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Movie Review: ‘Saw 3D’ delivers gore but not much else

Michael Phillips
LV Life Editor

On Oct. 29 the creators of the” Saw” franchise unveiled the gory and final installment of their seven film series, “Saw 3D.”

The “Saw” films are most associated with their intricate traps, which often force those unlucky enough to be in them to complete horrendous and sometimes impossible tasks, such as crawling through an obstacle course made of barbed wire or sawing off your own leg.

“Saw 3D” does not shy away from the gore. Instead it shoves it in your face through 3D frames.

In regular “Saw” fashion, the film opened up with a trap, but in those few minutes I realized that the final “Saw” film would not live up to its predecessors.

In terms of the film’s traps, they were the goriest yet, but compared to the previous film’s traps, they lacked depth.

Many of the traps in the film felt rushed more than other films, not allowing viewers to completely understand the mastery behind the madness.

The film in 3D was not a total waste, but was not a mind blowing experience either. At times there would be guts and entrails flying towards you, often accompanied by metal shards.

I considered the film’s use of 3D more as higher definition.

The events in the film felt softer and much closer to the audience, much like an HDTV does. The 3D was an improvement compared to Wes Craven’s “My Soul to Take,” but nothing major compared to James Cameron’s “Avatar.”

With this being the final film of the series, “Saw 3D” strived to go out with a bang, revealing events trailing back to the first film.

In those moments I remembered all the great things about the first “Saw” film, and started to lose hope in “Saw 3D.”

The original “Saw” incorporated a strong plot, gore, suspense, and plot twists marvelously, while “Saw 3D” struggled to tie up loose ends, and execute its finishing lap.

What “Saw 3D” failed to do was surprise the audience.

Many times I tried to look away from the bloodiness, but could not because my eyes gravitated towards the screen to witness the characters dying in ways I had never imagined.

For that reason I will cringe whenever I see dental floss and keys, which is what many consider the beauty of “Saw” films.

In the previous installments, the audience would watch eagerly in anticipation as the characters attempted to complete their task and avoid death, finger nail biting in anticipation, wondering whether or not their favorite character would live or die.

In the most recent installment, the surprise has been taken out; leaving the audience wanting more, but not delivering. The film’s story line falls flat; it introduces surprising elements but skims over them.

For the film to be considered a final chapter, it does not tie up loose ends from the previous movies very well. Events that have occurred off screen in the past 6 films flash before the audience’s eyes, but are never really explained in depth.

The creator of the “Saw” traps, Jigsaw, has only a few scenes in the movie, even though the film is based on his principles and legacy.

However, one thing I respected about the film was the character development. Through all the seven films, the former character’s personalities stayed consistent with the first time they were introduced into the series.

If a character was sadistic throughout the series they did not have a change of heart or a moment of clarity, retaining depth.

The unfortunate twist to this was that the newly introduced characters never had a chance to fully develop. The new characters were presented only to assist former characters in plot progression, without actually contributing the plot themselves.

For those who are fans of the “Saw” series, the latest film may not be the best in the series, but is worth watching for closure.

Sadly, by the end of the film I could not help but feel that the creators of “Saw’ had left room in “Saw 3D” for an eighth film, which would not surprise me at all. Maybe with another chance they could produce a final chapter worthy of ending the epic “Saw” franchise.

Michael Phillips can be reached at michael.phillips2@laverne.edu.

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