This review contains SPOILERS! However, I am sure that you do not care as it is not the type of franchise that overly matters if you pay attention to what is going on or not. Maybe that is why I feel frustrated with this series, and this particular film in general, as most of these films turn out to be a load of crap, and while Jigsaw, the newest addition has the potential, especially when revelations occur towards the end of the film, the movie is ultimately naff.

I have to admit that Saw is a little guilty pleasure of mine, even if 80% of them are rubbish. Personally I love Saw 1 and Saw 3, mainly the third one (strangely) as the story of the grieving father on a personal quest of vengeance, punishing or forgiving those responsible for his son’s death, as well as the brilliant twist at the end, just made it a great film. Number 3 also marked the end of the main antagonist; John Kramer AKA Jigsaw himself!
Since then, the Saw movies became a bit of an annual joke. I have seen them all and desperately wanted them to be good, but they are always ALWAY a massive let down. The overall premise of the films are good, as well as the basic original concept, but due to churning them out over and over again throughout the years, they became just gory films that people craved for in the mid naughties, and their quick production meant that they were badly made, poorly written, and terribly acted (except for Jigsaw himself; Tobin Bell, who played the role of John Kramer brilliantly, given the terrible script and story he had to work with).

So titled; Jigsaw, instead of just Saw, or Saw8, it follows the story of a detective trying to solve the apparent return of John Kramer, following a body that was found. He has medical examiners assist and they all work together to try and discover what exactly is going on, especially since John has been dead for like 10 years!
Meanwhile 5 new people awaken inside one of Jigsaw’s games and must avoid death as they survive their way to confess their sins and hopefully escape John’s trap for them.
So the story is pretty much what has happened before. They did have a chance here for a clean reboot and try something new, or even try and recapture the magic of the original Saw (which was just the two guys in the room as they tortured themselves to the truth/freedom), which would have been a great starting point for a brand new franchise (sailing under the Jigsaw flag now), but instead they just decided to pick up where they left off and make another crud Saw film, which made me feel that the series had not been on hiatus for however many years, and this film was just another annual cash-in.

At this point, I would like to state that Saw2 is my least favourite. I know that later films were just as rubbish, but by then I had already accepted that the Saw series had become a joke and was just a cash cow (like Paranormal Activity and other annual releases of the same franchises that occurred in the same era).
The main season I did not like Saw2, other than the fact that it followed on from Saw1 which was generally a good and unique film, was that it was unpredictable, yet Jigsaw knew it was going to happen. For example, there is a classic scene when a guy looks through an eye hole in a door and it turns out to be a trap and there is a gun attached to the door handle, causing the guy to get his head blown off. Now if it was the kid (Donnie Wahlberg’s son – not in real life of course, just in this film series) was the one who looked through the eye hole, then the whole film would have been for naught and totally ruined John Kramer’s amazing plan. It was too convenient. That is one of my biggest qualms with this type of film, and number 2 was terrible for it.
They did try and explain it in a later film, stating that John Kramer was able to predict how people were going to think and act, and actually referenced that exact moment, probably because people moaned about it, but it seems so wishy-washy.

This is another problem that occurs in this new Saw him. At one point the specific character got trapped, but it really could have been anyone of the people in the puzzle who became trapped. Jigsaw mentions this in one of his “Play me” tapes, but there was no way in knowing that exact guy would fall into the trap! It could have been anyone, and unless John Kramer is live-steaming and the “play me” tape was just a rouse, then it is complete unpredictable. I know that if I tried to make this trap, it would not go at the way I wanted it to, so there is noway I would write myself into a corner by referencing things you cannot possibly predict (oh now wait… apparently John Kramer can ¬_¬).

Which brings me to my next point. The plot. Its a total shit show throughout. I am one of the odd people that have been (sort of) following the plots of these films, and this one blew everything out of the water, but not in a good way.
I was so angry and confused why Tobin Bell was in this film. I like him as a character and as an actor, but John Kramer is dead! DEAD! And what the fuck is up with his beard?!
How is he still alive? He has been proper dead for 10 years, like throat cutting + cancer DEAD! If he is still alive, why did he allow the other saw film’s events to occur the way they did?
It was an enormous tangled mess, like a pile of Christmas lights, type of mess, which made me angry throughout and actually caused me to not enjoy this film whilst I was watching it.
The ending of the film totally sorted this out and fixed any issues I had with it. It was madness. It is really my own fault for being so pissed off with it and not waiting until I knew the bigger picture, so with this in mind, if you watch this film, then just wait until the end before you pass judgement.
It will not save this film from being overly mediocre and forgettable, but the twist ending did earn it an extra robot on this review.
After things like Westworld, I should always be thinking that not everything is happening at the same time, and years could have passed between one set of events and another, which was the case in this movie, so it is really my own fault for not giving the writers the benefit of the doubt, but given the rest of the film’s plot issues, it was an easy mistake to make.

Speaking of which, here are some of the other issues I had with the movie’s plot;
The kid in the bike crash was John Kramer’s nephew? What the fuck is up with this guy? Every single person related to him, or that he meets in the street dies some horrible death, or suffers in total agony?

Where did Jigsaw get all the money for these insane contraptions and gizmos? But I suppose this is an issue that I have had from the beginning of this franchise, so I guess it is not THIS movie’s fault.

There is a bit where they go and dig up John Kramer’s grave to discover a missing victim in there… now, surely they would have noticed the grave had been disturbed?

I did like the backwards shotgun bit, but I HATE how character’s always figure these things out, even if it was moments before it happened. There is no way I would be able to gather what John was on about through his cryptic message hidden in a normal conversation.

The broken key bit is a bit of a bastard, if I am honest. John always ensured that there was a way out of the puzzle, if they were willing to sacrifice themselves (or a bit of themselves) to do it. That was the point of the substory of Saw 3, in that there always has to be a way to survive it, so a key being broken by an event that was not the contestant’s fault, is a proper kick in the teeth.
So what? John just left him to starve to death? That’s pretty horrific. Surely he would have noticed that he had made a colossal balls up and gone back to allow the guy to leave (he had already lost a left at this point! Come on man! He has suffered enough).

I was livid about the guy’s face not coming apart when the lasers went through it, but again, this was me getting angry before I knew the whole picture, and the fact that it was a trick made up for it. Of course we have to endure another John Kramer protégée storyline, as we have done about three times already (why didn’t he just get them all working together? And when did he make the time for all of them?).
When the twist is revealed and some of the major issues with this film were resolved, I actually came away from it satisfied, which, for something like this, is all you can ask for. The ending answered the majority of my questions and they saved the goriest moment for last.

With regards to gore, which is of course the main focus of this franchise (being a Gorror, a sub-genre of Horror, as it is not scary, it is just gruesome), while the film has a few moments (as well as the big one at the end), it is nowhere near as gory as past films. Some of which actually became less gory than others the longer the franchise went on. They tried their best, in this film, with what they had to work with, given that there is only a limited number of characters.

With a run time of an hour and a half, the film had to cram a lot in, including this illusive conspiracy plotline, so it can feel a little bit of a rush job.

Overall, if you are a fan of the Saw franchise and have watched all of them, then you are probably not interested in the plot and might welcome the return of the franchise, picking up exactly where it had left and not learning anything, but for me, the film was a bit of a disappointment. While it did have some good moments, and the twist ending resolving most of my issues did earn it an extra point, the film is a bit of a throwaway for something that could have been so much more.

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