Spiral and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate Films
Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
I’ll admit that I broke down and went to the movie twice this year to see movies at a theater; Nobody a few months back and Mortal Kombat a few weeks ago. This however is what I will consider the genuine start of me returning to theaters to see movies; not just because I’m finally vaccinated but because studios are starting to trickle out the movies that they had been holding onto for a year now starting with this reboot of sorts for the Saw franchise. Now I thought Jigsaw was a perfectly well executed movie that sadly did same tired thing we saw in the previous films. This movie on the other hand looks like it will be going in a different direction which is what I was hoping for from the last movie, but can Lionsgate deliver on that promise and reinvigorate the franchise with a bold new vision, or will we be begging for Tobin Bell to be written back into this franchise by any means necessary by the time this movie is through? As much as I’d like to see Tobin Bell’s head in a jar I’m hoping this doesn’t turn out THAT badly, but let’s find out!!
We begin our story many years after the death of the Jigsaw Killer John Kramer and follow detective Zeke Banks (Chris Rock), a cop who doesn’t trust other cops; especially after he ratted on one of his officers for straight up shooting a witness in the face and has had to look over his shoulder ever since. Because of this he likes to work alone, but after a recent undercover job goes sideways (one that he neglected to tell anyone he was doing), he’s assigned a rookie named William Schenk (Max Minghella) to try and keep him in line and reign in his behavior. He would have been out on his butt if his father (Samuel L Jackson) wasn’t the former police chief that everyone still respects, but that’s where the good luck ends as his best friend on the force is murdered in some convoluted death trap and his body parts along with taunting clues are sent to him at the police station; all mimicking John Kramer’s MO down to the red spiral symbol. It’s a race against time as everyone is working to find out who the new Jigsaw Killer is, but with so many enemies on the force can Zeke trust any of them to have his back? On top of that, why is this new killer targeting Zeke, and what secrets will he uncover about his own past along the way? I wonder how much nonsensical lore they had to read while going through the old Jigsaw case files. Was anyone in the world of the Saw movies able to ACTUALLY figure out what the heck was going on?
Jigsaw and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate Films
Directed by Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig
I have a… complicated relationship with the Saw films as a few of them are ACTUALLY pretty solid thrillers, but ALL of them suffer from some fundamental problems that dogged this series throughout its seven film run; not to mention accruing brand new problems along the way that only made it harder and harder to take seriously. I guess that’s not unusual for a series like this as the downfall of horror favorites like Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers are about as stark, but at least with THOSE films I found something to like even in the bad ones as the very loose commitment to continuity allowed for new voices and interesting ideas to permeate the series even when they were in a slump. Saw is one of the few franchise that took its continuity VERY seriously which is one of the many reasons the films became such a train wreck but is also why I’m genuinely interested to see where this one goes. Does this new iteration in the franchise right the course and set the stage for a whole new series of much better films, or should they have just let well enough alone? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins as most Saw movies do with someone dying in a horrible way. Okay, maybe not THAT horrible as he simply gets shot by the cops, but what appears to be just a car chase gone badly soon reveals itself to be the start of a new Jigsaw game which Detective Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie) is itching to solve along with his partner Detective Hunt (Clé Bennett) and forensic pathologists back at the station (Matt Passmore and Hannah Emily Anderson). As the game goes through the usual Saw paces of picking off its victims (Laura Vandervoort, Mandela Van Peebles, Paul Braunstein, and Brittany Allen) the bodies start showing up around town to mock the detectives’ lack of progress and to give them subtle clues that will lead them to solving this mystery. The biggest mystery though is how exactly these games are going on as John Kramer (Tobin Bell) who was the original Jigsaw killer has been dead for over a decade and as far as we know all his protégées have bit the dust by now. Okay, maybe not Dr Gordon, but if this movie wants to ignore what happened in THE FINAL CHAPTER, I’m perfectly fine with that. Who is REALLY behind this latest round of murders and could it somehow be John Kramer coming back from beyond the grave? What do the latest victims of the Jigsaw Killer have in common, and what will they need to sacrifice in order get out of these deadly traps? Seriously, how many of those freaking puppets did he make anyway!?