***Spoiler Alert- this review gives away storylines, and twists***
This is the end of an era, the end of a franchise. Since this is supposedly the end, it should go out with a bang. So what is the bang in this movie? Is it the 3D? Is it the traps, or the blood and guts? Is there some amazing revelation that put a close to this story? How is this movie going to complete the Jigsaw puzzle?
In the usual Saw fashion, there are a few storylines-taking place. Hoffman survives the trap that he is in, and tries to go after Jill. She escapes, but Hoffman will not stop until he gets his revenge on her. Then, there is a man named Bobby Degen, who claims to have survived a Jigsaw trap. Problem is he was never in a trap, but he is now. He is forced to go through a series of obstacles to save his friends from Jigsaw’s traps, which ultimately ends with him trying to save his wife. The final storyline here involves Officer Gibson, an internal affairs police officer, who Jill asks to protect her from Hoffman. Apparently, Hoffman has a score to settle with him.
This is Saw “3D,” so let me start with the 3D effects. They didn’t do much for me, and I actually like 3D. They have some of the usual blood and guts fly at you early on, but then, there isn’t much use of 3D until the end of the movie. How can you just forget about the 3D throughout the bulk of your movie? Then, they try to save it at the end with more of the same blood and guts coming at you, and when Dr. Gordon throws the saw across the room. He never does that if this movie isn’t in 3D. They just didn’t do anything new, or different with the 3D. On top of that, the 3D ruins a lot of the traps. The picture is so clear that you can tell how fake the special effects are. Either that, or they just did a really poor job with the effects.
Speaking of the traps, there aren’t enough impressive ones. The first trap consisting of two guys, and their cheating “girlfriend” is not as great as they make it seem. It may be impressive for the people gathering around it, but isn’t for the movie audience. She gets a saw to the stomach, so what? It doesn’t even go all the way through her, and the special effects are so fake. And how in the hell does Hoffman get that thing in the middle of downtown, and hook up the sound to speakers? Then, there are two traps that use the same style of pipes. One set of pipes going into a woman’s neck, and another into a woman’s face. How about something a little different? And when the guy is walking over the blanks, but just gets hung. That is not a very Saw-like trap if you ask me.
There is some blood and guts, which is a big reason people like this franchise, yet they just ruin a lot of it because you can tell it is so fake. I would have to go back and watch some of the other Saw movies, but I don’t remember any of the other movies being as fake looking as this one. 3D actually backfires on this movie because it shows how fake the blood and guts are. However, the scene where the car takes off, and ends up killing 4 people is some bone crushing fun. Also, there is a good look at Jill after one of the traps rips her face apart. You just have to use a little imagination to get the full effect of the traps. And don’t get me started when Bobby pulls out his teeth. It is not really a trap, but I have an issue with teeth pulling.
Then, there is Bobby’s storyline. How is it any different from William’s storyline in Saw 6? Both have to go from room to room to try and save people they have a relationship with. They both fail at saving their friends, and then fail again when it matters most. William’s storyline is good because it is original, and it gets the Saw franchise back on track after a miserable part 5. It doesn’t work for Bobby because it is the same story, and old at this point. How about something a little more original? They come up with a creative storyline to get Hoffman in the police headquarters to kill Jill, but are too lazy when it comes to Bobby’s storyline.
Now let me ask you this: would A Nightmare on Elm Street be any good without Freddy through most of the movie? Would Friday the 13th be any good if Jason were missing throughout a majority of the movie? Where is Jigsaw through most of this movie? Yes, he is dead, but you still see plenty of him in part 6. He is nowhere to be found in this movie. There is one quick appearance at a book signing, which is actually a funny scene, but that is it until the end. Killing off Jigsaw makes this series different and works for a while, but it apparently becomes too hard to overcome in this movie. They really let this movie be Hoffman’s show, which makes it seem as if something is missing the entire time. Whatever could that be? At least they make good use of the doll.
This brings me to my next point, which is they really could use someone like Tobin Bell in this movie because the acting is terrible. It doesn’t help that some of the writing is terrible as well. The woman screaming in the trap at the beginning is so unbelievable. She is screaming just to scream, and not because of the fear of the moment. Also, when Bobby is trying desperately to save his wife, the emotion is just as unreal as some of the special effects. The only actors that do a half way descent job are Costas Mandylor (Hoffman), and Cary Elwes (Dr. Gordon). The problem is that Hoffman never says a lot, and Dr. Gordon isn’t a factor until the end of the movie.
Besides the traps, one of the other great things about this franchise is the twist at the end of the movies. Watching them, and trying to guess what is going to happen makes it a fun experience (I was usually wrong by the way). Knowing that this is the final Saw takes some of the fun out of it. The only thing left to wonder is how it going to end. I figured it would end with the death of Hoffman, and kind of wanted to see that. Well, that didn’t happen (told you I’m usually wrong). All they could give us is Dr. Gordon locking him in the room where the whole series began. Bringing it back to the beginning is fine, but couldn’t they at least torture Hoffman. Yeah, he did get his face sliced apart, but there should be more punishment for him. The twist that Dr. Gordon is one of Jigsaw’s accomplices works because it makes sense that Jigsaw needs another hand with his game. Jigsaw ends up having several people help him with his game, but how is Hoffman able to pull all this off without some help?
I really hoped that Saw 3D would end with a bang, but it fizzles out instead. They didn’t make good use of the 3D, and it only makes the special effects look fake. Over all, the traps are not as impressive as some of the past movies. There is some blood and guts, but again too much of it looks fake. They need a better storyline, better acting, and more Jigsaw. Maybe one day, years from now please, someone will give this franchise the proper ending, and complete this puzzle (unless they remake it first). Since this movie makes me feel like there is still a piece of the Jigsaw puzzle missing, I give it 2 pools of blood. Game over!