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Grief, Medical Patients, Doctors, and Traps, traps, traps!

  • Jan 3, 2011
*1/2 out of ****

The third installment in the "Saw" franchise is like the second; it's fairly entertaining up to the point where you realize just how little it intends to surprise you or treat you to anything genuinely interesting. Unlike the original "Saw", we soon realize that all the film is going to be is gore, gore, and more gore. There are virtually no surprises left in the bag. Now, "Saw III" is not a god-awful movie, I don't suppose. The "Saw" franchise hasn't gotten unwatchable. Not quite yet. But the third film, much like the second, is still plenty boring. For the record, I liked "Saw", because it is the film that all of its imitators and sequels can only hope to be. It was a taut thriller; but the series has now become some sort of pretentious horror franchise, that being one devoid of actual horror. "Saw III" is not a disappointment by any means, since how the hell could it have been? I didn't expect ANYTHING out of it, since I now know just how difficult it would be to match the original film in sheer quality. "Saw" is fortunately, still very stylized. But that doesn't mean that it's good. I think the reason we all hate "Saw" is because the filmmakers fail to do anything more than exploit torture scenes and whatnot. It's nothing but blood and gore, yet "Saw III" thinks its scary stuff. Maybe it thinks this because even though "Saw II" kind of sucked, people still said it was "scary". Have people forgotten the meaning of the word entirely? Has America gone completely mad when it comes to interpreting what one would call "true horror"? The biggest problem is that "Saw III" knows we are stupid, and thus the film matches most of our brains in quality. It fails to challenge us and provide the moral themes that it wants to. "Saw III" does indeed go deeper into Jigsaw's philosophy, but only in the most convoluted, stupidest way possible. Although, I guess I haven't seen the worst of the "Saw" movies quite yet. But I imagine the worst will come soon enough. After all: how good can a torture porn franchise get? I mean, really. Are all movies all style and no substance? Maybe not. But "Saw" is. And what was a good idea is now turning into a pathetic excuse for violent exploitation. Completely ridiculous? Damn right. Unwatchable? I don't think so. But that should not entail that you should be in the process of giving "Saw III" your precious time. Why I give this near-pathetic series the light of day I will never know. I think my philosophy goes along the lines of watching it for the sake of discovering how lame it all ends. And I think we can all color that reasonable.

To keep a recurring story going, "Saw III" does indeed continue off from where "Saw II" ended. However, much like "Saw II", this installment balances flashbacks with torture sequences and dialogue with gore. And "Saw III" doesn't seem to want you to stick with it. Every torture scene seems to shout, "Stop watching me. I'm gory." I find this to be pathetic, especially when "Saw III" stops realizing that it has a plot that it should be working hard at to make interesting. I don't think that "Saw" is a god-awful franchise because it DOES have a plot; just a very stupid and morally pretentious one. So the new characters of "Saw III" include Lynn and Jeff. Lynn is a doctor who is kidnapped and forced to help Jigsaw recover. Jeff is a man who has recently lost his child at the hands of a drunk driver and forced to endure Jigsaw's next "big game". I have a feeling that this is mere child's play compared to whatever Jigsaw has in store for the next installment, but since he sort of dies off in the end, who will take his place? "Saw III" keeps itself interesting until you come to a conclusion: it kind of sucks. The problem is that it's not different from "Saw II"; being a film that depicts a lot of blood and guts yet it fails to match the spills with a good enough plot. "Saw" had something good going, but "Saw II" failed to continue this awesomeness further, and "Saw III" does nothing at all. This series got boring when I watched the second installment. That's just plain sad. Luckily, there are entertaining parts to "Saw III", although all-in-all, it's essentially a lot of mediocrity in a film that should be a bit more than it manages to offer. Overall, a disposable piece of torture trash.

Again, Tobin Bell might be the only thing that keeps the "Saw" franchise mildly entertaining. I don't know how the films are going to be even moderately interesting from the fourth film beyond, since in the end of the third installment, old Jigsaw kicks the bucket. Allow me to predict that the filmmakers will most likely use footage and flashbacks that we've either seen or don't want to keep us "satisfied", and yet they will most likely count it as a performance. On another decent note, Shawnee Smith returns as Amanda, the apprentice of Jigsaw. The trouble with the cast is that there are virtually no surprises, and the new victims are the same old flavor of blandness that I know and despise. Also, once again there is supposed to be some emotional resonance in these characters, but we can't quite feel it when a self-mutilation scene is probably just around the corner. I mean really, guys.

