Friday, October 24, 2008

"Saw V"

Well, it took me five movies, but I’m finally done with “Saw.” I still say, in the creativity-bereft horror genre, the oft-criticized “Saw” movies offer consistently complex scripts with fresh ideas and truly inspired plotting, but with “Saw V,” this franchise has officially been bled dry. Watching the film, I was reminded what a remarkably consistent series this is; they all feel like they have the exact same production values, same director, same tone, same structure, same token twist ending. After this fifth entry, people (like me) will likely be jumping ship because they’ve had their fill, not because of drastic shifts in direction. While I admire the filmmakers’ inventiveness in finding ways to continue the franchise (and complicating things, ad nauseum) without repeating the same formula, they’re just bending over backwards to keep this cash cow going, and it all seems pointless from the get-go. It’s not boring, your interest will be kept, but the movie jumps through so many narrative hoops just to exist, that it’s tough to care. Jigsaw, the series' chief antagonist, has been dead for two films now, and as a result, flashbacks and storytelling trickery are relied upon entirely to keep this charade going. Starting with the third act of “Saw IV,” the series has just become too convoluted for its own good, and has reached its saturation point for ridiculousness. Viewing all the films in sequence, one realizes that the whole "revealing flashback that changes the meaning of everything that's come before it" thing has practically become a recurring joke by this point, being used about a half dozen times in each chapter thus far (e.g.: we'll flash back to a scene from the second movie only to reveal that a newly introduced character was hiding behind a wall or something). Hell, this one spends half its running time – whaddya know, flashing back – just to explain backstory for the twist from the last movie. And plotting mechanics aside, there’s just no excuse for a character that, on more than one occasion, vacantly stares into space and speaks aloud expository dialogue when he’s standing in a room by himself (“[He] killed him. And made it look like a Jigsaw murder!”) Those who are still happily turning out for these movies will not be terribly disappointed or elated, but I suspect most viewers will have finally had enough.


Post a Comment

<< Home