The 'Not-So-Critical' Critic:
on JIGSAW (2017, 91 minutes, R)
The Quick of It -
Yes, another SAW film. If you are a fan, you will find your appetite sated in this added chapter. I know my tiny, sociopathic ‘devil on the shoulder’ was excited for another installment of blades, needles, and monstrous contraptions.
What to expect?
Uniquely engineered devices used to bring nearly-irredeemable souls closer to atonement? Check.
Blood and limbs flung in all directions? Check.
The clever revelations as to our lovely participants and who is responsible? Check.
This film has it all, and doesn’t really have a chance to disappoint. This is what happens when you keep a tightly written, ‘playful’ story. You know we all love ‘games’.
I first became a fan when I learned of the genius behind the franchise’s start. If you didn’t know, the struggle was real to get this project backed. But, in the end, they got greenlit by Evolution Entertainment and the fun began. They were given a $1.2 million budget and shot the film in 18 days. The result… grossing over $100 million worldwide. Damn skippy.
Then, in a crazed ‘hair up the ass’ moment, I sat through seven SAWs over a weekend’s time. It was a long moment, but I walked away with a greater appreciation for the overall story arc. Don’t get me wrong, the plot thread is painted with a simple brush and has an abstract presentation. But the enjoyment comes with realizing that the moral core speaks louder than you expect, giving you a greater respect for your mortal life and the punishment you may ‘deserve’ will never compare to what Jigsaw would do.
Directs Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig prove that this never-ending franchise still has some gas. You may think the tank low, but you need to have a little faith in Mr. John Kramer. The acting is just enough to keep you engaged and constantly guessing at the possible conclusions, which does offer a nice twist. But, take it from me… just sit back and relax. Enjoy the cringe-filled ride. In truth, there is very little else that can be said to make you want to see this other than being a SAW fan.