Friday, 14 March 2014

Saw 3-D (2010)

"Game over."

Before we begin, and celebrate with huge relief having been through em the whole damn franchise, a point of order; I saw this on DVD, and thus both in glorious 2-D and under a different title. That aside, we have a puzzle, a film that, despite its box office success, has been panned by critics both professional and amateur. I have no idea why this should be so, other than a preconceived desire to bash the franchise; this may be no classic but it's a neat resolution and a good little film in its own right.

We begin with a spot of nostalgia, as we return to Cary Elwes as the surviving Dr Gordon  from way back on the first film. Perhaps, given that this is the first sign of the franchise beginning to eat it's own mythology, this is a sign that now is a good time to stop but, for now, the intrigue of Gordon's return works, as does the inevitable eventual realisation that he's been working with Jigsaw all the time. And it's fitting that he should be the one to finally dispatch Hoffman and bring the killings to an end.

Even the opening ordeal, with the two men and a woman in the shop window, is almost nostalgic in its basic structure and the use, once more, of that cute little puppet. On a bike, no less. In sure the children love that scene.

Oh, and the woman, Dina. Dies. Painfully, via her intestines. With loads of blood. How charming. 

Still, the film is mainly about the comeuppance of fake Jigsaw survivor and purveyor of typically vacuous self-help shite Bobby Dagen, a neat concept, as he has to navigate a typically ghoulish series of traps which result in his and others' deaths. Again, lovely, although not as satisfying as Hoffman's eventual comeuppance at the hands of, fittingly, Gordon. It's a very neatly plotted series of events. That's a good thing, I suppose, but it strikes me that we never ever seem to find people surviving Jigsaw's little traps by thinking outside the box that is his narrow little mind. That, I think, would be truly satisfying. My main criticism of the films is that they operate entirely within Jigsaw's rules, which could be said to be a sort of endorsement of said amoral psychopath.

That's not all; a bunch of neo-Nazis are tortured in the usual way, too; only with neo-Nazis do I have to actually remind myself that Kramer and Hoffman are both equally psychopathic bastards with no redeeming features between them.

The ending is ironic, and sort of justifies they franchise's increasingly inaccurate title: Hoffman is put in to the same trap as was Gordon at the end of the the first film. But this time there is no saw...

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