Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Saw 3D (2010)

Saw 3D (released on home media as Saw: The Final Chapter) is a 2010 3D horror film directed by Kevin Greutert, written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, and starring Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Sean Patrick Flanery, and Cary Elwes. It is the seventh and final installment of the Saw film series, and the only film in the series to be in 3D. The film focuses on a man who untruthfully claims to be a Jigsaw survivor and writes a book detailing his experience, becoming a local celebrity. He soon finds himself part of a real Jigsaw game where he must ultimately save his wife. Meanwhile, Jill Tuck explains to an internal affairs officer that rogue Detective Hoffman is the man responsible for the recent Jigsaw games; Tuck is put under police protected custody while officers search for Hoffman.

The Plot

In a flashback sequence following the first film, Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) crawls from the bathroom to find help after sawing off his foot. Along the way, he reaches a steam pipe and uses it to cauterize his ankle stump. In the present, Ryan (Jon Cor) and Brad (Sebastian Pigott) awaken in a storefront window in a shopping area in front of a crowd of people, their wrists bound to a worktable. In front of each man is a buzz saw, and their mutual lover, Dina (Anne Lee Greene) is suspended above a third saw. Jigsaw's puppet tells them that they can either kill one another or allow Dina to die, and after realizing her betrayal, they decide to save themselves and allow her to lower onto the saw, killing her.

After witnessing Mark Hoffman's (Costas Mandylor) survival from the end of the previous film, Jill Tuck (Betsy Russell) goes to Matt Gibson (Chad Donella), an internal affairs detective at Hoffman's precinct, and offers to incriminate Hoffman in exchange for immunity and protection. Meanwhile, Hoffman abducts four racist skinheads and places them in a trap in an abandoned junkyard that kills all of them. After a gathering of past Jigsaw survivors which includes Dr. Gordon (now wearing a foot brace) among those present, takes place, Hoffman abducts Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery), a self-help guru who achieved fame and fortune by falsely stating that he survived a Jigsaw trap. Hoffman sends videos to Gibson throughout the film, offering cryptic clues to his location and promising to stop the games if Jill is given to him.

Bobby awakens in an abandoned insane asylum and is informed that his wife Joyce (Gina Holden) has also been abducted and will die if he does not save her in sixty minutes. After escaping a cage hanging over a floor of spikes, Dagen navigates his way through the asylum, finding his publicist Nina (Naomi Snieckus), his lawyer Suzanne (Rebecca Marshall) and his close friend Cale (Dean Armstrong) all in traps representing their respective sins. Despite his efforts to save them, all three are killed. Gibson soon discovers the location of the asylum and sends a SWAT team, who are sealed in one section of the asylum and killed by toxic gas. Gibson also finds Hoffman's command center, where he discovers that Hoffman has hacked the police security camera system, and is killed by automatic turret gun along with both of his men. Hoffman, who had been posing as one of the junkyard corpses, infiltrates police headquarters and kills Dr. Heffner (James Van Patten), Detective Rogers (Laurence Anthony) and several officers before finding Jill. After a brief struggle, he restrains her the same way she restrained him, then secures the original Reverse Bear-Trap to her head, which kills her.

After removing two teeth to retrieve a combination to a locked door, Dagen reaches Joyce and is forced to drive two hooks through his pectoral muscles, the trap he claimed to survive, then hoist himself up by the chains to deactivate her trap. However, the hooks rip through his muscles and he falls to the ground, and a brazen bull capsule slams shut around Joyce and burns her alive. Moments after Hoffman destroys his workshop, he is attacked and captured by three Pighead-masked figures and the leader reveals himself as Lawrence Gordon. Flashbacks reveal that John Kramer (Tobin Bell) found Gordon by the steam pipe and helped him recover, and Gordon had worked in secret with John ever since. Tasked to watch over Jill after John's death and to take action if anything happened to her, Gordon brings Hoffman to the bathroom from the first film and shackles him by the ankle. He throws away the hacksaw he had once sawed off his foot with, then leaves Hoffman to die.


As with the previous four Saw films, Saw 3D was not screened in advance for critics. The film received largely negative reviews from film critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 10% of 67 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 3.1 out of 10, making it the poorest reviewed film in the series. Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a rating score of 24, based on 17 reviews. CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a "B-minus" on an A+ to F scale.

Luke Thompson of E! Online gave the film a "B". He called the film's gore "over-the-top" and "in your face" while admitting the film had an "unusual amount of self-parody". He said the central storyline of the films was beginning to feel "played out". Rob Nelson of Variety gave the film a negative review. He called the film "relentlessly repugnant" that would please fans, but offer no surprise. He went on to say, "Apart from these limb-pulling setpieces, tech credits appear fairly shoddy, as do any 3D effects that don't include flying viscera. The editing relies on lazy flashbacks, while the dialogue remains as horrific as the killings." Kim Newman of Empire gave the film two out of five stars, calling it a "a step down from last year’s much more pointed Saw VI". He criticized the repetition of the plot but thought bringing back Jigsaw survivors was a "nice idea". He closed his review with, "There are a scattering of infallibly cringe-making horrors, but on the whole Saw 3D could do with more depth".

