Friday, November 03, 2006


Written by Hombre Divertido

I don’t remember the last time I Saw a movie where the audience clapped at the beginning, but not at the end. Such is the case with Saw III. Unfortunately, the audience was not happy with what they Saw.

In this installment, Jigsaw (Played with great restraint, and relying totally on his ability to speak in a frightening tone, by Tobin Bell) is close to death. In order to see what might be his last “test” (Worry not; Saw IV should be on its way) play out; he has his protégé (Shawnee Smith; Who is more psycho than diabolically evil) kidnap a doctor (Bahar Soomekh). Dr. Lynn Denlon is then fitted with a collar set to explode should Jigsaw's heart stop beating, or if she gets too far from his life-support equipment.

As Dr. Denlon goes about trying to keep Jigsaw alive, which includes graphic brain surgery, we are witnesses to the previously mentioned “test”. In said test, we are introduced to Jeff (Angus Macfadyen) who is depressed and considering suicide due to the death of his daughter and the light sentence given to the man deemed responsible for her death. Jeff is put into situations where he must decide if he wants to risk his own well being to save the lives of people involved in either the death of his daughter or the subsequent legal proceedings.

In the case of Jeff, this is the weakest attempt at manipulating an audience to care about someone in a motion picture since we were introduced to Kurt Russell’s’ character in Stargate.
Though some of the situations we see Jeff deal with are certainly as gratifying as previous Saw endeavors, as a whole this film does not work. The failure is primarily due to the fact that the writers forgot from whence they came. Saw III simply fails to build on the success of its predecessors.

Saw III spends far too much time dealing with Jigsaw and too little time dealing with the predicaments of his captives. The success of the previous films was far more enthralling because we could understand the fear of the victims, the intensity of the situations they found themselves in, and the mystery of not knowing who put them there or why. This time out, not enough time is dedicated to allowing us to appreciate all the above mentioned elements. Jigsaw was more frightening when we knew less about him. Now he just seems like the guy who worked at the record store in an episode of Seinfeld.

It may appear inconsistent to say this about a film from the Saw series, but the violence this time was too gratuitous. We see people die early in the film that we are barely even introduced to, so it comes off as the writer saying: “I’ve got a creative way to kill someone, but I can’t work it into the story, so I’ll just show it to you at the beginning to get you warmed up.”

We are left with a clear setup for Saw IV, and can only hope that the writers will return to their roots now that Jigsaw has failed his last test.

Recommendation: You would better off watching Saw three times than watching Saw III.