Be warned. I will be spoiling these movies from here on out, because the twists in the first two movies play a part from this point forward. If you do not want to be spoiled, avoid these reviews, or skip to the overall segments. I will point out when I will be spoiling certain moments in the movies, so here is your second to final spoiler warning.
1.) (SPOILERS) I like the relationship and conflict between Jigsaw and Amanda. Their relationship consists as a father and a daughter, and they genuinely care for each other despite the fact that they are both psychopaths, or rather Jigsaw is a psychopath and Amanda is a murderer. That is what makes their relationship conflicting: Jigsaw gives his victims a chance to win his “games,” but Amanda rigs them so that the victims have no chance of winning; she intends to kill them. That makes interesting drama and battle of beliefs. (END SPOILERS)
2.) The movie tries to give more emotional context like the first movie, and it works to an extent. One of the main victims of this movie, Jeff has an emotional turmoil in his game since he lost his son in a car accident, and he is not satisfied with the guilty party’s result in trial. He is in charge of other persons’ fates in their “games,” but each person has to do with his son’s death, and he struggles to decide if he wants them to live or not. While it does get a little annoying that he takes his time on his decisions since he predictably does not want to save them at first, I do like the eternal struggle he is having. None of these people are monsters, but he does not feel like justice has been served. Not a bad emotional conflict for Jeff as well the other characters.
3.) I have not really brought this up in the past Saw movie reviews, but I do like some of the traps in the movies. How Jigsaw manage to make these is beyond me (and I will get to that), but I found these traps to be clever and brutal. Say what you want about the torture porn aspect of the series, at least the traps are kind of clever.
1.) With this sequel, the series is REALLY pushing the suspension of disbelief. The one question that will pass in everyone’s mind: how in the world has the police not catch Jigsaw? I have a theory, but I will answer that in the next movie review. There are so many ways that this killer could have been caught (and they were close in the last movie), but he somehow manages to get away with all of this. They are answered as the series progresses, but they are questionable at best and insulting at worst.
2.) The story structure is too unfocused here. For the first third of the movie, we spend time with the police, but for the rest of the movie, we spend time with Jigsaw, Amanda, Jeff, and Lynn. The story with the police will not be picked up until the next two movies, so there is very little point to them. Also, while flashbacks are prominent in the series, I felt that they used it too much to the point of over-relying on them. Some of those flashbacks does not get explained until the rest of the series. It reminds me too much of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice when they keep foreshadowing future movies in the DC Extended Universe. If it were up to me, I would not do that, and let the movie stand for itself instead of foreshadowing future movies.
3.) The visual filters are really annoying to me. The entire movie consists of a dark, yet bright green filter that really stands out when the characters are in the warehouse, and it kind of hurts my eyes. The previous movies were not as strong, so this one bothers me more. Unless if this took place in the Matrix, tone down the filter a bit, and show the audience a clearer visual.
On October 27, 2006, Saw III was released as what was supposed to be the last movie of the series (…it sure was). They were planning for this movie to be a combination of the previous two Saw movies. They made a movie that had an emotional investment as the first installment while adding the violent gore-fest like the second installment. It does succeed in certain areas. It does give some emotional investment and blood-spewing moments, but that does not guarantee a good movie. In fact, Saw III is not as good as its previous installments. They push the suspension of disbelief through the roof (and it gets worse from there), they are clearly foreshadowing for the next movies, and these “main” characters are so dumb that it makes me want to support the antagonist instead (I know that it is slightly the point in horror movies, but I believe the best horror movies are the ones where you support the protagonists more than the antagonists). I was hoping it would get better, but it seems that they got worse from the last movie. I cannot wait what they are going to show me in Saw IV.