U.S. Theatrical Release: October 27, 2006
Tagline: "Sometimes Rules Are Meant To Be Broken."
Jigsaw (Tobin Bell ~ 'Saw', 'Saw II'
) is back, decreeing pronouncement upon those he finds unworthy of the gift that they have been given. Life.
However, the authorities are puzzled by what they find as they sift through the remains of one of his latest victims. They do not bear the trademarks of Jigsaw's traditional ethic. They are far more cruel and unfair than anything that they have uncovered in the past.
Saw III picks up with a bed-ridden Jigsaw and his now apprentice, Amanda (Shawnee Smith ~ 'Saw', 'Saw II'
). Amanda is a former victim and survivor of Jigsaw's games and, still having eluded the authorities, they have set up their little shop of horrors in another part of the community.
He is training Amanda to carry on his noble
crusade against those whom he considers are wasting their lives away, in his tutelary opinion, before the ravages of brain cancer forces him to retire. Permanently.
In this new series of games Amanda has kidnapped Dr. Lynn Denhon (Bahar Soomekh ~ 'M.I.:3'
), an exceptionally skilled E.R. surgeon who is struggling with personal issues on her homefront. She has been taken to Jigsaw's warehouse lair and been instructed by Amanda to keep Jigsaw alive by whatever means necessary until his new prey finishes his series of 'puzzles', in an effort to teach this new victim a life lesson. If Jigsaw flatlines before the newbie finishes the game, or if Lynn gets more than 30 feet away from her new patient, an explosive collar around her neck will detonate.
The subject of the duo's new 'game' is a man called Jeff (Angus Macfayden ~ ('Alias' TV Series
), a grieving father who can not get over the death of his son who was killed by a drunk driver. Jeff has become absorbed with the concept of revenge against his son's killer and against the judicial system that let the driver off with only a six month sentence. And this obsession has cost him dearly in his professional and personal life. He has become estranged from his wife and distanced himself from his daughter.
As Dr. Lynn struggles to keep Jigsaw alive, going as far as performing an operation to remove a piece of Jigsaw's skull to relieve the pressure on his brain (a particularly disgusting scene), Jeff, in another secured part of the industrial warehouse (where the entire film is set) is driven into a series of tasks that will put him into direct contact with the people connected to his son's accident. This will test him about not only his ability to forgive those people that he would exact vengeance upon, but also put his survival skills to the test to see if he could actually become a changed and better man.
If Jeff can pass Jigsaw's tests, both he and Dr. Lynn will be granted their freedom.
Director Darren Lynn Bousman (who directed 'Saw II'
) and screenwriters James Wan and Leigh Wannell (who created the series) are back in fine form in what could be considered the most solid film of the series. This installment is very character driven. Especially the interaction between Amanda and Jigsaw. Amanda is an intelligent but troubled woman, struggling with how she has come to this position in her life. And Jigsaw's affections for his new doctor is not helping her unlock any answers.
Or is it a game that he has Amanda playing!?
This film is definitely not for the faint of heart. In fact, it should come with a warning, " not for the squeamish". The torturous devices in this film (like the 'water spritzed freezer locker' or the 'sluice pit filling with the remains of butchered hogs') far exceed anything we've seen in the franchise thus far. (I shimmied in my seat more than Tina Turner singing 'Proud Mary'.)
Each of the primary characters' recieve flashback scenes which flesh out more of their motivations and sadly, we learn why Detectives Troy (J. LaRose) and Kerry (Dina Meyer) are no longer on the case (sorry... spoiler for fans). The scenes are powerful and disheartening (no joke intended).
Solidly written, brutal and gruesome and absolutely the best of the series. A stinging twist at the end makes for a truly arduous and grisly final 15 minutes and this is where the should be trilogy should call it quits.
It will not however,and although left open for a sequel I feel that it should finish here. The primary characters have fulfilled their story arcs, yet it will be a cold-blooded, money hungry Hollywood that will keep this franchise trundling on, driving it into the ground, tarnishing and ultimately ruining an edge-of-your-seat horrifying, yet assuaging (for hard core horror fans only) series of films.
The creators have outdone themselves. Let it go while you're on top.
Rating: 3 1/2 'Ground-up Hog Carcasses' out of 5
TITLE: Saw III ~ STUDIO: LionsGate Films ~ MPAA RATING: *R* for Strong Grisly Violence and Gore, Sequences of Terror and Torture, Non Sexual Nudity and Language ~ RUNNING TIME: 107 Minutes ~ STARRING: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Angus Macfayden, Bahar Soomekh ~ DIRECTED BY: Darren Lynn Bousman
The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of 'jonja.net nor it's owner.
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