Saw 3Dby Nathan Casey / 05.03.2011
In an effort to beef up my opinion on the seventh instalment of the Saw series, I spent an evening on the couch – popcorn and nausea pills within easy reach – viewing episodes one through seven. The franchise starts out well, but somewhere along the way becomes convoluted and confusing – a case of a slightly twisted, very emo scriptwriting committee trying to be too clever.
The first few movies gave the cancer-riddled antagonist some kind of direction. His life-changing disease inspiring Machiavellian machines to show unappreciative slobs how precious their lives should be. But somewhere along the way they lost that particular thread and became all about the gore.
This movie is bulletproof and dead in the water all at once. No review, no matter how scathing, will stop those who’re gonna watch it from watching it, and no amount of praise-singing will get anyone not-interested to give it a bash.
Nevertheless, with my mind on my stomach and exploding intestines on my mind I headed warily into part VII, 3D glasses in hand, and hoped I’d mastered some kind of Zen-like control over my gag reflex.
The plot centres around Bobby Dagen (a wooden Sean Patrick Flanery), whose biographical account of his escape from a Jigsaw trap has brought him the big bucks set him on the path to self-help guru fame. But it’s all bollocks! He’s a faker. Never been in a trap. And his big fib earns him a good kidnapping and a journey through a series of futile attempts to save work colleagues and friends who’re in on the deception.
His trip is punctuated with graffiti’d philosophical gems like this pearl necklace of wisdom – ‘verify your self-worth through commitment’, ‘value your loved ones’, ‘brush your teeth twice a day’, ‘don’t pick your nose in public’.
By this point the traps have become overly-complicated and boring. The cardboard characters, ironically, are so two-dimensional it’s impossible to care whether they live or die. The shredded guts and flying body parts are nothing we haven’t been soaked in before, and I honestly couldn’t tell if Saw VII was less gruesome or my brain had just been bludgeoned into desensitised numbness.
Long forgotten loose ends are stitched up and there is a half-hearted attempt at tying it all in to the first movie. After six previous instalments it all gets a little bit mundane. The short 88 minute run time is all that saves this experience from becoming as torturous as the scenes they depict on screen.