Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman.
Written by Leigh Whannel and James Wan.
Starring Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Bahar Soomekh and Angus
Release Year: 2006
Review Date: 10/31/2006
I knew coming in that "Saw III" would be
dogshit. Maybe not complete dogshit, but certainly, dogshit.
The first "Saw" ended up being great because
of its bad-ass ending; with a twist as good as it had (and the sheer
nasty level being at full-tilt), it made up for a very average first
90 minutes. "Saw II" tried
not-so-valiantly to give us a little somethin'-somethin' at the end,
but its plot was even worse than the first film, it felt cheap, its
kills were ridiculous AND the ending couldn't touch the first movie.
So, in establishing a theme, you know that
"Saw III" is going to have a little somethin' for us at the end.
But, this time, you see most of it coming, and worse, you can tell
that the screenwriters ("Saw" creators James Wan and Leigh Whannel)
wanted to give us a little more backstory, a little more feeling, a
little more character, but were not able to find actors that could
fit the bill. Then, you throw in some truly gratuitous kills
and an ending that doesn't bode well for the series' future and
this--for me, at least--will be my final "Saw" experience.
But why did "Saw III" much such a load of
fucking cash this past weekend? Because people will do
anything for a fix of bloody horror. In "Saw III", we get to
watch as our boy Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), damn near death, leads his
protege, Amanda (series vet Shawnee Smith), for one last
game--kidnap and unleash a man (Angus Macfadyen) in the Saw
labyrinth to discover the true identity of the killer of his little
boy while giving those that had a chance to help him the opportunity
to live or die while on the quest for the truth. During all of
this, Jigsaw forces a surgeon (Bahar Soomekh) to take care of him
while this last game is going on...and, if Jigsaw were to die, a
newly-fitted necklace (thanks to Amanda) will blow the doctor's
freakin' head off.
"Saw III" is drawn out to no end, thanks (no
thanks, actually) to constant flashbacks to the first two films,
which is mostly unnecessary to those that have seen the other films
but unhelpful to those new to the series...nothing more than what we
have can really establish the Jigsaw/Amanda bond more completely,
anyway. Thanks to fewer kills and a longer movie, "Saw III"
seems to be moving in the wrong direction, strange for a horror film
with such a large following. Bell is his normal growling self,
but the rest of the cast is so bad they are laughable...Smith almost
single-handedly kills the mood in every one of her scenes.
But, as bad as all of this is, I won't
lie--a couple of the kills were cool! There are no laughs,
there's no sex, there's nothing off on the sideline that would make
me happy, either...but, when bloodletting occurs, at least "Saw III"
didn't pussyfoot it by giving us the PG-13 version of this story.
It's bad, but not God-awful.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard