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Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010)
Directed by Kevin Gruetert Written by Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan
Remember how I stated I enjoyed each installment within this series? Perhaps I should have clarified. Because as a whole, I believe the Saw series to be truly great in that it accomplished something a lot others couldn’t. Being able to sit down and watch each one without getting bored, having to see a random installment wrapped in time travel or completely nonsensical things, like returning from the dead 20 (or however many) years later. Or worse in being subjected to only viewing for the one, maybe two, cast members that more or less make the series for what its worth.
Because this last film was to be shot in 3D (which I am not big fan of), Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan began writing the script before even beginning the sixth. Meaning to be split into two parts, when the previous one failed to do as well as hoped, the two were forced to put everything into one film. An unfortunate aspect for the series being that most of everything needed to know in order to keep up, is told behind the scenes. For each commentary yields different outlooks as well a comedic essence that shows that while they take these films very serious, they generally did think everything through. Which, depending on how willing you are to give the seven films the amount of attention actually deserved, can make or break your opinion on them. I consistently do love the opening shot; seeing Dr. Gordon (Cary Elwes) crawl away sent little fan girl tingles down my spine as I praised his return, in whatever aspect they were willing to give. And while they open with the open public test for subjects Brad (Sebastian Pigott) and Ryan (Jon Cor), it was as well meant for Evan’s (Chester Bennington) test to be the opening sequence. With no way of knowing it was a past event, there was a proposed alternate scene in which the camera would pan out to John (Tobin Bell) and the Doctor within the crowd, witnessing the spectacle that his work had transformed into.
But where they began to lose me was among two different aspects. Casting is obviously an important factor in any film. You can have a great crew and vision behind an idea that will turn into something really memorable. Except if your Actors fail to blend into the environment created, especially having six preceding films, your left with a sub par movie that doesn’t give it justice. The other aspect of the story-line seemed to evolve into Jigsaw having done multiple tests of which were to “random” citizens,very unlike what we’ve seen unfold. Making it as though forming into some kind of trend of which the public eye became involved in. Teaching life lessons by the masses and developing an “army” of survivors that were to lend a hand in small matters seeing fit. For if able to survive, besides having to live with the ordeal gone through, assisting in teaching others the same hard lesson learned. Which I wasn’t sure if I could jump on board with wholeheartedly as it opened up a whole other aspect to the game that could have had its own seven picture deal.
But back to casting. While noting that I have found pleasure out of both Actors in other films, Sean Patrick Flanery (Bobby) and Chad Donella (Gibson) were completely wrong choices for the film. They also gave Betsy Russell a bit more air time, however I thought she was best kept in small increments. Unable to tell whether she was laughing or crying half the time and not necessarily minding her die twice. But the award for most unconvincing has to go to Donella whose “hard” imaged Internal Affairs Agent was delivered comically and as though something out of a shotty TV crime drama on late night television. Holding a grudge with Hoffman after reporting him back when in uniform, he was told he’d be paid back after busting three of his men upon entering Internal Affairs. His antics were dry and his death scene (spoiler!) made me laugh as per the reaction on his face as he flew back into the wall. The deep voice trying to accomplish becoming embarrassingly harder to hear as the film progressed and my point is simply, he belongs in comedies.
The character of Bobby (on the other hand), had been nicely compensated for an elaborate hoax having claimed to have survive. The truth actually being while down on his luck and without so much as a clue of a next move in life, partnering up with best friend Cale (Dean Armstrong) in deciding to make a buck or two off of a false reality. Knowing a lawyer (Rebecca Marshall) and Publicist (Naomi Snieckus) that would gladly assist in selling their fabrication. That aspect of the story I found appealing because I could actually see that happening. The traps each are sacrificed in are an evolved side to the game that was only expected to happen. But before able to reach his wife, he must pull out his molars of which yielded a pair of numbers for a combination (how the hell do they explain that?) that opened up the room containing her. Admitting to his wife (who had also been duped) of the truth and enduring the test claiming to have already experienced. Though failing within the last few seconds, his wife’s enclosed within a pig iron, and he forced to watch her burn alive. Having an original ending meant for after the credits which would feature Bobby at the Hospital. Dr. Gordon turning around in a last frame to state how he would be just fine; leading into their sought after part two. Though the problem I had with Flanery was I couldn’t decide if it was a matter of overacting/under acting or a combination of the two, he simply didn’t mesh well, nor was anything memorable about the last installment.
Knowing Hoffman was supposed to die previously certainly entailed a bit more carnage would be seen this time around. No longer watching John’s game being played out. But rather, the nonsensical doings of a madmen who had grown hungry from the power given. Unable to stop killing as almost having his face ripped apart hardly held him back. But Costas is such a great villain (made for it really) that if he hadn’t of survived, would have hindered the outcome of the film further. The choice to not reveal the other two masked men that help capture him being an undoubtedly confusing moment, though happened to be Brad and Ryan. Which are also in the support group that several returning cast members were apart of, including the Doc. Lawrence’s involvement streaming from the fact of being the one behind all the surgical procedures seen in the games. Merely helping when able as in turn, was asked to look after Jill and if anything should happen, act accordingly as John would. Hoffman’s revenge in seeking out Jill being what caused his alienation at the end as we’re brought full circle (for real this time) to the bathroom where it all began. The last 3D shot being a nice touch as Elwes superb delivery of lines made the entire movie worth watching with Hoffman left to rot within the world he helped create.