That doesn't stop Hoffman from seeking Jill out or from continuing to set up elaborate traps to make random wrongdoers reconsider the error of their ways. One in particular strikes his fancy: Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery), a self-help guru who's gained fame by falsely claiming to have survived a Jigsaw trap. Hoffman (Or is it Jigsaw? It's hard to tell with the series' penchant for jumping around in time.) kidnaps Bobby and forces him to run through a gauntlet of traps to save the lives of his acquaintances and his wife Joyce (Gina Holden).
The End Result
The climactic "twist" is so telegraphed that I'm not even sure if it was supposed to be a twist. Meanwhile, the gauntlet that Bobby is forced to run through is just a rehash of William's task from the previous film, without the intriguing twist. The two main storylines -- Hoffman's pursuit of Jill and Bobby's trial -- never merge, while the extraneous traps feel tacked on just to boost the gore content.
Perhaps because the filmmakers knew that the story was so weak, the gore is Saw 3D's central selling point. It's head and shoulders more grisly than the previous entries in the series, featuring lingering close-ups on all manner of gougings, disembowelments and obliterations. As a horror fan, this is conflicting. The gore is well done, and I appreciate that it feels like little has been held back, but Saw 3D devolves into the "torture porn" that critics have derisively labeled the franchise from the start.
In the first Saw, the traps weren't as elaborate and were more of an afterthought compared to the mystery and the characters. Even in the lesser sequels, there has generally been an ongoing convoluted whodunit element that plays a bit like a grisly crime drama, but in this final entry, all sense of mystery has been thrown out the window in favor of one gratuitous gore scene after another. The 3-D element only serves to emphasize the fact that the film wants to overwhelm you with its visual rather than its plot.
Saw 3D feels like a desperate last gasp from a franchise that lost its Halloween box office domination last year, an attempt to pander to the lowest common denominator, throwing in the 3-D kitchen sink in the process.
- Acting: D+ (Caricature-like. Mandylor isn't a memorable or charismatic villain.)
- Direction: C- (Poor Kevin Greutert was forced into this film instead of Paranormal Activity 2, and he understandably doesn't seem to care.)
- Script: F (Just an excuse to throw in a bunch of gory trap scenes.)
- Gore/Effects: B (The only commendable part of the movie, although the gore feels a bit too gratuitous compared to the previous films in the series.)
- Overall: D+ (Possibly the worst of a once-dominant franchise.)
Saw 3D is directed by Kevin Greutert and is rated R by the MPAA for sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, and language. Release date: October 29, 2010.