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The West Wing
Special Agent Strahm is dead, and Detective Hoffman has emerged as the unchallenged successor to Jigsaw's legacy. However, when the FBI draws closer to Hoffman, he is forced to set a game into motion, and Jigsaw's grand scheme is finally understood.ives.
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Thank you God this movie happened. I had a blast watching this film. Why? Because Tobin Bell is back at the forefront and macho Hoffman jigsaw wannabe got some of his. Shawnee Smith was back and she rocked the house as well. The plot…oh man, let’s get into it.
The Story: This is where it gets awesome. How you take several twists from several other films, and then twist them again make you raise questions that you never knew you had because now they are answered. And then it twists them again and you don’t see it coming. The best part? Everything is justified from events from prior films that explain the things that you never had in your mind. I don’t know how these writers did it, but they did their homework and research and blew the roof off the house. And then they slammed the health care industry and justified it. And it was nice to see those assholes get theirs.
Acting: Tobin Bell was amazing. Just great. Shawnee Smith does amazing as well. Costas Mandylor is still as annoying as Hoffman, but this time, the direction isn’t annoying. I hate Hoffman. But hate as in hate the character, not the performance like I did for Saw V. This is what the franchise needed. And even the insurance man that we hate at points rides on our sympathies and we feel for him. Take notice Heckl, that’s what is called “range.”
Directing: Kevin Greutert is a saint. A living film saint. I can’t give him full credit because the writers definitely knew what they were doing, but without full attention from the director, there’s no way he could have pulled it off. I was re-watching all the films this week before I saw this film and everything lines up perfectly. He maintains the world that was created and respects and utilizes the events of prior (oh and look, didn’t have to use much if anything from Saw V cuz….there was nothing of use there!)
Cinematography & Production Design: Back to the grit and film style yes. But there’s something I wanted to point out here. The world created maintains it’s color palette from the other films, but is somewhat noticeably cleaner. Symbolic of Jigsaw’s games working to clean up the world around him? Maybe so, but I loved the feel of it all. The traps themselves are still as dirty as the people they’re teaching.
Editing: Great. Well paced and moving, just back to the good old feel and ride of the other good films in the franchise.
Score: It is noticeable in some points but that’s alright. The ride of the movie is just so much fun that you’re into it.
Special Effects: I didn’t notice the CGI this go around if there was any at all. So if there was they did a good job of hiding it. Otherwise, props for returning to the production design values if they did.
In closing: The film does have a few over the top moments that make some things a little comedic and laugh out loud funny from their sheer outrageousness. But the film is solid storytelling as a piece of the puzzle that is this franchise. Why do critics hate on these films so much? Part of which is the marketing: “It’s Halloween – must be SAW time” implies that these are mass produced without any thought of the consumer. But they’re not. And most critics are watching hundreds of movies and don’t re-watch the prior films to seeing the new ones. This franchise is episodic and for horror films, that’s a great thing. It develops characters in a revolving door fashion so that we can care about them in the next film when their lives are inevitably threatened. Meanwhile they go back and turn things on your head from prior movies that make you go back and watch them and say “wow…how did I miss that? That’s what was happening!” It really is well done and the franchise deserves more credit than it gets. This reviewer will offer it up. If this is your cup of tea with horror / gore, then they deliver what you want in terms of characterization, continuity and story telling. I can’t imagine what else people would look for from a franchise stable. Good job SAW. I can’t wait for next year’s new twists.