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Movie Review

Saw: The Final Chapter also known as “Saw 3D,” “Saw 7,” “Saw VII,” “Saw VII 3D,” “Saw: The Final 3D,” “El juego del miedo 3D: El capítulo final,” “Fürész 3D,” “Jogos Mortais—O Final,” “Sögin 3D”

MPAA Rating: R for sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, and language.

Reviewed by: B.R. Badger
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Horror Mystery Sequel 3D
Length:
1 hr. 30 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
October 22, 2010 (wide—2,700+ theaters)
DVD: January 25, 2011
Copyright, Lionsgate Films click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Lionsgate Films
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Lionsgate Films

Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem? Answer

VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

murder in the Bible

death

depravity of man

mercy

justice

Reviews of other films in this series

Saw I (2004)

Saw II (2005)

Saw III (2006)

Saw IV (2007)

Saw V (2008)

Saw VI (2009)

Featuring: Tobin Bell (Jigsaw / John), Cary Elwes (Dr. Gordon), Sean Patrick Flanery (Bobby), Costas Mandylor (Hoffman), Betsy Russell (Jill), Dean Armstrong (Cale), more »
Director: Kevin Greutert
Producer: A Bigger Boat, Serendipity Productions, Twisted Pictures, more »
Distributor: Lionsgate Films

“The trap comes alive”

For the past seven years John Kramer, a.k.a. The Jigsaw Killer, has reigned brutal terror on those he considers to be morally wayward. Though he is dead, he has one last “game” to enact before his puzzle is complete—to be carried out by his disciple Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), a crooked Detective with a violent and murderous nature.

Bobby Dagen, as portrayed by Sean Patrick Flanery, is a self-help guru who has written a book entitled S.U.R.V.I.V.E.—explaining how his own encounter with a Jigsaw trap transformed his life. Now his mission is to help others cope with their trauma, and be better off for it. ***Spoiler*** However, Bobby is a liar, he has never before been placed in a trap. He used the story to gain fame and fortune. ***End Spoiler*** Being thrust into a Jigsaw game, he has sixty minutes to face several obstacles in order to reach his wife (Gina Holden).

As plotless as a film like this can seem, it’s pretty thick here. Aside from Bobby’s story, there are several characters the film follows. Hoffman seeks vengeance upon Jill Tuck (Jigsaw’s widow), whom at the end of “Saw VI” put Hoffman into a head trap reminiscent of Amanda’s from “Saw I.” Jill pleads with the authorities to grant her immunity, in return giving them all the information they need about Hoffman. Gibson (Chad Donella) from Internal Affairs is just the cop for the job and is all too eager to stop the Jigsaw murders for good. The plot is much more complex, but is rather hard to explain without giving away too many plot points, as well as confuse anyone not familiar with the “Saw” universe.

The film’s official title is “Saw 3D.” “The Traps Come Alive” is the movie’s tagline, and “The Final Chapter” is an add-on to emphasize that this is the LAST Saw film (though I don’t think it is).

Morally speaking, this movie is extremely offensive. There’s abounding violence and plenty of language, and though there isn’t any spiritual content per se, it’s obvious Jigsaw is likened to God, because he decides who “plays” and who doesn’t.

It’s hard to even come close to describing the violence of “Saw 3D.” It is astoundingly more violent than any of its predecessors. People are either hung, slowly impaled by spikes, sawed, beaten, shot, gassed, have chains ripped out of their bodies, have their faces torn off by a car tire, thrown through a car window, have their jaws ripped open, place hooks into their own bodies or are burned. Lots of ick factor and cringe-inducing moments. Much too much is done to the innocent (as innocent as anyone can be, I guess) and people that did not “deserve” to die do just that. Unneeded and unwarranted violence for violence sake.

In the language category, it is very prevalent. Over 50 f-words and an assortment of all the rest throughout, plus “Oh my G*d” (10), “G-damn” (5), “Oh G*d” (5), and “My G*d”.

Morality is a big issue in the “Saw” films, at least a twisted view of it. Jigsaw genuinely tries to teach his victims not to steal, lie, murder, do drugs or any other shameful things. In “Saw 3D,” however, there is no redemption. People die just so the audience can see people die. Lots of traps are involved, just so there are traps. Too many people were unneeded and didn’t deserve their fates. The God factor is all but gone, it’s just murder.

“Saw 3D,” quality wise, fails to be anything but average. It obviously makes an effort to be the best, but I just couldn’t see the big idea. The film is rushed (due to the fact that there was to be a “Saw VIII,” which was scrapped after “Saw VI”’s poor box office performance), and I felt gypped. It is very obvious when plot points were to come from an additional sequel but were thrown into the mix here to get things over with. And what was with that last trap? Way too big and flashy, I’m sure even Jigsaw couldn’t have rigged that.

