Friday, October 24, 2014

Saw: The Final Chapter (Kevin Greutert, 2010) Review

We're finally here. We finally made it to the end. It's good to see a franchise that actually ends. Concrete. Look at that title. There is no way they can do another one but, quite frankly, they shouldn't have done another one after Saw VI anyway. That would've been a high note for the series to end on but here we are. Maybe it won't be so bad. Most people would save the best for last...or so you would think. Let's take a look at Saw: The Final Chapter. Yes I am ignoring what it's called on the title sequence and in cinemas...shut up.

Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery) is a supposedly acclaimed survivor of Jigsaw's traps who begins a campaign to bring all the survivors together and start a support group where they find a special guest sitting in. A man we haven't seen in a long, long time makes his overdue return as we learn what he has been doing since he left. In a bit of irony, Bobby is abducted and thrown in another trial where has to save his wife from, quite frankly, one of the most horrific deaths ever conceived. Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) also does whatever it takes to exact revenge on Jill (Betsy Russell) after what she pulled at the end on Saw VI as the end of Jigsaw's reign is on the horizon.

You may have gathered by now that I am a huge fan of the 'Saw' franchise. However, if there is one thing I cannot ignore is that Saw: The Final bad. Normally I would be able to defend the 'Saw' films but not this one. If you were to make a film based on what outsiders think 'Saw' is, this would be it. Mindless, senseless and all around stupid. The traps are the most boring that the series has even seen and border on slapstick at times. My biggest gripe is that this is contradictory since Jigsaw wanted to end the games with Will from Saw VI. There is no reason to continue after Jigsaw's arc was encapsulated at the end of Saw VI and is evident by the fact that he is almost forgotten in this one. It's just an excuse to finish of Hoffman and Jill's petty rivalry. The traps are made for no other reason than to appease the 3D tagline the film boasts (that I refuse to put in the title. 3D should not BE the movie, rather an after thought).

There are some things that do work. The ending, that I dare not spoil is, is one of the best examples of a perfect franchise ending. It caps off the series perfectly and can't praise it enough. The dialogue, acting, music, cinematography...perfect. My big buzz word for Saw is "cathartic" but I only got that sense twice throughout the whole thing. Nothing feels justified and therefore the whole point is missed. What's the point if you can even fathom what Saw has built up over this length of time. Saw III and VI nailed that aspect yet the last one of the franchise completely fails on all accounts.

Saw: The Final Chapter is, admittedly, an insulting way to end the series UNTIL the ending comes around. If you stapled the ending to Saw VI, we'd be golden. This one is nothing but pointless filler to appease those creepy teenagers with blood lusts who don't understand what makes 'Saw' a fascinating franchise to begin with. Two people wrote this and I would believe that had one of them only written this one. Something clearly went wrong as one of them wanted to tie up all loose ends (done remarkably well, I admit) while the other just wanted for pointless violence with some of the series's worst traps. The ending is perfect, that much is evident, as is the use of existing characters but everything else misses the point.

While the ending may be one of the most perfect endings to a franchise I've seen, the film as a whole misses the whole point of what Saw is.

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