Eric Goldman of IGN Movies gave the film two out of five stars. He was unhappy with the little screen time Bell and Elwes had been given, saying that the time the film did spend with them, didn't have much impact. He said the traps were a step down from Saw VI, but did point out his favorite and highlight of the film as the "garage trap". About the film's 3D effects, Goldman said "The 3D is used as you might expect it to be - which is to say, this is no James Cameron immersive experience. Instead, blades jut out of the screen, and there is some fun had with blood and guts literally shooting forward at several points". Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a mixed review. He said Saw 3D is "consistent both stylistically and thematically with previous editions", but said most of the film's traps lack the "Rube Goldberg-style cleverness that marked the series". Scheck went on to say that it was "unfortunate" the creators killed Bell's character so early in the series and called Mandylor's character (Hoffman) an "exceedingly bland stand-in". He called the visual impact of the 3D "negligible".

Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel gave the film one out of five stars saying, "It’s all bunk and has been for years. These are all no-win scenarios. Whatever moral lessons were presented in the earliest Saw films seem to have been dispensed with as the movies grow more and more gruesome, with filmmakers caught up in 'What would it look like if somebody’s jaw was ripped out, or their skin was glued to a car seat?' Pandering to the 'Cool, let’s see that again' crowd has made Lionsgate rich but done nothing for this unendurable endurance contest of this long-enduring film franchise". Mike Hale of The New York Times called the film the most "straightforward" of the series and the "most consistently (though not inventively) violent". He ended his review saying, "If you see the film in a theater equipped with RealD 3D and Dolby sound, you’ll come away with a pretty good idea of what it would feel like to have flying body parts hit you in the face".

Elizabeth Weitzman of the New York Daily News gave the film one out of five stars. She criticized the lack of Bell's screentime saying, "What the filmmakers of the last four Saw movies have somehow overlooked is that Tobin Bell's Jigsaw is the linchpin of these films. It's right there in the title, so you'd think they'd realize what they lost when they killed him off in Saw III. But it's been downhill ever since, and we hit bottom today". She admitted that the performances have become "painfully stilted" and called the script "a jumble of nothing punctuated by barely-trying death traps". She went on to say, "It's also disappointing to watch a once-original franchise morph into a generic slasher series, in which random people are killed in banal ways just to up the body count" and closed her review with, "No matter how much money The Final Chapter makes over Halloween weekend, it's time to acknowledge that this game is over"

Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe called the film the "most gruesome and least coherent of the seven movies". He felt that some of the film's "games" were just randomly forced into the film, saying that kind of "episodic approach" and 3D works for a "far more innovative series like Jackass 3D". Morris closed his review by saying "This alleged final edition trashes the perverse morality of [Jigsaw's] legacy to make him the Jerry Springer of gore". Jason Anderson of the Toronto Star gave the film two out of four stars. He praised Saw 3D's plot for not being as confusing as previous films, for which he described as having to "generally require an encyclopedic knowledge of the series' many plot strands" in order to understand them. He thought Greutert gave the film a "pulpy energy" and described the film's traps and gore as having an "unpretentious sensibility" to films by Herschell Gordon Lewis. Alan Jones of the Radio Times gave the film four out of five stars saying, "though the film initially borders on parody, once the ever-ingenious trapping begins — using fishhooks, superglue, ovens and dental equipment — the chills run on turbo drive right through to the greatest hits flashback finale". He implied that the "shock scenarios" were borrowed from sources such as, A Man Called Horse and the work of Lucio Fulci. Jones said the 3D did not add to the experience saying "the CGI blood splatter something of a distraction to the almost Shakespearean crescendo of anguish and carnage".

The Cast

Tobin Bell as Jigsaw / John Kramer
 Costas Mandylor as Det. Mark Hoffman
 Betsy Russell as Jill Tuck
 Cary Elwes as Dr. Lawrence Gordon
 Sean Patrick Flanery as Bobby Dagen
 Chad Donella as Det. Matt Gibson
 Gina Holden as Joyce Dagen
 Laurence Anthony as Det. Rogers
 Dean Armstrong as Cale
 Naomi Snieckus as Nina
 Rebecca Marshall as Suzanne
 James Van Patten as Dr. Heffner
 Sebastian Pigott as Brad
 Jon Cor as Ryan
 Anne Lee Greene as Dina (as Anne Greene)
 Chester Bennington as Evan
 Dru Viergever as Dan
 Gabby West as Kara
 Benjamin Clost as Jake
 Kevin McGarry as Charlie
 Kim Schraner as Palmer
 Olunike Adeliyi as Sidney
Ishan Morris as Alex (as Ish Morris)
 Carlos Diaz as Coroner Worker
 Elizabeth Rowin as Sara
 Christine Simpson as Donna Evans.

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