Saw 3D (18)

The ViewBristol Review

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Review byCassam Looch29/10/2010

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

The unstoppable horror franchise and Halloween tradition returns for its first outing in 3D, and unfortunately any of the flair and invention still left over from the previous six films is used up in the extended opening sequence.

What's it all about?
Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) has taken on the mantle of judge, jury and executioner, masquerading as the Jigsaw killer. The original Jigsaw's wife knows the truth and makes a deal with the police to help catch Hoffman and bring his reign of terror to an end. She places herself in police custody as intrepid officer Gibson (Chad Donella) follows a trail of clues left for his benefit.

Elsewhere a group of self-proclaimed Jigsaw Survivors convene to share their feelings. They are led by Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery) who has written a successful book about overcoming the odds and surviving. All too soon however, he is put to the test as his friends and loved ones find themselves at the mercy of Jigsaw and only Bobby can save them.

The Good
The opening, which has nothing to do with the rest of the film, is a gloriously executed 3D extravaganza: it's completely excessive in terms of blood and set-up, the visuals are superb and it will have you squirming on the edge of your seat just like the original film did.

Seeing a lot of the old faces is also a boon for fans of the series. The fact that they revisit the first instalment also means there is a reference point for those who haven't caught up with all six sequels.

The Bad
Lazy storytelling, even by the low standards of this genre, is the just the beginning. Whereas some of the 'games' are elaborately set up, others are just thrown in without any effort being invested in them. The three trademarks of the Saw films are the ingenious traps, the malevolent narration by Jigsaw and the iconic film score which is set in time to the action. So when one of the lead characters is gunned down in a hail of bullets without any announcement, it becomes obvious in that one moment that everything that was good about the series has been removed.

The other issue is that the premise is over-familiar. Not just the fact that we have a group of desperate people trying to escape from gruesome devices, but also in terms of two concurrent story lines that come together at the end. In fact, on this occasion the two stories don't even converge properly, leaving a huge 'what if?' hanging in the air.

Despite the declaration that this is the last in the series, you can't help but feel that this is actually just another set-up for futher outing of more Saw based gore. The climax fudges the issue and lacks any sense of definitive or satisfying closure.

Worth Seeing?
If you have to say goodbye to the franchise, then a last gory hurrah in 3D is about as good as it will get. There are legions of fans that will lap it up, but for casual cinema-goers Saw 3D is a disappointingly flat experience.

Film Trailer

Saw 3D (18)
Be the first to review Saw 3D...
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03 Aftershock (15)

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04 Love and Other Drugs (tbc)

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05 You Again (tbc)

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Content updated: 06/11/2010 20:01

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