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Jigsaw Gets Back at Bitches Who Cheat!

Movie Review: Saw 3-D (2010)
Spoilers: none

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The director and writers of Saw 3-D must have looked back at this now bled-dry series and said what every smart filmmaker would when the words “horror” and “Halloween” are found together in the same sentence: Why not go for the cash kitty with the Saw series this Halloween one more time? Aren’t young, stupid teens worth that much? Why not take their money?

Granted, there's nowhere to go with the characters or the plot. They know that. And because of this and other unnecessary sequels, the Saw series will be the subject of parodies for years to come. That didn't stop them from cashing in on the newer generation being willing to spend money to go and see the worst acted yet among Saw films—more badly acted than part II with its room full of kids at each other's throats, and worse than part IV with its abysmally confusing flashbacks taken to a new level...and worse in terms of quality to all others of the series after part III that shouldn't have existed anyway.

Saw 3-D opens with 3 teens trapped in a large glass booth between a rigged buzz saw. Either the cheating floozy who got them there can die, or one of the two boys said to have her heart can force the spinning blade into the intestines of the other. It's another in a new series of grueling “games”—games we've by now gotten tired of. And this time, they are more petty and insignificant than ever before.

The games continue with Tobin Bell as Jigsaw, with Betsy Russell as his wife, and Costas Mandylor as Mark Hoffman who continues the personalized agenda-killing in continuation of Jigsaw's work. While Bell has a very brief appearance in this one, the matter of Hoffman and Kramer's wife is wrapped up, along with a needlessly introduced and concluded series of new games.

This final addition focuses on the moral consequences of turning a blind eye and a deaf hear to evil, but with the pettiness of the latest work centering on a teen love triangle and the payback of a racist who judges on skin color, the moral of the story is rather juvenile, not to mention lost in an exploitative gorefest that has neither shame, nor legitimacy of story.

There is no reliance on ordinary plot continuity in the Saw series, especially in the later ones, where any event(s) could have come before or after others with the simple employment of a few flashbacks. In actuality, there is no “simple” about it, as these flashbacks will frustrate the audience by prompting them to see the ending again to make sense of it. This (thankfully) final addition uses far fewer flashbacks at its end.

What it saves in a flurry of flashbacks it makes up for in vivid evisceration. Saw 3-D is bloody enough for the world's worst gorehound. The many and long-running torture scenes try extra hard to be as sadistic as possible. They succeed...with flying intestines and the color red. There’s no question at all that this will give the fans of extreme torture exactly what they want. To those who can't stand it, this is unwatchable.

At the beginning, we meet the most influential of Jigsaw survivors, Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery), who inadvertently brings on the next onslaught of games. While the repugnant melodrama of the first half is later buried in the waist-deep pool of blood and guts in the second, it is not forgotten. The characters are a no-sell while the whole plot is an excursion in futility.

The completion runs to a final glimpse back to where it all started, leaving the viewer to at least want to look back with a modicum of respect at what began as a limit-tester of blood, gore, and mystery in horror.  

(JH)

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Grade: D+ (1 ½ stars)
Rated: R (for sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, and language)
Director: Kevin Greutert
Summary: As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw's brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror.
Starring: Tobin Bell "Jigsaw / John," Costas Mandylor "Hoffman," Betsy Russell "Jill," Cary Elwes "Dr. Gordon," Sean Patrick Flanery "Bobby," Chad Donella "Gibson," Gina Holden "Joyce"
Genre: Horror / Mystery / Thriller
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