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Saw 3D Review – They Saved The Worst For Last

Saw 3D Review 2010 -
Our Saw 3D review.
Director: Kevin Greutert
Starring: Costas Mandylor, Sean Patrick Flanery, Tobin Bell, Cary Elwes
Release Date: UK / US – Out Now

Is this really the seventh film in as many years? Yes, it’s Saw o’clock and it must be time to completely forget what made the first film so good (all over again). While the original entry had the brilliant concept of people being placed in devious traps they had to survive in order to appreciate their lives, it was also great because it was a) relatively bloodless and b) you didn’t want to see a man cut off his foot. Every subsequent sequel has ignored that second point and been stuffed to the gills with complete bastards that the audience is supposed to want to see be tortured and die horribly. If this isn’t torture porn one step removed from snuff, then what is?

Series villain Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) died back in Saw III, only to have his work continue in the sequels by corrupt cop Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) in Saw IV. After dispatching of vengeful FBI agent Strahm in Saw V, Hoffman assumed that he would be the only one to carry on Jigsaw’s work in Saw VI. Naturally, Jigsaw had already planned ahead for this event and got his wife Jill (Betsy Russell) to place Hoffman in his own trap should Hoffman try and screw up the master plan. Hoffman miraculously survived and is now on a revenge mission, bringing him in confrontation with Internal Affairs officer Matt Gibson (Chad Donella).

Saw 3D Review 2010 -
Meanwhile, Bobby Dagen is enjoying the limelight, having written a self-help book about his experiences in surviving a Jigsaw trap. Only problem is, he’s lying about the entire experience. While attempting to reunite all previous survivors together in a self-help group, Bobby is kidnapped and he and his entourage are placed in a brand new game. How will it all end? If you reckon anyone is walking away from this, you’re clearly new to the Saw franchise.

If the above paragraphs made it appear as though there is a coherent story to be found in the latest Saw movie, then that is entirely the fault of the writer. The Hoffman/ Jill battle of wills takes place over roughly three scenes (two of which are at the very beginning) and immediately gets sidelined by the need to have a series of harrowingly violent deaths for no real reason. Part of the problem is that this film is two Saw movies shoved into one. Without any balance between the lengthy deaths and the arguably more interesting revenge subplot, what’s left is an hour and twenty minutes of pointless gore broken up with people triggering flashback montages to explain plot holes. In terms of a final episode, this is more about as dramatic as an episode of Hollyoaks.

Once again, character depth is eschewed in favour of unlikable bastards who somehow deserve what’s happening to them, instead of being relatable people. This time, you can’t help but feel that Jigsaw is completely in the wrong about Bobby. Granted, he’s making money off a lie, but he’s hardly the worst person in the world – after all, he’s getting out the positive message Jigsaw himself tried to tell (cherish your life), and he’s doing it without the ludicrous amount of bloodshed. But Jigsaw seems to always get things wrong – there are people in this world who are far more evil and deserving of suffering than some bloke who wrote a self-help book based on the suffering of others. Politicians, warlords, slave owners, the person who hacked Movie-Moron in January, bankers – the list is really quite long. Nope, it’s got to be the guy who’s made a quick buck from selling a positive message.

Saw 3D Review 2010 -
As for the traps themselves, this film brings us a whopping eleven grisly death scenarios, although three of them hardly count (one’s a short flashback, one’s a dream and another is pretty pointless). Eyes get stabbed, women sawn in half, jaws ripped off, teeth yanked out and throats jabbed, all in glorious 3D. Of particular note is the opening trap, which takes place in a shopping centre in front of hundreds of people. Why is this? It’s mentioned that the three involved are airing their dirty laundry in public, but surely the real point is to spread the good word amongst more people? Why is this not remarked upon? What is the chronology of this sequence? Another key point is that the 3D technology doesn’t make much of a difference, aside from a few body parts/ saws/ bits of shrapnel that get launched towards the screen. Only a couple of the traps are designed to slowly approach the screen, so quite what the point of the use of the 3D technology was (aside from raising the price of the ticket) is another mystery entirely.

The acting is atrocious throughout, with most dialogue consisting of lengthy screams and grunts of pain. Series mainstay Tobin Bell gets roughly thirty seconds of screen time (bring a stopwatch, it’s probably less), making him pretty much redundant in his own franchise. The characters are also completely idiotic, especially Matt Gibson, who – bafflingly – believes that he’s smarter than Hoffman, despite the amount of officers that have died trying to bring Jigsaw down. He also willingly walks into the world’s most obvious trap and is useless throughout the movie, so quite why the franchise has ended on his involvement is yet another unresolved mystery.

At the end of the day, the Saw franchise has finally come to its bitter end. Despite having more incessant violence than any other film in the series, this one feels the most toothless. Pointless, silly, unnecessary, tiresome and completely predictable, this is the end of what was once – around seven years ago – a true horror great. Game over.

Our Rating: D

Also See: Vampires Suck Review, Resident Evil: Afterlife Review, The Town Review

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  • Sheridan Passell said
    Sheridan Passell

    I’ve really enjoyed the Saw series, it’s more unique and clever than it’s given credit for, there’s a lot more to it than the gory trap scenes. It’s a horror soap opera that keeps evolving, compared to other slasher movies where each sequel is just a remake of the first. Killing Jigsaw in the third movie took some real balls and the way they managed to keep it going is pretty clever. My favourite scenes are Jigsaw’s origin story in Saw 4, Tobin Bell gives a strong performance, honestly. Saw 5 was considerably worse than what had gone before, Saw 6 and Saw 3D I am yet to see.

    I’m glad that Dr Gordon was brought back due to fan pressure. I genuinely believe they read the reaction on this site, amongst others –
    469 comments, most of whom wanted to see it happen.
    But (without spoiling it) does Dr Gordon have a significant part to play?

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  • Ms_Leslie said

    I saw Saw VII (not in 3D). It was truely a gore. But extremely disappointed in the ending. I Expected more, and walked away feeling rather unsatified and famished for a good horror flick. A great horror flick is few and far between! Saw started out remarkable, and ended in a flop. ~ Dying 4 Horror~

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  • Stevesman said

    Saw 3D? Yes and no. Some huge plotholes, but understandably as two movies were mashed together and the ending – if a little predictible- was fantastic for the diehards. This franchise is not Shakespeare or even The Godfather, but it spares us from the ersatz horror of Twilight and Paranormal Activity. Quit griping already!

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  • Ad4m22 said

    Without spoiling things for you, Sheridan, 90% of what was written in that forum was correct. And that was over two years ago.

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  • Brandi said



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  • Jew said

    My favorite horror movie series comes to its finality…and hoping on its sequel via SAW VIII.

    Bobby is being put through his “test” because he is a fraud. His claim to fame (and fortune acording to the film) is based on a lie – that he is a genuine Jigsaw survivor.

    He isn’t. In fact, it is spelled out very clearly in the film that he invented every detail of his Jigsaw experience for the sole purpose of making a large sum of money from “selling his story.”

    It’s also revealed as plain as day that John/Jigsaw took great offense to having his games and his legacy exploited for profit by someone who had never been tested.

    His entourage becomes part of the game because they have been taking part in (and profiting from) the phony Jigsaw story. Bobby’s wife is there, as she is deemed the greatest gain he has had from the whole charade.

    His reasons for being tested were obvious and in terms of Jigsaw’s overall view of his testing the human survival instinct, quite meaningful, even if it didn’t completely come across due to lack of Jigsaw scren time.

    The character of Hoffman…and his fate..should be given a continuance. What began as someone reluctantly recruited through blackmail has turned into someone driven beyond sanity to not only continue the legacy, but to overtake it completely. The ruthless executioner streak that he exhibited when he killed his sister’s murderer while posing as Jigsaw has now overtaken him to the point where he feels he truly IS Jigsaw.

    Now, is this the greatest horror/suspense film ever? hardly. Is it a fitting way to tie the series together? For the most part, yes. Is it a lean running film that gives a higher action to exposition ratio not found in the last 2 SAW entries that also happens to provide more entertainment than just about any film series that has spawned this many sequels? Very much so.

    My rating: 7/10

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  • Linda said

    As a HUGE SAW fan and for it being the final SAW, I wasn’t completely disappointed but it’s NOT my favorite out of the franchise and I was expecting a lot more from it.

    I must admit that when I heard the movie was going to be in 3-D, it made me upset and when I saw the film I reacted to the effects just as I knew I would. For me, the 3-D was what I think really ruined the movie and that’s why I’m mentioning it.

    There are certain camera angles,shots, and effects that are taken in several of the SAW movies that I absolutely adore that were not in this one mostly due to the 3-D bit which I thought took A LOT away from the directing. My favorite camera angle and effect is first seen in SAW 1 with Amanda’s flashback story with her jaw trap. Just as the timer goes off the camera quickly cirlces around her numerous times with her body jerking wildly and it builds up the intensity, suspense, and anxiety to a new level which I think is really unique to SAW because they use this in the other movies as well. I can’t recall seeing it done this well in any other movie and to have it create such a great impact as SAW and the quick mili-second shots during the end of Amanda’s game which ping-pong between Amanda’s face, her body, and the clock is another fine camera trick that builds up the suspense which is something else unique about the directing of SAW. However, in this SAW, these amazing effects were covered by corny 3-D shots of saws, guts, and pointy objects coming at your face which to me was just annoying. The 3-D took out the originality of the camera and the directing that is SAW.

    The story and plot of SAW is what attracted me to the films since its one if not the most complex, intricate, and unique story I’ve ever seen in movies. As for the story goes, I was actually surprised and thrilled about Dr. Gordan. I was extremely happy with his come back since that is what the fans wanted and were hoping for!!! WOO! But yet again this movie was stripped of not only SAW’s camera effects but also its usual shocking ending with a twist. Dr. Gordan’s come back is seen from the very beginning scene and the survivor’s meeting so when he pulls off the pig’s mask at the end…well for the first time EVERYONE “SAW” (haha) that coming. I think they should not have shown him at all until the VERY end maybe with LITTLE hints in between but not necessarily his appearance. That way even the die hard fans would not have been sure as to what was going to be the outcome. Good show for him actually being behind surgeries though! NICE! It made me all warm and fuzzy inside.

    The traps could have been better, more unique and complex but yet there was a nice theme of simplicity in them which I think was appreciated in the long run.

    It is sad to see such an amazing franchise end but this day was soon to arrive. I’ve debated about writing this review for this specific SAW movie because I watch them and look at them as a whole and some can be better than others but each one is important for they are the pieces to a larger puzzle. GAME OVER. “Da na na da na na na na” (theme music)

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