Reviewed by: Andrew Amick
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|Featuring||Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Bahar Soomekh, Angus MacFadyen, Dina Meyer|
|Director||Darren Lynn Bousman|
|Producer||Leigh Whannell, James Wan, Stacey Testro|
|Distributor||Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)|
“Like father, like daughter.”
The violence, as expected, is over-the-top, and that is an understatement. If Saw was the brains, Saw II was the brauns, then “Saw III” would certainly be their all-surpassing child, with scenes including the bludgeoning and breaking of limbs, the slow crunch and twists of every limb on a machine called “The Rack,” the screams of a woman hanging in a freezer being sprayed with water, self-mutilation, a seizure, shotgun blasts to the head, throats cut, ribcage ripped out, and a few other grotesques. The violence is the biggest vice of this movie, but I will explain more on this later.
Bottom Line: The violence is horrendous, disgusting, and gratuitous. But it isn’t all without reason.
The language is heavy with profanity (actually, few uses of God’s name in vain, ironically), but not much else can be expected considering the context of the entire movie. The language is most heavy with the F-words, S-words, and scarcely the B-word.
Bottom Line: The profanity is heavy, but only fitting for a movie like this.
There is no sex, but only one scene of almost tortuous nudity. A woman is strung up, naked, in a freezer, as mist sprays her. The scene is not sexual in the least, but conversely—it is a scene of torture—it is only of Jeff’s tests of forgiveness.
Bottom Line: There is nudity, but it isn’t graphic or sexual. Instead, it is a short view.
The twists and turns of the morals amplify, contradict, agree with, and suppress each other. The covering moral of the movie is that hate, vengeance, revenge, and complacency brings more pain than anything else, and does not solve anything. It ruins families, destroys relationships, clouds judgment, and is at its core: self-destruction. Jeff had to suffer greatly as he watched those he he hated be tortured, first overwhelmed by rage, and then compassion for his fellow humans. Jeff must also confront the hate in himself, and whether he will watch the victims die and become a murderer at heart (remember, Jesus said that if you have hate in your heart, you’ve already murdered). Jeff was so swallowed up by his rage, and lived with nothing but vengeance, that he lost everything and couldn’t see how bad it was until he saw the victims in their most human form, writhing in pain.
Bottom Line: The morals draw a complicated web of virtue and vice. I leave it up to interpretation to whether it was a lesson in vain or vindicated.
Unlike its predecessor, “Saw III” boasts a strong storyline; a plotline of humanity in its joy, sorrow, loss, gain, life, and death. Saw III works on the feelings of revenge, hate, forgiveness, gratefulness, envy, wrath, cruelty, compassion—feelings that all humans have fallen to and some remain in, all which require some loss and feelings of suffering to overcome. Yes, I can agree that dirty violence is not a good presentation of such a moral point; because the rebirth of Christians (born-again Christians) is the same thing: we shed things like fear, hate, revenge, envy, and grow to be better, to be more Christ-like. “Saw III” tries to accomplish this moral standpoint, just without any direct reference to Christians, God, or any of that sort.
Bottom Line: I leave it up to interpretation to whether, again, the storyline is redemptive or not.
I must add here, my own opinion and somewhat a justification on the amount of violence used. I may be de-sensitized to violence (I am Christian, but have not had the privilege of having Christian parents, a Christian home, and moving around a lot has ruined any chance of being a church regular), but I find that though the violence in “Saw III” is very over-the-top, I can think of no other movie that delivers just a poignant, universal, human, personal, and applicable moral as effectively: living with hate and vengeance only makes the pain greater, and forgiveness is the ultimate everything (Hey wait, didn’t Jesus ask God to forgive us humans, even in his last dying moment?). I can agree that the violence is sickening, and this may be my over-sensitivity speaking, but I find that the storyline and lessons to be a justifiable end to the disgusting means.
I would argue that if I can handle the dirty torture of “The Passion of the Christ” (tastefulness and value is not the issue here: torture is torture), I can sit through three death-traps and brain surgery in “Saw III.” There are few movies out there that are so morally poignant and can still keep a clean slate as far as violence and language, and still be as poignant and relative to its audience. Instead, we get movies like “Saw III,” and as grossly violent as they are, offer a moral poignancy that all humans can relate to—not just Christians (as most Christian movies do), not just this or that certain group. For this I must praise “Saw III,” but for its unnecessary violence, I must not fully condone it.
Summary: The violence is horrendous and dirty. The language is heavy. The nudity is minor. The storyline is complicated and, left up to interpretation, is a very enlightening or a very disgusting one. I do not recommend this movie to anyone who cannot tolerate violence, or extreme violence even. If you could not handle the torture violence of “The Passion of the Christ,” the previous “Saw” movies, or “The Cell,” then “Saw III” will be, by a long shot, too much for you. Children should never see this; those offended by language should not see this.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Minor
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