"Saw III" is about as moody as it wants to be. The cinematography is decent and much like the original "Saw", it makes for some genuinely interesting torture scenes. But as you know, I don't take pleasure in watching torture scenes; I watch these films for pure criticism. After all: they just don't get enough of it as it is. "Saw III" advances the series in doing one thing: trying to be new in cool when it comes to the sick, twisted, and utterly morbid. But "Saw III" is not twisted. I haven't seen a film that truly is. Sure, it's bloody on a very high level, but never beautiful enough to be ingenious. Only artists can make effectively nauseating films, and Darren Bousman, you're no artist. Not even the director of the original "Saw" was a true cinematic artist, since "Saw" was not art (but it was still some damn good entertainment). So without the entertainment, where does that leave "Saw III"? To decay like its predecessor and what is to follow? I would think so. I imagine that "Saw IV" will be even more tedious than this movie is, and for that I am going to watch it. Expect me to hate it with true passion. Nevertheless, if you liked "Saw II" at all, then see "Saw III". Otherwise, skip it. It's a piece of cinematic trash, by all means. It's sloppy, dumb, and focuses more on gore than it does story-telling. Jigsaw's twisted philosophy is getting old and tiresome, although the one thing that remains unaffected in quality is the original theme to "Saw". The rest of the soundtrack alone is pretty intense, but the original theme is still as haunting as ever. It never gets old. But oh man, "Saw III" sure does!

I guess there's nothing abnormal about a movie being genuinely lazy. Many Hollywood productions are like that. But it's not really acceptable, now is it? If you hate the "Saw" franchise (all aside from the original, which I admire) as much as I do, then go ahead and give "Saw III" the skip that it deserves. This franchise isn't even worth my time I expect, but what the hell: I'm going to continue. Now that I am right back on track with the "Saw" franchise, let the completion begin. Join me as I watch these stupid, draining little films and learn to criticize them alongside me. I'm sure that it's more fun than actually watching the movie. So I conclude: "Saw III" sucks as much as "Saw II" sucked, and it's no better or worse. However, that doesn't earn it any extra points. It's still a mess that wasn't necessarily entertaining, although maybe it's better than it should be. Who cares when it still sucks though, right? Yes, I think most will agree when I say that the "Saw" films have been going down-hill since the first sequel, and that I'm glad that they ended it all at the seventh film. Thank god for that. I can't wait to see how "inventive" the filmmakers get with the ending. I'm sure it is nothing short of a failure and an epic disappointment. Let's hope for the worse, since the better might as well be way out of the question. You can't always get what you want, I guess. That's damn right.

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January 09, 2011
Great review once again, i may try these sequels out again one day, kinda in the mood to see them again after reading your reviews. Well actually I want to go back and watch the first one again.
January 09, 2011
The first "Saw" is a fine film, I must say. I really did enjoy it (didn't love it, but it was good stuff).
January 03, 2011
This one was actually the last SAW film I saw in theaters and then after I saw the 4th one, I just stopped watching any movie from the franchise. I thought this was more decent than SAW 2 but that's just me.
January 05, 2011
They're terribly repetitive.
More Saw III reviews
review by . May 15, 2009
Jigsaw/ John Kramer (Tobin Bell) is gravely ill, but is determined to finish the game that he has started. Now with Amanda (Shawnee Smith) as an apprentice who is dedicated to his work, Jigsaw has a new player in Jeff Reinhart (Angus Macfadyen) a father filled with angst and vengeance over the tragic death of his son and his game is to chose life over the need for revenge.  We also learn more about the man the media calls Jigsaw, his never ending series of games, past life and motivations behind …
review by . November 04, 2008
Many films lose steam by the third installment - but not SAW III. The script is as tight as the first two installments, and the gore even better! John is back, with sidekick Amanda, and new victims are set up for deadly misadventures.     John kidnaps a doctor to take care of his cancer, linking her by a collar to his heartrate. If he dies, she dies. Meanwhile, a new victim must fight his way out of a maze compromised of other victims, victims who were indirectly or directly …
review by . March 02, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Special effects are imaginative in an unnerving way.      Cons: HUGE, MAMOUTH, ENORMOUS plot holes,and what they call acting, I call reading aloud.      The Bottom Line: The latest SAW movie unravels not only itself but undoes all that came before it. It is the big, gruesome eraser.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals everything about the movie''s plot.      It is late, 2am. I’ve just finished …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie


Starring Tobin Bell, Donny Wahlberg, Shawnee Smith, Angus Macfadyen, Bahar Soomelh
Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
Writer:  Leigh Whannell, James Wan

Product Description
Jigsaw has disappeared. With his new apprentice Amanda (Shawnee Smith), the puppet-master behind the cruel, intricate games that have terrified a community and baffled police has once again eluded capture and vanished. While city detectives scramble to locate him, Doctor Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh) and Jeff (Angus Macfadyen) are unaware that they are about to become the latest pawns on his vicious chessboard
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