This film is just a reharsh of the same old ideas and comes with series-typical piss-poor writing to boot. I’m still wondering about the ‘body switch’ that happens at one point. Does being “Jigsaw” come with superpowers, too? And HOW was this barn overlooked by the po-po for so long? Wouldn’t the police lock down anything EVER owned by Mr and Mrs Jigsaw and keep an eye on them? Even 10 years later? And WHERE is the money coming from these days? Kickstarter?
And whatever happened to Dr Gordon? Is Elwes suing the muppets again? Where did he go with his cult? If you’re going to go into the future, you might… y’know… wanna tell us about them? Is he retired or something? Have his cult-members gone and found jobs at like Mickey D’s or something?
If I had to put my finger on it: this is Saw II all over again. In fact, I’d have liked it a lot more if they just erased everything after the first movie and dumped this in as a sequel to that one. But nope. We’re dealing with the BIGHUGE canon and everything. Just not so much in the film itself. You know, with this convoluted canon and the silliness of the story so far. I’m a little happy they kept themselves from bringing up that BIGHUGE canon up too much.
So yeah… here’s just your everyday Saw film. Traps, ‘Jigsaw’, cops, traps, and trap-mates, severed limbs and blood (with 30% added CGI!), and yes, fans of John Kramer. You’ve got your weird pseudo-religious-sounding “philosophy” (which still doesn’t make any real sense). Don’t expect anything massive. Just go and watch it if you want to see some idiots getting diced up.
THE AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE: 3.5/10
Here’s the official poster for the film: