Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Third Time unlucky: SAW III (2006)
starring: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith and Angus Macfadyen
Just as SAW II started the ball rolling on creating a franchising monster out of the mini-classic SAW, SAW III was supposed to be the show stopper; true, it ended some plot points introduced in SAW II in which it turns out, Jigsaw, AKA John Kramer, is hauling up apprentices that would continue his line of work "teaching" the unfortunates to be fortunate with what they have, or die trying.
As another set of intertwined stories moves on with its feet, we have here John Kramer saved by Amanda Young, one of the survivors of the earlier Jigsaw games who turned out to be Jigsaw's prodigy. Their part of the plot concern's Amanda kidnapping a depressed doctor to perform brain surgery on her mentor upon orders, while in process and by flashbacks reveals bits and pieces of how the two antagonists' world weave together.
All the while, a man with a hunger for vengeance for the one responsible taking the life of his son by accident is kidnapped under Jigsaw's orders and placed to a series of tests that trials his need for revenge.
The film's poor in terns of story as the flashbacks provided a slow distraction to what's happening outside the sickroom and questions further the continuity rather than answer it; looking back at the first SAW movie, the elements from what made that film a success was gone in this the entry as it appears starts to dwell into its own mythos that were increasingly getting less realistic with each film.
In terms of gore and splatter, the film finally began to dwell into torture porn wonderland as the mechanical rusty traps have more visceral taste in them; nude people being washed frozen, traps that drowns people in shredded rotting meat, it's a step up for the grue and the film relied a lot of it's positives on them. Perhaps, relied too much as it took away a lot of the movie's plot; Shawnee Smith's character, Amanda Young being Jigsaw's apprentice, John Kramer's past, and the avenging father subplot barely made sense until the last ten minutes, again in old fashioned SAW-tradition movie twist. The general result was an visually entertaining yet empty walk through of blood and gut being sprayed around with little or no connection to what's happening until the reveal.
In terms of franchises, the entry's a weak way to end it. Thank God for DTV continuities, which soon spawns its own brand of massacres and mayhem as it broods further into the Jigsaw's mythology... with varying results.
1 male decimated by bomb
1 female had her rib cage torn out from her chest
1 female washed frozen inside a freezer
1 male bagged on the head, suffocates (flashback)
1 boy seen killed in a drunk driving incident
1 male shot on the face with shotgun
1 male mangled in a gear-based trap
1 female shot on the neck
1 male had his neck slashed with circular saw
1 female had her head decimated with a shotgun shell-ringed collar