“Saw 3D” is probably the worst of the series, aside from the atrocious “Saw V.” And even though this is “the last chapter” of the “Saw” franchise, it doesn’t wrap the series up the way the filmmakers promised. Characters are unaccounted for, and the ending leaves it wide open for additional films.

Because of the violence alone, I cannot recommend this film to anyone. If you are a fan of the “Saw” series, I can’t really tell you to see it either, because it is short, rushed and doesn’t bring closure. “Saw 3D” is just an excuse to use 3D. On that note, the 3D is subtle and effective. That’s the only positive thing I can say about this film.

In closing, just stay away.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—Oh Saw, where to begin? First, coming from a big fan of the Saw series, I must say I was disappointed with Saw 3D’s storyline. If you are reading this, it is most likely because you are a fan as well, if not of Saw then at least of the horror genre. With this in mind, I am going to disregard any attempt at justifying the worth and lesson that can be learned through such movies.

Overall, Saw 3D was severely lacking in the moral lesson that made its (most of them) predecessors so great. That being said, it is still a highly entertaining movie and does answer many questions that fans would still have after the first six. Saw 3D has lost the “game” aspect, I think especially considering that not a single victim survives, the “hope” and “rebirth” virtues are completely absent. No longer the work of an evil genius, the killings are now acts of vengeance and have a much more “brutal serial killer” aspect.

Jigsaw always found a way to never actually kill his victims; Hoffman, however, seems to have no problem with it. So much for “I despise murderers”.

My favorite part of this movie was its clever social commentary. The second scene contains an outdoor trap in with two men must decide to either kill the other, or let the woman that was dating (playing) them both die. During this scene the spectators outside the glass box take out their phones and begin recording and taking pictures. It was interesting to listen to the theater laugh at this.

A clever viewer will realize that these people in the movie, fascinated by death and gore, are actually them watching the movie! Only once guts start flying do the witnesses (and viewers) begin to turn away.

In sum, Saw 3D, by far the least well done of the series, is more of the same. Purely a torture film, it has lost the lessons of its predecessors (although it does have some very intriguing plot twists, as do all of the Saw movies). However, even so, it is a must see for any Saw fan looking to tie loose ends.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Matt, age 20 (USA)
Negative
Negative—THE END. This phrase, for many years, signaled the conclusion of a movie or television show-the time when the credits would scroll and the lights would awaken the dimmed eye. At times, THE END came with groans and sighs from audience members who craved more action, more of the drama, more story, who wished there were more. Sitting in the dark theater having just watched Saw 7 (officially titled “Saw 3D: The Traps Come Alive”), the only groan was mine. Sadly, this was not a desire for more, but one of exasperation, a cry of 'Finally! THE END!'

“Saw 3D” brings to a conclusion one of the most-successful horror/slasher film series of all time. Each year since 2004, moviegoers have been “trick-or-treated” to a new chronicle of the grisly work of the infamous Jigsaw killer, a name given to John Kramer (Tobin Bell) for his unusual calling card carved into the bodies of his victims.

Throughout the series, Jigsaw traps his victims and places them in life-and-death “games” that are designed to require the player to choose to endure excruciating pain in order to learn some lesson about life and overcoming their addictions and vices. John actually died of cancer in the fourth sequel, but his “work” continued through the hands of other accomplices who were mentored by the evil mastermind. O

ne such partner is detective Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), who first appeared as in the third film. When John died, Hoffman took over; however, he was not as subtle as John and his blunders led police to suspect his involvement. In “Saw 3D,” Hoffman has completely gone over to the “dark side” and he is bent on exacting revenge on all those who have stood in his path.

We also meet Bobby (Sean Patrick Flanery) who has written a book and has gained significant riches detailing how he survived Jigsaw’s death trap. Bobby has created a support group for other survivors where he encourages participants to celebrate their new life and appreciate what they have been through; this group includes veteran actor Carey Elwes reprising his role as Dr. Gordon, the one survivor from the original Saw film. Bobby’s fame brings him to Hoffman’s attention, and Bobby is put to the most macabre tests ever seen in the Saw franchise. Unlike Jigsaw, Hoffman’s victims are not given the chance to live; their tests are virtually impossible to escape and death is certain.

Cinematically, this is a well done film, although it falls victim to Hollywood’s continued fascination with all things 3D. The two-dimensional version is satisfactory; there is really no need for the extra technology, except perhaps for an increased cost at the box office. Saw 3D, like the last three or four installments, suffers from the hands of its creators. Gone is the cerebral “what would you do” element of the original, which has left this film limp and little more than an overwrought slasher.

The themes of the Saw series are still there and are worth consideration: appreciation for life, the importance of quality family time, truth and honesty, marital fidelity, and living righteously. (You do, of course, have to ignore the guts and grossness to get to these themes).

If for nothing more than excessive gore and bad language, Christian audiences will want to avoid this film altogether. True fans will want to ignore the film simply because it is utterly disappointing and tarnishes the Saw legacy.
THE END
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Minor
My Ratings: Moviemaking quality: 4
Brian C. Johnson (USA)
Comments from young people
Neutral—The “Saw” series has been pandering its supposed “morality” since 2004, and it has finally reached its conclusion after seven entries. While the original Saw was a generally well made (if not over edited) film that pondered its moral quandaries quite well, only two of the films sequel (“Saw II” and VI) followed suit in any way, shape or form (to varying degrees of success). The “Saw” sequels have become nothing more than a cynical, cruel, nihilistic and ultimately dishonest money grab for Lions Gate. Any and all of the films ethical and moral questions that made the original “Saw” (still no absolute moral standing for the horror genre, I can assure you) interesting have all but died off in entries three, four, five and now seven, all of which decided that moral inquiries are too hard to follow.

Instead, these films have pretended to throw their twisted morality in with poorly made films with terribly mediocre soap opera excuses for plots that merely gave characters to the slaughter. Whenever these films had a character who actual underwent the world view change the Jigsaw killer was aiming for, they quickly and cruelly opted to end their lives anyway for the sake of gore fans (the worst perpetrators of this trait are films three, six and seven). They have hypocritically sold their souls for the sake of a blood soaked dollar and now, with the arrival of Saw 3D, the series has reached a new low in the levels of morality and quality.

“Saw: The Final Chapter” (3D or not) is one of the worst films I have ever seen. I have constantly complained that the overt color schemes and constant cuts were signs of poor filmmaking on the part of the filmmakers, and now that those have all but been done away with in this last entry, I am sure of it. This is one of the most amateur and indifferently directed films I’ve seen been released into the theaters, stripped of all its gaudy aesthetic the film lacks any sort of class or gloss and just looks terrible.

The acting reaches a surprising low in this entry (rather self-explanatory) and the writing is particularly poor as well. The film half of this film is less focused on moving forward the conclusion of the overall running plot as pushing as much gore in your face (literally, in jaw ripping 3D) as possible, the second half plays more like a few running chase scenes then a plot.

In the end, however, the real problem with this film isn’t the total lack of quality but the total lack of a moral center… any morality at all in fact. Saw 3D is a deadening, soulless, nihilistic exercise in cruelty; there is no compassion for these characters, the filmmakers don’t care whether they “learn their lesson” or not, nearly no one survives this film (even those who have done nothing wrong), but by how gruesome their untimely deaths can appear.

By the end of the film I nearly wanted to cry when the ***SPOILER*** main characters wife was killed because he didn’t finish his last “task”. There was no point in killing her, but she died. ***END SPOILER***

The value of a human life is so demeaned in this picture that it is not entertaining, it is not interesting, it is cruel and hypocritical. This is one of the most vile and ugly films I’ve ever seen, so gross and demeaning that audiences should storm the tech rooms where every copy of it is held and burn it so this disgrace cannot be subjected onto another human being who has ever cared about anyone or anything.

Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel designated a whole episode to “Friday the 13th” upon its initial release, lambasting the film for its nihilistic outlook on humanity and the worth of a life, if Gene was still alive, and they reviewed this film, they might have done the same thing.

To support this trash (as, unfortunately, I have) is a waste, not only of your time and money, but of the time and money others will spend on the inevitable reworking that will result from its success. For the love of all that is good and pure, uplifting and kind, please do not watch this “film”. Go watch “Casablanca,” watch “Beauty and the Beast” or “A.I. Artificial Intelligence,” watch “In the Mood for Love” or “American Beauty,” watch any film, but this anti-human atrocity.

The world is a better place than this movie would propose, don’t live it by watching this filmed nihilistic spite.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Joshua John, age 17 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—…I am astounded that there are positive comments about it. I feel that the excuse that there are some moralistic values in a film, is completely un-biblical. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Psalm 101:3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do NOT use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality:
—K.S, age 25 (USA)
Negative—For the life of me, I do not know why anyone who is Christian would waste their time and money to see this load of garbage. This movie… we’re not talking “Sweeney Todd” murders here, people. We are talking just sick and twisted! Remember… by going to see these films, you are supporting the people who made the film. And by supporting them, you give them your money. And by giving them your money, you are giving them the incentive you want MORE Saw movies. … Just something to think about, hm?
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality:
—Hanna, age 15 (United Kingdom)