The Final Saw (Until the Next One)

saw4Saw: The Final Chapter (2010) or Saw 3D is the supposed end of the Saw franchise, and it dies with a paper thin plot and very stupid characters.  As with previous Saw films, some people get stuck in some diabolical traps and there’s a lot of gore.  That’s it.  It’s the same thing.  Again.  Wait, newsflash, it’s not the end.  Geez…

Can’t fault Lionsgate for wanting a payday.  These stupid movies make money, so they keep making them.  Over and over.  This one only cost 11 million and that included 3D, for whatever that’s worth.  After the second one, the Saw franchise became repetitious and a parody of itself, then the death of Tobin Bell’s character sealed it for me.  This was the last one ever made, released way back in 2010, but now I heard today that there might be more Saw movies from the Spierig Brothers.  This new one is entitled Saw Legacy, and apparently will follow a bunch of new characters.  And Jigsaw?  And have a lot of flashbacks?  Without an original story, nobody’s going to understand the movie, and less people will want to see it.  Hopefully, they at least have Tobin Bell to draw in fans.

saw3Unlike Jason or Freddy or even Michael, Jigsaw never returned from the grave.  That was maybe a mistake.  Instead they inserted a convoluted plot about Jigsaw’s accomplices and his wife and some idiot named Detective Hoffman, who felt he was the real successor to Jigsaw after his death.  Costas Mandylor plays Hoffman in The Final Chapter as a remorseless jerk, and his character development goes nowhere. His character arc feels like a complicated setup for the next twist, where he’s killed and replaced by some other guy.

The Final Chapter is very formulaic.  It falls into a pattern which destroys the tension.  Some guy finds himself in a trap, struggles with it for a while and ends up dead.  This repeats over and over.  They stretch out a more lengthy “game” involving Sean Patrick Flannery’s character and his wife, played by Gina Holden.  They both do a fine job.  They’re just not developed and their scenes are played for shocks. 

Overall, The Final Chapter is terrible and leaves things up in the air again.  The only thing resolved about this movie is that Hoffman gets the boot and the movie delivers some fan service.  Just about everything else is the same and interchangeable with any of the other sequels.  The score, the kills, the traps, even Tobin Bell’s performance.  It’s all the same thing.  Same tone.  Same characterization.  Some fans appreciate this movie for being “not as bad” as the others, and I guess if that works for Star Wars, it should work for me, but I can’t give it a pass this time.  Make a damn movie with some real tension and real characters that I want to watch for God’s sake.  Is that so hard?