Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Saw 3D [ Movie Review ] ***

In the 7th installment, there's basically two stories going on at the same time. The main story would be on Bobby Dagen, a man who claimed that he is a JigSaw game survivor and learned to embrace his life more after the traumatic experience. His book made him famous and he started reaching out to the other survivors. Obviously that didn't please Jigsaw and soon, Bobby Dagen found himself "back" in the games. This time, it's a series of games which he must accomplish to save his colleagues and his wife.

Meanwhile, Jill Tuck (Jigsaw's ex wife) is trying to escape from the latest Jigsaw killer. After the incident in the previous movie, she seeks help from the police and the Jigsaw is trying to find ways to kill her. The thing is that his identity had been revealed to the police and he could no longer use the perks of being a police detective to achieve his mission as Jigsaw.

The thing about this installment would be that it's a last ditch effort to regain the high turnover at the box office as the previous five movies did. To entice the audience, the filmmakers are throwing in the 3D gimmick and removing the 7th from the movie title, hopping that unsuspecting folks might just get the tickets without knowing that there's a long history.

Bad news for those unsuspecting folks cause the whole Jill Tuck's story arc is somewhat rooted in what went on during the first 6 movies subplots. To understand why the latest Jigsaw is so hellbent on killing Jill Tuck, you need to know what happened in the climatic finale of Saw 6. Then there's the return of Dr Gordon, a character from the 1st Saw movie that had not appeared since then.

Fans of this series might be disappointed too. The return of Dr Gordon felt like an awkward insertion to the storyline. Not much is done on the part that he play in this franchise except the possibilities of expanding this series further with the involvement of this character. If fans had embrace the previous retcon (Retoactive Continuity) as a mean to deepen the series mythos, the retcon of Dr Gordon just felt rather repetitive and tedious.

Similarly Bobby Dagen's journey felt like what happened with the main "victim" of Saw 6 and Saw 3. One solo guy going through a series of sadistic tests to save others who are trapped in deadly contraption. It's all been done before and in more interesting fashion.

If this is the final chapter to the Saw franchise, then the series had ended not with a bang but a whimper.  There are still some open threads ways that would allow another sequel to be made but it would take a movie with a calibre of the 6th movie to make the Saw franchise interesting again.

Ironically the director of Saw 3D is the same as Saw 6. It just make one wonder how did he did such a bland job out of it. Perhaps he is still unhappy about being pulled off from Paranormal Activities 2 to direct this movie. Or perhaps the 3D technology took time away from crafting a stronger story (refer to Saw 6). Or even perhaps the script was that weak that the director couldn't do much to savage it. There might be hope that a Saw VIII might give the Saw franchise a proper finale but given the poor box office collection, that unlikely to happen. It's just a pity that the series would end with such an average installment.

Was it worth the 3D price?

There's some gimmicky 3D tricks of having some body parts and blood flying towards the audience. It was more comical than gruesome. The depth of field is nothing worth mentioning and watching this movie without the 3D gimmick would have been better. In fact  Instead of making it 3D, more effort could have spent on making this one heck of a finale. Save that extra 3 bucks.

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