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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Tobin Bell, Betsy Russell, Costas Mandylor, Cary Elwes
DIRECTED BY
Kevin Greutert
SCREENPLAY
Marcus Dunstan, Patrick Melton
MPAA RATING
Do you really have to ask?
RUNNING TIME
90 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Lionsgate
DVD EXTRAS
Producers’ Audio Commentary • Writers’ Audio Commentary
Deleted and Extended Scenes
Music Videos
Theatrical Trailer
 "Saw 3-D" Review 
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If you find yourself relatively unconcerned about the quality of filmmaking in, well, a film, then Saw 3-D may very well be your absolute favorite from this seven flick torture-porn series revolving around the not even remotely mysterious Jigsaw. Rumored, and I stress rumored, to be the absolute final in the Saw series, Saw 3-D ups the ante for Jigsaw's antics by presenting the entire torturous affair in 3-D.

I'm not sure which one's sillier... the film or the fact that I had to watch those silly glasses to actually watch it.

Saw 3-D is, for the most part, incompetently made. Yet, the film is made with such an over-the-top incompetence that fans who have become enamored by the myriad of ways in which series founders Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton have found to torture Jigsaw's victims are likely to giggle with glee at this larger than life, energetically inept final adventure with Jigsaw.

Before we go any further, I should stress to you that while Saw 3-D is, indeed, in 3-D that seeing it in this advanced technology is far from necessary as the 3-D imagery utilized may actually be even more incompetently constructed than was that in M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, the year's previous low utilizing 3-D. Viewing this film in 2-D, if you simply must view it at all, is more than enough and it's absolutely guaranteed that you'll be missing nothing of any substance.

As sick and twisted as the Saw series has always been, the first couple of films had a certain savage glory about them that made them extremely watchable. The villainry of Jigsaw possessed a certain twisted morality and Tobin Bell's performance was diabolically even in all the right ways. However, Saw III killed off the series' namesake and every film that followed, even the almost competent Saw 6, has been a downward spiral into cinematic hell. The acting has become increasingly inept, the technology a waste, the storyline an afterthought and, well, the only purpose for the entire series has obviously been a return to the Jigsaw cash cow and cinematic voyages into techno-killing.

Yet, this film is so inept, so badly acted and so incompetently made that there will be a select few of the Saw loyalists who will consider this to be the most twisted, most fun and, as a result, the most entertaining of the seven films.

Silly? You betcha', as Sarah Palin would say.

While Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) occasionally shows up in flashbacks, the film centers around one-time victim and current Jigsaw protege' Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) along with Jigsaw's former wife, Jill (Betsy Russell). The film tosses in a fresh victim (Sean Patrick Flanery), a seeker of riches who is attempting to hit the talk show circuit as a "survivor" of Jigsaw. Plus, we'll get an unexpected return that adds up to nothing new at all for this long dead series that we can only hope really is in its final chapter.

Director Kevin Greutert offers nothing fresh to the series, but even series creators Dunstan and Melton can't manage to put together a script that truly justifies the existence of this final film. The acting, which should improve as cast members' return to previously played characters, has instead significantly worsened with Costas Mandylor and Betsy Russell both reminding us why they're now Z-list performers.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic 
    The Official Rating Guideline
    • A+ to A: 4 Stars                
    • A- to B+: 3.5 Stars            
    • B: 3 Stars                         
    • B- to C+: 2.5 Stars           
    • C: 2 Stars
    • C- to D+: 1.5 Stars
    • D: 1 Star
    • D-: .5 Star
    • F: Zero Stars

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