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JIGSAW   Print  E-mail 
Written by Graham Reed  
Thursday, 23 November 2017


So, will you see Saw...Jigsaw that is? Let's tune in for the latest episode of "CSI: Bloodbath of the week"!

It is, after all the "latest" Saw movie. From the compact, snappy original to the quite excellent Saw II....to the increasingly convoluted and risible succession of seemingly endless sequels, comes the latest reboot / requel / sequel / prequel that is "JigSaw". From none of the same directors, from none of the same writers, but edited by the director of Saw VI and VII?

Well, so far, so gore splattered brains on a rusty ferric oxide implement then.

The plot? Who cares about the plot? A point of view that the writers themselves appear to believe in ; because the plot here is utter nonsensical twaddle, with plot threads all over the place. Here come the flashbacks, flash forwards, parallell narratives (such as seen in the simultaneous time travel of Saw III + Saw IV), and more temporal manipulation than an old scientist with a Delorean and long, straight piece of road. Essential pieces of narrative - whilst having chronologically been extant for a long LONG time here - are here crowbarred in at the end.

There's a point at which you realise that solving the puzzle of the narrative, for yourself is pointless - because so much information is with held as to mean it is impossible to be able to work it out. Not literally, not figuratively - but actually. Everything - as in prety much everything from Saw to Saw VII - in the franchise revolves around a narrative twist in the final minutes that reverses everything you already know. Not only is it frustrating, it is timewastingly obtuse.

And lets face it -We all know that everyone is just here for "kill of the week" with a succession of increasingly ludicrous traps, devices, pieces of rusty metal, acid, old bikes, sweaters, silly hats, and - in a very Star Trek moment - LAZERS!!!!

However, this is a film that appears to be nothing more than dull , lazy fan service. Anyone who has watched Saw's I to VII (all 652 + minutes of them - not including the alternate cuts of each movie , of which only I-III are actually available anymore ; the cinema versions of IV, V and VI haven't been seen since their first release ), will either have reached blood splatter fatigue very quickly, or has extensive experience in the human abbatoir that is horror movie hell.

And - despite an over reliance on the use of CGI and a rather graphic autopsy with a bloodless decapitation - this film is surprisingly light on the gore sequences. Instead there is a lot of exposition, moral blackmail, and a disappointing lack of standard issue horror movie green.

Honestly, standard issue horror movie green even made it into the Star Trek in 2009. Now it can't even make it in Jigsaw the umpteenth.

Despite containing only One returning character (a visibly aged Tobin Bell, now 13 years on from his appearance in the first one, and *SPOILERS* in sequences set over a decade ago prior to the 2004 film!), it is a succession of mostly unpleasant, unrelatable characters

Though directed with some flair with the Sperig Brothers - who brought us the very very impressive "Daybreakers" - the opening car chase is both hackneyed and cliched, as are the general selection of traps and general unpleasantness. The script is , sadly, generic and unoriginal, merely recycling plot devices, reasoning, and reveals from the previous seven films in a way that is not so much a greatest hits, as much as a greatest near-misses.

As a reboot - it is almost entirely unsuccessful. As a sequel, it is unsatisfying. And as a horror movie, it is almost entirely unsatisfying. As a prequel, it adds nothing but yet another layer of absurdity - as in "how many more times are they going to pull that particular trick?", followed by the rather logical thought that comes immeadiatley afterward - "So, how many places can one person be in at once?"

I won't lie - this project has been on my radar for a while, and entirely due to the Sperig's previous film "Daybreakers" being a brilliantly realised vampires meets Equilbrium style tale. "Jigsaw" shows none of that at all, but just a tedious, tired, attempt to cynically extract ticket money from people nostalgic for the good old days of a franchise via the cheapest budget possible.

Pointless, incoherent and absurd , JigSaw is the least enticing prospect possible - an almost bloodless retread of greater moments in an unentertaining way that isn't a homage. It doesn't so much mess with the its own timelines, as on them ... and for a franchise so concerned with "playing by the rules", it conveniently ignores said rules in favour of just making stuff up on the spot.Almost entirely unworthy of the Saw name, it is at - very least - the worst Saw Movie since the last one. No, realistically, it is very certainly the silliest, not to mention almost the worst since Saw V. And that's a pretty low bar, to be honest.

In a franchise of eight movies, this is definteley near the lower end - a forced narrative that hinges on ignorance, has completely absurdly plot holes. even someone whose knowledge of police procedure only comes from The Bill might say out loud to themselves "um, hello? Investigating a meglomaniacal serial killer? Yep, of course we won't even have a look at say, his wife's remote and isolate farmhouse. Nope. Not at all. Not once, will we even do such basic police procedure in 13 years!"

Well, tune in for the latest episode of "CSI: Bloodbath of the week" and why find out?!

Why not? Why Bother I meant., Illogical, inconsistent, narratively absurd and inconsistent, cynically manipulative and curiously anemic - "Jigsaw" is an entirely pointless sequel / requel / reboot / prequel / cynical piece of merchandising at 24fps. Even having watch the other movies, I should have set my expectations low. And low as they were to the point of non- existent, even then I cam out feeling cheated. From the lazy opening shot as a bait and switch (you think it is a death device! It isn't) to the final seconds, it is a vapid, soulless, empty and joyless experience almost entirely devoid of merit at all.

Game Over. Permanently, we can but hope.

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