Saw: The Final Chapter
By Kyle McCoy
For the record, I watched this movie on DVD, so I won’t be discussing any 3D aspects of the film. But, more importantly, what’s the title of this movie? That was the question due to some confusion. It was announced as “Saw 3D: The traps come alive!” but that was revealed to be the tag line and the title was just Saw 3D. But on the DVD it just says “Saw: The Final Chapter” and Amazon bills it as that with a “(formerly Saw3D).” So basically it’s been called everything other than what it should have been: Saw VII. Let’s dive in.
The subject this time is Bobby Dagen, a Jigsaw survivor who makes a truckload of money doing TV spots and book deals by retelling his grizzly tale of survival. He also acts as a counselor to other Jigsaw victims, attempting to turn all of their experiences into a kind of self-help program. He seems to be on the fast-track to success…until he wakes up in a dark room and has 60 minutes to pass a series of tests in order to save his friends. This is all entertaining enough to keep your attention but it’s also all stuff that we’ve seen before. But not as good as previous installments, making for a big letdown. Especially when this is the final film of the series.
Saw VII 3D: The Final Chapter (ugh) features 11 different death-traps, the highest count of the franchise. However, none of them are particularly creative. In fact, the only one that stands out in my mind is the very first one and only then because it’s so cheesy. I know they probably had the “last film” mindset, so they tried to pull out all the stops and do some pretty unbelievable things, but viewers are going to have a hard time suspending their belief long enough for ‘the public trap’ to take place. Three people wake up strapped to a few buzz saws in a glass enclosure in the middle of a busy street. I like the idea of passersby being subjected to viewing this game but being unable to help or interfere but would they really just stand around? Taking cell phone photos? Well, maybe they would but no one is going to try to find the door? Or break the glass? Bah.
Of course, we’re still following Hoffman in his new mission to get revenge on Jill Tuck but this whole story is pushed to the side (and rightfully so.) Clearly no plan was in place to wrap up the Jigsaw’s protégés storyline because it gets to the point where Hoffman is just running around, stabbing people in the neck. This is exactly the horror-cliché that Saw has always avoided and it baffles me why they would go this route. For the last installment, they chose to devolve our villain into a thug chasing a woman around with a knife? Really?
I’ve read comments that people complained about the bad acting in this movie, especially the latest police protagonist, Gibson. What I think they fail to realize is that Gibson (and all the police characters throughout this entire series) are played strictly for comedy. It’s honestly a refreshing break from the non-stop carnage going on in all the games and gives the audience a chance to breath and laugh at something before diving in to Bobby’s next test. Which they felt they didn’t need an ending for, by the way, so his traps just kind of…stop. We don’t even see what happens to him.
Final Rating: 3D out of 10D. I thought this could be the best Saw yet. A chance to reveal all the cards they’ve been saving, that they would somehow tie all the movies together again, making one big cohesive story as they’ve done so well in the past. But Jigsaw is in this movie for all of five minutes, the twists are predictable, there’s hardly any resolution to anything and overall, it just feels rushed. They could have ended this on an epic scale but apparently the best thing about this film is that there won’t be any more. Do yourself a favor, end the franchise with Saw VI and always let this one be a mystery.